US Navy vacates 100-year lease of key San Diego Bay site
The port approves the deal, paving the way for the redevelopment.
The U.S. Navy continues to vacate prime San Diego real estate that has been coveted for decades by developers.
San Diego Port commissioners voted this week to approve an agreement with the Navy to end the 100-year lease on a 3.4-acre parcel of land near San Diego Bay, currently occupied by three two-story buildings.
The parcel of land and low-rise buildings, located on Pacific Highway 1220, are both owned by the Navy.
The site, located between the Wyndham San Diego Bayfront and Lane Fields, had long been viewed by developers as a prime place to build a new hotel as well as public amenities. Located opposite the cruise ship terminal in San Diego.
Commissioners begin voting around the clock on a process that will officially end the Navy’s lease on the property by the end of this year, giving the Navy up to four years to vacate the property, according to a report in The Guardian. San Diego Union-Tribune.
In exchange for vacating the site — which the Navy was expected to occupy for additional decades — the Navy would receive $5.75 million worth of products and services from the Port of San Diego, the report said.
“In real estate, the most important factor is always location, and Pacific Highway 1220 is one of the best locations in our area, right next to the North Embarcadero, San Diego’s front porch,” James Hamill, the port’s real estate developer, said during a news conference. Presentation to the committee on the deal.
“The acquisition of this site opens up new public access, recreational and commercial development opportunities in a prime area on the San Diego Bay waterfront,” Hamel said.
The federal government has occupied the bayfront property since 1949, when it entered into a 100-year lease-free agreement with the city of San Diego. In exchange, the Navy granted the city of San Diego a fee simple title to 405 acres of federal land, as well as permanent easements across Navy property, a Navy spokesman told the newspaper.
The Pacific Highway 1220 lease inherited the San Diego Consolidated Port District when it was formed by the state in 1962.
In August, the Navy revealed that JConsidering proposals from four development teams to replace NAVWAR facilities and redevelop a 70-acre site in the Midway area of Dan Diego.
The teams are vying for a 99-year ground lease for the site adjacent to Interstate 5. The project, which could include a 20 million-square-foot development, is shaping up to be one of the largest public-private projects undertaken by the Navy.
The Navy put the property up for sale in November. In April, four development teams were invited to submit detailed proposals. The Navy is offering the land for “in-kind,” meaning it wants to replace the property, rather than cash, with new facilities, according to a report in The Sun. platform.
The winning bid will be awarded before the end of the year. The transfer of ownership through a 99-year ground lease will be subject to approval by the Secretary of the Navy.
The Old City campus at Naval Base Point Loma is home to the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command and the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific divisions.
The property, owned by the Navy since the 1990s and referred to by the acronym NAVWAR, consists of two large parcels straddling the Pacific Coast Highway and includes 1.7 million square feet of administrative, laboratory and warehouse space housed in a series of World War II-era hangers.