Tuesday, October 24, 2006
It's an important week for the future of San Diego's prized downtown waterfront. The Centre City Development Corporation is scheduled to vote on what's been dubbed the "Pacific Gateway" project tomorrow.
CCDC will vote on development plans for the 15-acre site currently home to the aging Navy Broadway complex. Developer Doug Manchester is seeking to build nearly 3 million square feet of new office and retail space, hotels, restaurants and a new Navy building. CCDC must decide whether or not the proposal meets the requirements of a 1992 development plan hashed out between the city of San Diego and the United States Navy.
CCDC president Nancy Graham says tomorrow's board vote will not address issues such as architecture or design choices. She says it's is just one step in a longer, more complicated course of action.Nancy Graham: The '92 development agreement set forth various quantitative requirements, and those are numbers. Does what they have submitted meet those numbers? Is it less than 3.2 million square-feet, does it have the right of way openings on E, F and G Street? Does it have a 1.9 acre park? Do the buildings stay within the height limits that have been set forth? Are the building towers in the right dimensions? So, it's pretty much, a lot of those are pure numbers.
Time is short for approving a final project plan. A lease agreement between Manchester Financial Group and the Navy must be signed by January 1, 2007 to keep the land from reverting to the Pentagon in the Base Realignment and Closure Process, or BRAC. But what effect will tomorrow's CCDC decision have on the Navy's ability to meet this deadline? Captain Mike Allen says even though the vote isn't directly tied to securing the lease with the developer, it is an important step for the progression of the project.
Captain Mike Allen: There's no direct relationship to extinguishing BRAC. All we have to do is get Manchester to sign a lease to develop this property. It sounds simple, but it is complex. And I'm sure they will be watching this determination vote tomorrow very closely.
CCDC Board members are due to vote tomorrow afternoon at City Council Chambers.