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Court Fight Over San Diego’s Navy Broadway Complex Not Finished

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An artist's rendering shows developer Doug Manchester's proposal for the Navy Broadway Complex, October 2009.

Attorney Cory Briggs lost a round in his effort to stop the $1.2 billion Navy Broadway Complex from being developed on San Diego Bay, but he says he's not giving up the fight.

Attorney Cory Briggs lost a round in court this week in his effort to stop the $1.2 billion Navy Broadway Complex from being developed on San Diego Bay, but he said on Thursday he's not giving up the fight.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, which Briggs represents. He had argued the project at Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive, which will house headquarters for the Navy as well as other commercial space, was not prepared for the possibility of terrorist attacks.

The court ruled on Wednesday that "the Navy considered the relevant factors in its 'hard look' at potential terrorism at the Navy Broadway Complex." The judges voted 2-1 against Briggs' arguments. The dissenting judge argued the U.S. Department of Defense and the Navy "have not ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack at the Complex."

Briggs said he hasn't had a chance to read the ruling but plans to seek a rehearing in front of the full 9th Circuit.

"Then we will ask the Supreme Court to weigh in," he said.

The coalition also has other challenges against the project that they plan to file in state court, Briggs said. He would not say what they are.

"The fight's far from over," he said.

Developer Doug Manchester took on the project in 2006. He signed a 99-year lease with the Navy and plans to build a seven-building complex called Manchester Pacific Gateway. It would total 2.9 million square feet.

The manager for the project, Perry Dealy, did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Thursday. He told The San Diego Union-Tribune the ruling means work can begin on the project at the end of the year.

The city-owned nonprofit Civic San Diego will need to approve the project, Dealy told the newspaper. He also said he will need to continue searching for financing.

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Photo of Claire Trageser

Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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