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KPBS Midday Edition

Navy Broadway Complex To Make Way For $1.3B Development

A rendering of the Manchester Pacific Gateway project.
Courtesy of Manchester Pacific Gateway
A rendering of the Manchester Pacific Gateway project.
Navy Broadway Complex To Make Way For $1.3B Development
Navy Broadway Complex To Make Way For $1.3B Development
Navy Broadway Complex To Make Way For $1.3B Development GUEST:Perry Dealy, development manager, Manchester Pacific Gateway

Our top story on midday edition a huge construction project just got underway after years of negotiations on legal battles demolition of the Navy Broadway complex has started. It is the first step toward redevelopment of eight city blocks between Pacific Highway and harbor drive south of Broadway. The $1.3 billion Manchester Pacific Gateway project is the brainchild of developer Doug Manchester. Joining me as development manager for the project Terry Gilliam. Welcome back. Thank you for having me. Remind us what we will see once the project is completed. This is going to be a transformation completely renovated and repositioned eight blocks which is currently blighted on the water for twin Broadway -- between Broadway and harbor drive and Pacific Highway to the south of Seaport Village and to the west is the Midway Museum and we will transform that into one of the most phenomenal mixed-use urban waterfront properties in United States. We will have a couple of hotels we will have a couple of office buildings. We will have a brand new state-of-the-art class a office building for the Navy headquarters. We will have about 300,000 square feet of entertainment museums retail and other phenomenal waterfront attractions that will be a great amenity for those that live and work and play in downtown. Where will the Navy headquarters operate while this is being built.? That's a good question we will preserve their existing location. They are currently at the runway on harbor drive. They are an existing building there and they will stay in that building. The other buildings on the side will be taken down they are in the process of being demolished right as we speak so the Navy is going to stay there for the next three years. Then we will rebuild -- relocated them into the class a office building as part of our initial phase. As you said the demolition is underway. It alone is supposed to take six months. What kind of impact that pedestrians and drivers going to face in that area. We have been very careful because of the safety requirements and also the fiduciary that we think we have for the Western waterfront while we are in this transformational phase so we have secured AMG which is one of the premier demolition contractors in the southwestern United States. And they have set up an extensive safety program with the Navy. We have reviewed it with the city and that plan has setbacks on harbor drive from the buildings being demolished and all of the debris is going to be pulled inside the eight blocks so it's not going to be spilling out onto harbor drive or Pacific Highway. Will drivers have to be rerouted in some way during this construction. There may be a very slight modification on harbor drive only. Pacific Highway and Broadway will have no impact whatsoever but it would only be for a couple of months and just for the abundance of safety to have some additional setback. Currently our friends out there right now has not modified harbor drive at all. He will open it all at once correct? Why is that. Are goal is to build up the seven and a half box. We will leave the other half were the very -- maybe currently is and then we will leave that down and build a park but the other seven blocks which is the majority of our vertical development. Has tremendous benefits to clean up the blocks that went. They are public amenities and third it will not be deceptive if we go in multiple phases for the buildings that we will build in a single phase. We would take the seven and a half box and go for a low grade after 2500 parking spaces as part of phase 1. Is because we have to be look at the Navy into their new class a office building and then we can tear the building down and build a park. Is that a financial decision because he contracted to build the headquarters for standing you the other space to start generating income? That is a very good point that is part of the financial liability of the property is to -- we have a commitment to build the Navy as part of phase 1 so that is a commitment -- that is a $160 million commitment that we have already committed to. We are in the process of getting those permit drawings completed as we speak. The last lawsuit that challenged this was resolved last year. Did you delay demolition until all the financing was in order? We delayed -- we are paying cash for the demolition. We delayed the lawsuit until they were comfortable that all of the legal impediments were cleared up. Is all the financing in order? It's in the process we were prepared to announce within the next 60 to 90 days our financial team and currently worked with and once we get that finalized will make it a press release on that that we have the financing completed. This has been described as the largest construction project ever in San Diego County. Is that because of the billion-dollar price tag or the scope of the development. I think it is a combination. Is privately developed so that is one of the categories and secondly it is eight city blocks downtown which has not been done for private development and third it is a $1.3 billion total project cost. It is clearly the biggest project in the history of our city. Anywhere and to open in 2020? Yes it is appropriate because the Navy first open the building in 1920 so that would be the 100 year anniversary and second it reinforces the vision that Papa Doug Manchester has for the redevelopment of this project. I've been speaking with development manager for the project Terry Deeley and thank you so much. You are welcome.

Navy Broadway Complex To Make Way For $1.3B Development
The development will include a new building for the Navy's headquarters, four office buildings, two hotels, a museum, an area for shopping and a park.

Demolition began this week on the Navy Broadway Complex in downtown San Diego. It will be replaced by a development that will include a new building for the Navy's headquarters, four office buildings, two hotels, a museum, an area for shopping and a park.

The development, the Manchester Pacific Gateway project, will be between Pacific Highway and North Harbor Drive, south of Broadway. It is expected to cost $1.3 billion and has been in the works for more than a decade. The project faced a number of legal challenges which were resolved in December when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

“In the 11 years that we have fought for this development, our enthusiasm and commitment has never wavered,” said Doug Manchester, the developer.

Perry Dealy, the development manager for the Manchester Pacific Gateway project, will join Midday Edition on Thursday to talk about the plans for the development.

When it is finished, the development will open up F and G streets, which are currently blocked by parking lots between downtown and the bay.

The site has been called San Diego’s front porch, an iconic waterfront location that some have compared to the site of the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Dealy said the architect, Art Gensler, has added an original feature to the high-rises in Manchester Pacific Gateway.

“One of the key features is, we’re going to have a two-tower hotel,” he said. ”And we’re going to have a sky bridge coming across at the top floors of that hotel, which will be very prominent, both in terms of those inside the hotel, but also looking at it from the bay and Harbor Drive downtown.”

One reason opponents fought the project is because they thought building a new Navy headquarters downtown could pose a security threat. Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, suggested the Navy consider relocating its headquarters to the 32nd Street Naval Base. The Navy said much of the work being done at the headquarters involved meetings with business interests based downtown.

Attorney Cory Briggs, who filed several lawsuits to block the project and ultimately lost in federal court last year, said he had no comment, now that demolition on the site has begun.