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Navy Seeks To Build 10,000 Homes On NAVWAR Site In Midway District

The Navy's NAVWAR facility is seen here from across Pacific Highway in the Midway District, May 14, 2021.
Andrew Bowen
The Navy's NAVWAR facility is seen here from across Pacific Highway in the Midway District, May 14, 2021.

The Navy announced Friday it would pursue building a row of high-rise buildings with 10,000 apartments on its 70-acre NAVWAR campus in San Diego’s Midway District.

The proposal would also include two million square feet of office space, two hotels and a new transit hub with a potential rail connection to San Diego International Airport. The project is now open for a 60-day comment period.

Navy Seeks To Build 10,000 Homes On NAVWAR Site In Midway District
Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen.

NAVWAR, the Navy's cybersecurity division, currently operates out of outdated warehouses originally built to manufacture bombers during World War II. Revenue from the housing and commercial development on the land would fund a new headquarters with better security and amenities.

The transit hub would integrate a vision by SANDAG, the county’s transportation planning agency, for a "San Diego Grand Central."

"This is an incredible opportunity for the Navy and the community to work together, to not only provide SANDAG the modernized state-of-the-art facility it needs but also do something positive for the city of San Diego," said Capt. Kenneth Franklin, commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma.

Navy Seeks To Build 10,000 Homes On NAVWAR Site In Midway District

RELATED: NAVWAR Redevelopment Could Revitalize Midway District

A conceptual rendering shows how the Navy's redevelopment of its NAVWAR facility might look.
Navy
A conceptual rendering shows how the Navy's redevelopment of its NAVWAR facility might look.

A 730-page draft environmental impact statement released Friday found the project would obstruct some coastal views from parts of Mission Hills and that it would worsen congestion in Midway. That could lead to pushback from residents, but they likely won't have much recourse because the site is owned by the federal government and not subject to city building regulations.

Colin Parent, executive director of the nonprofit Circulate San Diego, said the site's proximity to public transit and downtown makes it a better place for new housing than more suburban sprawl.

"We can and should look to using public transit and active transportation as a way to ... reduce the number of car trips in big projects like this," Parent said. "And that's something that's part of the plan, but we should take a closer look to see how we can do more of that."

The Navy estimates the project would create more than 18,000 jobs by the time the project is fully built out in 2050.

Two virtual town halls on the project are scheduled for June 8 and 23.