Recently, the Navy signed an agreement with the City and the San Diego Association of Governments to redevelop the 70.5-acre NAVWAR site adjacent to Interstate 5 just blocks from the Old Town Transit Center. The parties have previously discussed what development at NAVWAR would look like: A transit hub with a central terminus for buses and trains, likely with a people-mover or shuttle to the airport.
In exchange for redeveloping a portion of the World War II-era NAVWAR aircraft hangar site into a transit hub, the County would build new facilities to house the thousands of Naval cybersecurity experts and contractors, including NAVWAR personnel, currently on site.
Parties also signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2019 to discuss and collaboratively draft a development plan. SANDAG's board then approved $50 million in initial site-planning funds to be spent over the next five years for NAVWAR’s redevelopment.
The Navy has said the revitalization of NAVWAR's facilities in San Diego is critical to supporting its mission and is urgently needed.
A public scoping summary report is now available on the project website at NAVWAR-Revitalization.com/documents/
During the scoping period, which ran from Jan. 24-Feb. 24, 124 comments were received. Generally, comments were supportive of the Navy, NAVWAR Revitalization, and redevelopment of the site, but concerned with impacts to transportation/traffic and how building heights would impact the current character of the area. Comments also related to how redevelopment/revitalization would address: the regional need for affordable housing (including homelessness); availability of parking; bike lanes; transit connections; off-site development; and specific NAVWAR needs such as secure facility space, Navy security on a mixed-use site, space for Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, and how NAVWAR would minimize impacts to Navy employees during construction.
The scope and structure of the project’s future environmental impact statement will address comments received during scoping.
Some highlights of public comments in that scoping report:
• High-density mixed-use development is preferred on the site.
• The project would benefit enhanced transit options and result in a reduction in the use of vehicles.
• The site should be transferred at no cost or should be part of the federal process for the excess property.
• There is a local need for public transit solutions to reduce traffic and commute times, and housing near transit connections to benefit the community.
• Downtown San Diego needs housing opportunities for families, and the Navy deserves an iconic building.
• The NAVWAR location is ideal for centrally located housing.
• Affordable housing is needed for seniors and retired military.
• The importance of long-term, regional transit improvements that provide connections to the airport. Such a connection would provide multiple local and regional benefits.
• The project would reduce traffic congestion on North Harbor Drive and other area roadways; reduction in vehicle-generated greenhouse gas emissions; and enhancement of the public's ability to access the coast.
• The Navy should design and build facilities in a manner that reduces the use of energy and resources. All buildings should be designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification.
For more information on the Navy OTC Revitalization Project, visit NAVWAR-Revitalization.com.
Or contact Project Information Line: 888-682-6289. The project email address is [email protected]