Background and Significance of the Deal
The Port of San Diego has officially announced that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Navy to terminate their lease for the 3.4-acre site at 1220 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101. The agreement, long in the making, is a momentous step in the Port’s ambitious plans for increased public access and waterfront development. The site, primarily consisting of office buildings and parking lots, has been under Navy control since August 9, 1949. The significance of ending this over seven-decade-long relationship cannot be overstated, especially considering the strategic and historical ties between the Navy and the city of San Diego.
While the Port is regaining control of a key piece of real estate, the Navy is not walking away empty-handed. As part of the agreement, the Port will finance one or more Navy-selected projects, not to exceed $5,750,000.
The Port has long been advocating for the creation of more public spaces and avenues for the residents and tourists to enjoy San Diego’s Bay. This newly-acquired site is envisioned as a cornerstone in this grand plan. One of the key aspects of the deal includes extending B Street from Pacific Highway through to Harbor Drive, thus enhancing connectivity and access to the waterfront. Additionally, the Port is keen to introduce more park spaces that would be open to the public.
- 3.4 acre site
- About 26 years remaining on the 100-year lease
- Currently made up of Office Buildings/Parking Lots
- Port will spend up to $5,750,000 on Navy-Selected projects
- Port expects 2-4 years to explore development opportunities
- Goal is to increase public access
What Comes Next?
The Port estimates that it will take between 2 to 4 years to explore and finalize development opportunities. The Port’s leadership will be walking a tightrope between development and public access, aiming to create a space that enhances San Diego’s status as a must-visit destination while also serving the local community. It’s worth noting that, as per current regulations, Port land will likely not include residential development. This means there are no immediate plans for condos or apartments to be built west of Pacific Highway.
The end of the U.S. Navy’s lease with the Port of San Diego is a step in the right direction. It paves the way for some updates to the city’s waterfront and possibly increased public access to the San Diego Bay. With the Port overseeing the project, the site at 1220 Pacific Hwy could become a component in the broader scheme of San Diego’s evolving waterfront landscape.