Special Report: Broadway Navy Project is cleared to move forward

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The largest development project in the history of downtown, the Manchester Pacific Gateway, will break ground next month.

In partnership with the Navy, this is a $1.6 billion project that will transform San Diego’s waterfront.

After 12 years of delay over lawsuits about environmental and safety issues, the U.S. Supreme Court finally cleared the way for the project to move forward.

You can call it the “big dig.”

“This will be the biggest dig in the history of San Diego. Seven city blocks going down at one time and about 800,000 cubic yards of dirt in the first phase of the project,” said Project Manager Perry Dealy.

This area of downtown is along Harbor Drive across from the Midway Aircraft Carrier. Dealy said this will open up access to the waterfront.

“We’re putting in E, F and G streets right now we have 8 blocks of chain link fence all the way around this blighted part of downtown. We are going to open this up for pedestrians, and for cars to go east and west to the waterfront and back into downtown,” Dealy said.

Seven blocks will be verticle developments with five buildings. There will be two hotels, a 29-story Convention Center hotel, a smaller five-star boutique hotel and two office buildings.

“We’re gonna have about 400 thousand square-feet or retail, both entertainment, restaurants, in line retail, a great place for the community for tourists, for residents and a great place for kids,” Dealy said.

There is a 1.9-acre park and a pedestrian paseo.

“Running down the middle of the master plan that will be very unique and unusual in urban American, but certainly appropriate for this location,” Dealy said.

And there will be two levels of underground parking with 3,000 public spaces.

While the groundbreaking ceremony is June 1, the actual construction won’t begin until August after the demolition of the old buildings is completed.

Projects of this size usually are done in several phases, but not this one, although the Navy building has priority.

“Everything else will be built at the same time,” Dealy said.

Financing the project was a struggle after the 2008 recession hit and construction loads were too costly. Mr. Manchester decided to bring in equity partners.

“Papa Doug Manchester is fronting quite a bit of cash to get the project underway and it’s backed up with our investors,” Dealy said.

Again, this is the largest downtown development in the history of the city that will put a new face on what the architect calls San Diego’s front porch.

“It’s gonna have 3 million square-feet when complete, and it’s gonna transform the whole western part of downtown,” Dealy said.

Early in 2021, this project will be completed and all of the buildings in this master plan will have occupancy.

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