Navy Broadway Complex approved

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Navy Broadway Complex to transform San Diego’s waterfront took a major step forward Wednesday when Civic San Diego approved the project as conforming to the city’s master plan.

Known as the Manchester Pacific Gateway Project, it has now been approved by all public agencies after 10 years of efforts to derail the project.

There’s one last hurdle keeping the project form going forward, an appeal of a court decision that held the project was not in violation of the National Environmental Protection Act. 

A decision is expected at any time.

When Developer Doug Manchester was awarded the contract in exchange for building new headquarter buildings, it was thought all of the approvals were already in place, but it turned out it was the beginning of a long struggle.

"We’ve had two lawsuits on CEQA, one vote. We’ve had two lawsuits with NEPA. We’ve won the first one, we’re waiting for the second one. We’ve had three lawsuits with the Coastal Commission, won all three of those, there was another appeal and we mediated that final appeal," said Project Director Perry Dealy.

Dealy said the last hurdle is an appeal before a panel of judges at the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA court.

"The judges heard that back in February this year so we’re just waiting for the final decision which could come at any time, and if we prevail then that’s our final obstacle," he said. "It will allow us to start going forward with implementation, starting to get building permits and doing pre-construction to get the project underway."

It took $30 million and 10 years to get to this point.

The opposition formed immediately and was intensive over environmental issues, walling off the waterfront and fears the concentration of Navy Brass would become a target for terrorists.

All of that has been resolved.

Eight blocks bounded by Harbor Drive, Broadway and Pacific Highway.

Four buildings, office and retail space, a hotel museum space, parking, 4 acres of open space and 1.9 acre park at the foot of Broadway. 

"We’re working with a couple of key law firms for the office side. We’ve got great interest on the retail, restaurants and entertainment and online retail and our hotel brands. We’re still holding off, but we’ve got two or three great options that would love to operate it if we choose to select them," Dealy said.

After 10 years, it appears this billion dollar development is on the verge of being implemented, joining other projects that are re-shaping the waterfront.

"The waterfront is going through this tremendous renaissance and it’s very exciting to see the transformation that’s happening," Dealy said.

The other projects include new construction at Lane Field, the old police headquarters has been re-done, Seaport Village will be redeveloped and a new restaurant to replace Anthony’s.

San Diego is moving forward.

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