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News and Milestones

Below are news highlights involving the Naval Training Center Redevelopment Project Area.

Redevelopment Agency Issues RFQ for Educational Institution at NTC
The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego is seeking an educational institution for Navy Building 83, an approximately 100,000 square foot building in the Education Area of NTC/Liberty Station. The property will be conveyed as-is at no cost; however, the designated educational institution will be responsible, at its sole cost and expense, for paying all the costs of rehabilitating Building 83, together with site improvements on Lot 1 of the Education Area as required by the Disposition and Development Agreement between the Redevelopment Agency and McMillin-NTC, LLC, the NTC Reuse Plan, the NTC Precise Plan and all Development Permits. The educational institution will be responsible for all costs of operating and maintaining the building, including taxes and assessments, insurance, utilities, and its proportional share of capital and maintenance costs pursuant to Community Facilities District No. 3 that has been formed by the City of San Diego relating to the NTC project. Submittal packages are available by contacting the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego, Attn: Maureen Ostrye, 600 B Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101, phone (619) 533-5428, Internet e-mail: Submissions are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 20, 2002.

Council Reaffirms Support for NTC Redevelopment Project
On Nov. 19, the City Council reaffirmed its support for the redevelopment plans of the former Naval Training Center. During the public meeting, the Council reconsidered its Oct. 3, 2000, approval of the Master Planned Development Permit/Coastal Development Permit for the project. The Council voted that the plan is sound and that the project should proceed. Several unneeded buildings at NTC have been demolished. Corky McMillin Cos, the project's master developer chosen by the City, plans to begin new construction in 2002.

Naval Training Center Historic District Receives National Designation
The National Park Service announced in August 2001 that the Naval Training Center Historic District is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation will help preserve the original buildings on the former Naval base that were built between 1921 and 1949. As a result of closing NTC in 1997, the Navy was required by the National Historic Preservation Act to have the base surveyed to identify structures eligible for listing on the National Register. Two surveys were conducted by Ogden Environmental and Energy Services Co., a consultant hired by the Navy. Eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places brings with it restrictions on modifying the exteriors of the buildings and other areas in the district. A set of guidelines for rehabilitation of the structures has been completed and approved by the City's Historical Resources Board. Forty-nine buildings, including the U.S.S. Recruit, and three structures make up the NTC Historic District. The district is significant both historically and architecturally, and the buildings within the district display similar Spanish Colonial Revival with Pueblo influence design elements. Many of the buildings have tile roofs, graceful arches and arcades, and a sense of scale and proportion that lends history and dignity to the base. The three structures include Ingram Plaza flagpole and the gun platforms on Preble Field. The Sail Ho Golf Course is also part of the designation, together with several plazas, courts, and landscape elements. Some of the earliest buildings at NTC were designed by Lincoln Rogers. More than 20 buildings in the historic district will comprise the Civic, Arts and Cultural Center. The buildings will remain in public ownership and leased to the nonprofit NTC Foundation by the City's Redevelopment Agency. The foundation is responsible for rehabilitating the buildings and creating and operating the Civic, Arts and Cultural Center. The center will include exhibition areas; museum space; classrooms and educational facilities; performance and theater space; meeting areas for civic, arts, and cultural groups; restaurants; retail shops; and public spaces for conferences and lectures.

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Construction Begins on New Ocean Monitoring Lab
Construction on the new 37,400 square-foot Environmental Monitoring Laboratory at the former Naval Training Center began with a ground breaking ceremony on Oct. 11. The facility will support the City's Ocean Monitoring Program that is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world. The building was dedicated to the late Mia J. Tegner, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research biologist who increased understanding of the local ocean ecology and its relationship to human activities.

California Coastal Commission Approves NTC Plans
On June 12, the California Coastal Commission approved the Naval Training Center Local Coastal Program Amendment #6-2000(A) by a vote of 7 to 2. The decision allows the City Redevelopment Agency and developer Corky McMillin Companies to move forward in creating a new waterfront community at the former Navy base. Entitlements approved included zoning, design guidelines for urban design and historic structures, amendments to the general plan and community plan, and the implementation plan among others. Some suggested modifications by the Coastal Commission were met with approval by City and McMillin Companies staff including water quality standards, preservation of views, residential and hotel height limits, parking standards, the protection of public amenities, the inclusion of a three-story, 58-foot office building, and an expansion of the  mixed use  allowable land uses.

Benefits to the region from this project include:

  • A new 46-acre park and esplanade adjacent to the water will provide public access.
  • More than 125 acres will be opened for recreation, including new waterfront parks and open space, the boat channel, golf course, waterfront esplanade and public promenade.
  • The NTC Historic District (52 buildings) will remain intact, and will be adaptively reused. Notable historic buildings include the Navy Chapel, Luce Auditorium, U.S.S. Recruit, Building 200 (the Commander's Headquarters), and the Sail Ho Golf Course.
  • The heart and soul of the project, the Civic, Arts and Cultural Center will be created, including theaters, museums, classes and workshops, as well as art expositions, antique shows, book festivals, photography and drama classes.
  • New, improved public access to the waterway will be provided and connected to the Embarcadero.
  • Marine resources will be maintained and enhanced by controlling runoff and preventing water pollution.

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Groundbreaking at Former Naval Training Center Marks Next Phase of New Waterfront Community
After seven years of planning and hundreds of community meetings, ground was formally broken on Feb. 26, 2001, for the City's new waterfront community on the grounds of the former Naval Training Center (NTC). Over the next several years, NTC will undergo a transformation to an urban village. The former military base will become a place where San Diegans can come together in an active, productive, and stimulating environment. New homes, parks, businesses, and cultural and educational facilities will transform the former Navy base into a dynamic waterfront community. Most of the redevelopment of the base is scheduled to be completed by mid-2005. In addition to the groundbreaking, a new identity was launched for NTC: Liberty Station. The new name pays homage to the thousands of Navy personnel who were trained at the old San Diego Naval Training Station, as it was originally called. (FEBRUARY 2001)

State Approves Tax Credit Zone, Tidelands Trust Designation Change
In January, the City was awarded a conditional Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area designation for the former Naval Training Center by the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency. Businesses that locate at NTC will be able to receive state tax credits and other incentives, similar to the state Enterprise Zone incentives. The state created the designation to stimulate job growth in areas affected by military base downsizing and closure. NTC is the eighth designation the state has made. Also, on Feb. 5, the state Lands Commission approved a City plan to change the Tidelands Trust designation from portions of NTC to be occupied by the Regional Public Safety Training Institute and some residential uses. Instead, the designation will be placed on park and open spaces on the west side of the boat channel. The Tidelands Trust prohibits sale or encumbering of state tidelands and limits development. (FEBRUARY 2001)

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City Council Approves NTC Precise Plan
On Oct. 3, the City Council approved the Naval Training Center Precise Plan, vesting tentative map, and master development permits. The plan is a blueprint for the design and development of approximately 360 acres of the former Navy boot camp. The plan includes the development of 22 acres for educational uses, 23 acres for offices and research-and-development facilities, 37 acres for residences, and 46 acres for parks and open space. The City envisions 350 units of housing, two hotels covering 37 acres, a nonprofit arts-and-culture center, and a pedestrian-friendly esplanade along a boat channel. The state Coastal Commission is expected to consider the plan in early 2001. (OCTOBER 2000)

Disposition and Development Agreement with McMillin Companies to Redevelop NTC Approved
On June 26, the City Council and Redevelopment Agency approved McMillin Companies as the master developer of the Naval Training Center (NTC). With approval of the disposition and development agreement, the Mayor and City Council obtained assurances that McMillin complete the redevelopment of NTC in accordance with the City-approved NTC Reuse Plan, setting the stage for a new waterfront community at NTC. The NTC Reuse Plan calls for the development of a traditional residential neighborhood that will blend in with the existing community. This area will be located next to educational, service, retail and visitor-oriented uses, and within easy walking distance of the Civic, Arts and Cultural Center, as well as parks, museums and recreational facilities that line the waterfront.

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