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Real Estate and Airport Management

About Us

The City of San Diego is unique among municipalities statewide in the size and diversity of its real estate portfolio. The City owns more than 1,600 properties that total an estimated 123,000 acres. These properties range in size from large tracts of open space to tiny remnant parcels.

The Department of Real Estate & Airport Management (DREAM) oversees Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport and Brown Field Municipal Airport, which provide critical services to aviation users and the City. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has classified Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport as a reliever airport for San Diego International Airport - Lindbergh Field, which means it’s instrumental in preventing major delays at the scheduled passenger service airport. Brown Field Municipal Airport is also a reliever airport and the gateway for international general aviation aircraft entering the United States needing to clear Customs. Combined, City airports support more than 1,500 local jobs and generate $199 million in economic activity annually.

The City's real estate portfolio includes all the facilities necessary to provide the basic functions of government, such as parks, police stations, fire stations, libraries, maintenance yards and administrative space. Additionally, the department manages a major league baseball stadium, an 8,000-acre Agricultural Preserve and nearly 60,000 acres of open space. City properties support over 800 leases and agreements with third parties, generating more than $80 million in income and providing cultural and community-based services, including the iconic Balboa Park and San Diego’s water wonderland, Mission Bay.

Our Teams

  1. The Acquisitions Team provides complete real estate acquisition and relocation services for the City of San Diego. The Acquisition Team acquires sites for public facilities, parks, open space, and rights-of-way for streets and utilities. 
  2. The Airport Operations Teams are primarily focused on Airport Safety at Brown Field Municipal Airport and Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport. They conduct daily and periodic inspections of the runways and taxiways to ensure compliance with the FAA, Caltrans – Division of Aeronautics and other entities’ regulations. They also serve as the primary points of contact for airport users. Additionally, they perform airfield maintenance and repair work such as replacing airfield signs and repainting markings.
  3. The Airport Programs/Noise Abatement Team is in charge of planning the Capital Improvement needs of the City’s two general aviation airports. They work hand-in-hand with the FAA to obtain grant funding for critical infrastructure needs.  This team also manages the Airports’ Noise Program to ensure that the City’s airports and the neighboring communities understand each other’s needs. Learn more about the Noise Program.
  4. The Dispositions Team is responsible for processing sales of City-owned properties and implementation of the Surplus Land Act. Additional information on surplus property and information regarding affordable housing development can be found on HCD's website.
  5. The Financial and Records Management Team develops and administers the Real Estate and Airport Management budgets, processes rents and maintains accounts for all agreements, creates and processes payments of purchase orders and assists staff with financial transactions. The team maintains records for City-owned real estate and agreements in accordance with the established records retention policies and assists other teams with property information. Members of the team assist staff with the management of the many Public Record Act requests that are submitted to the department.
  6. The Lease Administration Teams administer the City's diverse lease portfolio, with one team sitting in Real Estate and one in Airport Management. The teams negotiate, develop and administer lease agreements and permits for use of City-owned property by profit and non-profit organizations, citywide. This includes Mission Bay Park, Balboa Park, San Pasqual Valley and the City’s two municipal airports. The Real Estate Lease Administration Team is also responsible for short-term permitting for use of city property, as well as facility management at the City Concourse. It currently generates more than $70 million per year for various city coffers.
  7. The Municipal Assets Services Team is tasked with planning, organizing and executing transactions that support all of the City's facilities' needs and the office space needs for our workforce of over 13,000 employees. The team works with individual City departments to determine how much space is needed and whether the requirement can be best accommodated through occupancy of City-owned properties, a lease from an outside entity, or the acquisition of a new facility. 
  8. The Valuations Team provides opinions of value to support: property sales, property acquisitions, rental rates, market-rate adjustments, bond offerings collateralized by real estate and all other City functions requiring real estate appraisal services.