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Navy Evaluates Options for Old Town Property

DEFENSE: Four Developers Pitch Plans to Remake Neighborhood

The U.S. Navy said early this month (Aug. 10) that it has taken the next step toward redeveloping its Old Town Campus adjacent to Interstate 5 and the Midway District.

The Navy is eyeing modern facilities as well as new uses for 70.3 acres split between two parcels. Several private sector businesses have offered to work with the Navy on the ambitious project that would replace a World War II aircraft factory building and change the face of the neighborhood.

Four unnamed developers are on the Navy’s short list. Financial terms of the proposed projects, as well as other details, have not been made public. The Navy said it plans to evaluate how developers propose to finance their projects.

“In accordance with Department of Defense policy, and to ensure the integrity and successful completion of this competitive solicitation process, the Navy will not be disclosing source selection information at this time,” the Navy said in a statement. “As the process moves forward, the Navy will provide updates as permitted and appropriate.”

Two-Pronged Plan

Each of the four developers is vying to be the project’s master developer. Part of the developer’s job will be to build a modern headquarters for NAVWAR, the Navy command focused on information technology and cybersecurity. NAVWAR is now housed in sprawling, repurposed factory buildings that once produced World War II aircraft such as PBY Catalina seaplanes and B-24 bombers.

In addition to building NAVWAR headquarters, private business would have the chance to lease the rest of the Navy property for an extended term, and build a mixed-use development. Early concept drawings of the site showed high-density development with high-rise buildings.

The competing developers submitted their plans to remake the property by an Aug. 9 deadline. Now the Navy plans to evaluate those blueprints, name its master developer by the end of the year and enter exclusive negotiations with that business.

Specifically, the Navy says it has entered its Step 2: Request for Proposals source selection evaluation process.

The process will identify the team whose proposal conforms to the government’s solicitation, best meets Naval Information Warfare Systems Command’s (NAVWAR’s) mission requirements, and represents the best value to the government.

Mission Capable

“I’m pleased to see progress on this important project,” said NAVWAR’s Commander, Rear Adm. Douglas Small, in a statement issued Aug 10. “As we march forward towards the goal of new mission-capable facilities for NAVWAR, we look forward to continuing our close partnership with the city and local community.”


Rear Adm. Douglas Small

On April 10, the Navy short-listed four potential master developers that advanced to Step 2: Request for Proposals based on submitted qualifications. The four businesses had approximately four months to prepare their proposals to include technical and financial information to specify how they would achieve the Navy’s requirements.

Proposals include details such as site and design drawings for the new government facilities; demonstration of the concept for private development; specifics on how they would finance the project; and a proposed schedule for achieving key milestones of the government facilities.

The Navy is also preparing environmental review documents for the site, actually two tracts of land within easy walking distance of each other.

The government said it is also evaluating how it might build a new NAVWAR headquarters by itself, funded by traditional military construction methods, instead of a master developed, mixed use project.

NAVWAR Awards Contracts

Separate from real estate matters, the Pentagon announced on July 27 that NAVWAR awarded software development contracts to several small businesses.

The contractors will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to develop and integrate solutions for emerging requirements at the NAVWAR office known as PEO-C4I (Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence).

Among the firms receiving contracts were Dark Wolf Solutions LLC of San Diego, Moebius Solutions Inc. of San Diego, ODME Solutions LLC of Del Mar, TDI Technologies Inc. of Coronado and The Marlin Alliance Inc. of San Diego. Five other contractors based outside of San Diego County will also take part, doing their work in San Diego.

The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity software deals could total as much as $100 million over the five-year ordering period. The Navy has the option to extend the deals five more years to 2033, with a ceiling of $200 million.

The deal could be used to modify and enhance existing systems.

The focus area of the contract is agile software design, development, modification, integration, related test and evaluation support, and software systems engineering support. This contract further focuses on the use of data analytics techniques such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to design, develop, modify, integrate and support new software development, and to sustain existing software programs. This contract also encompasses the functions needed to support these main areas such as development of training embedded in the software, online help resources, and configuration management support.


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