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Redevelopment — City Gears Up NTC Plan

Predicting 7,700 new jobs and a renaissance off Rosecrans Street, San Diego city officials are moving ahead with the redevelopment of the city’s latest acquisition: 279 acres of real estate at the former Naval Training Center.

At the same time, the city is moving to cement its relationship with its chosen master developer, the Corky McMillin Cos. of National City.

With a City Council vote May 30, the Navy transferred the 279 acres to the city. It is only a portion of the base, which totaled more than 500 acres. Some $500 million worth of development, including hotels, office space, housing and an arts and culture center, is planned at NTC.

The city and McMillin were still in negotiations last week on the agreement that would define their partnership, called a disposition and development agreement. “Minor details” were still being negotiated, said McMillin spokeswoman Megan Conley.

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She said the pact defines the way the land will be transferred to McMillin. The transfer will be in phases, she added.

Marcela Escobar-Eck, NTC reuse project director for the city, said the pact had not been made public at press time and that she was “not at liberty” to discuss its contents. She would only say it is a large legal and business document, containing several hundred pages plus attachments, spelling out all the property McMillin is responsible for developing.

More information on the draft agreement should be available this week, both the city and developer representatives said, adding the City Council could consider approving the disposition and development agreement later this month.

Closing In

Though the pact is not yet signed, spokeswomen for the two entities said they have been acting in partnership since the city awarded exclusive negotiating rights to the developer last summer.

McMillin and the city’s staff are “doing a fabulous job trying to expedite everything” in their planning, said Escobar-Eck.

With last week’s land transfer, the city and McMillin circulated similar statements predicting the economic benefits that will come from their joint project.

It’s a development that will create 7,783 permanent jobs to replace the 3,090 jobs that NTC once provided, according to the statements. The project will also create an estimated 1,374 construction jobs, the statements predicted.

More than $100 million will be invested in redevelopment projects, including the rehabilitation of historic structures, utilities, streets and parks, the statements said, adding that with new construction, NTC’s build-out value will be approximately $500 million.

Since it is a redevelopment project, the city will gain millions of dollars in tax increment revenues, Escobar-Eck confirmed. Income estimates are still vague, she said, adding income could range from $40 million to $100 million over the 30-year life of the redevelopment.

The transfer of 279 acres was known as an economic development conveyance. City and Navy plans call for handing off more land , roughly 100 acres for a park and roughly 9 acres for a wastewater department lab , in two transfers known as public benefit conveyances. Escobar-Eck said the park conveyance could happen in the fall, and the lab conveyance could happen in July.

Planning and development for the NTC site is adhering closely to the city’s project timetable, she said.

Since the city’s 279-acre acquisition is a former federal base, the property has no land-use controls or development review standards, Escobar-Eck said. The city will establish zoning and building requirements for the land.

Among other things, plans for the base will be folded into the city’s general plan and its Peninsula Community Plan. The city will have to put a master development permit in place and develop design guidelines for both the NTC’s historical buildings and its other structures.

Plans for the NTC should go to the city’s Historical Site Board and Peninsula Community Planning Board in the summer, Escobar-Eck said. They could reach the Planning Commission by late September and the City Council by early October, she said.

Since the base lies in the coastal zone, plans will have to go to the state Coastal Commission as well. The city timetable predicts commission review in February 2001.

New construction could follow a few months later, Escobar-Eck said.

Coastal Commission approval will also be required for building demolition at the base , though Escobar-Eck said “deconstruction” is a better term for the work.

Deconstruction would include salvaging materials from demolition to use again on new projects. An example would be using crushed concrete from old buildings for the sub-base portion of new streets. The Navy is doing the same thing as it builds its new housing at NTC, she said.

The NTC Reuse Plan calls for the development of a “traditional residential neighborhood” that will blend in with the existing community, said the statement issued by the city and developer.

This area will be located next to educational, service, retail and visitor-oriented uses, and within walking distance of a civic, arts and cultural center, as well as parks, museums and recreational facilities on the waterfront.


City Council Still Unsure of Downtown Library Site

The San Diego City Council is again mulling where to place a central, Downtown library.

Picking a replacement for the central library was on the council agenda last week, but council members continued the matter to June 5. The vote to continue the matter was 5-4, with Mayor Susan Golding and council members Harry Mathis, Byron Wear and Valerie Stallings voting no.

The council has a choice of several Downtown properties for the $130 million project.

One proposal is to put a new library building on two city blocks adjacent to the current central library. That plan would require the demolition of the Carnegie Apartments, and council members discussed what may happen to the building’s elderly tenants if the building must make way for the library.

Other options before the council are to put the library on city property near the future Downtown ballpark, or to put it near the Santa Fe Rail depot.

Yellow Cab Inks Deal

Yellow Cab of San Diego, Inc. announced a strategic partnership with Medallion Media of New York.

The partnership, which was signed on May 17, marks the beginning of a new focus for Yellow Cab’s top sign advertising. The new contract with Medallion will concentrate on community and family-friendly promotions.

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