It looks like San Diego is heading towards their own Grand Central Station after a recent announcement from Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Scheduled to be housed at a World War II-era SPAWAR complex in Old Town San Diego, the Navy, along with airport and regional transit spokespeople, deliberated recently on the project. After discussion, Mayor Faulconer explained that both parties reached a deal that tentatively paves the way for the plan. However, both sides wanted to verify to the public that the plan is only tentative.
Late last year, the vision was formulated when the Navy wanted to repurpose its cyber warfare property. SANDAG then submitted the idea of combining the property with the transit center in Old Town to create a massive transportation hub. The hub would provide 10 million square feet of office space and a potential 10,000 housing units.
As of right now, the Navy and SANDAG have signed a non-binding agreement which considers adding the plan into a series of proposals that the Navy will distribute to private bidders. Additionally, SANDAG has agreed to not participate in the process. Lastly, the agreement articulates how the Navy and SANDAG are allowed to include any necessary environmental work in the series of proposals.
The agreement between the Navy and SANDAG comes a week after the Airport Authority made a deal to give $500 million in funds toward the improvement of airport transportation. The airport transportation constructed as a part of this agreement would—over time—be connected to the San Diego Grand Central hub.
Both SANDAG and Mayor Faulconer hope to reach a concrete plan within the next two years, with the transportation up and running within the next 10 years. However, both entities are aware of the time commitment this project will take and have left the possibility open that it could take longer.
Photo by Jad Limcaco