Businesses Submit Plans for Navy’s Old Town Project
By Brad Graves
San Diego Business Journal
August 11, 2023
The U.S. Navy said on Thursday (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 its 70.3 acres.
Several private sector businesses have offered to work with the Navy on the ambitious project that would replace a World War II aircraft factory and change the face of the neighborhood. Details of those proposals — and even the names of the developers — have yet to be made public.
“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.”
Four developers are on the Navy’s short list. Each 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’s information technology and cybersecurity command, which is now housed in sprawling factory buildings from the middle of the last century. Private business would also have the chance to lease the rest of the Navy property for an extended term, and build a mixed-use development.
The competing developers submitted their plans to remake the property by an Aug. 9 deadline. Now the Navy plans to evaluate those plans, 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, which 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.
“I’m pleased to see progress on this important project,” NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Doug Small said in a statement issued Thursday. “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.”
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 documents contemplated high-density development with high-rise buildings.
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