Navy Dumps ‘Very Scary’ Redevelopment Models for NAVWAR Site

by on April 18, 2022 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

According to Caitlin Ostomel, director of public affairs for the U.S. Navy Region Southwest, the Navy has acknowledged a mistake in pursuing a redevelopment model for its NAVWAR site that included “very scary” high-rise buildings and plans for 10,000 housing units.

This means the Navy is no longer going for the project of a massive redevelopment of its NAVWAR site. And it admits the public reaction was so negative that it had to dump the plans.

This minor bombshell was revealed in Voice of San Diego’s April 16 “Politics Report” by Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts. The Voice quotes Ostomel:

“I think it’s fair to say that when we released those ideas last summer, those computer models of density were very scary to a lot of members of the community. We really heard what the public said, and we said, ‘ya know, we need more detail before we finalize our way forward,’ and that’s what bringing a developer on board would help us do.”

Here’s Lewis and Keatts:

The Navy this week also told us that its joint pursuit with SANDAG of a “Grand Central” station as part of a massive redevelopment of its NAVWAR site was over.

It acknowledged that it had made a bit of a mistake in pursuing that project, when it released computer-generated renderings of the high-rise buildings it was considering as part of the proposal to build 10,000 housing units there.

The Voice also acknowledged that the negative public reaction was due in part because:

 Like-minded groups like the Save Our Heritage Organisation, OB Rag, and KUSI all immediately sounded the alarms over the project.

It’s true, we and others like SOHO rang all kinds of bells, waved all kinds of red flags beginning May 2021. And although we appreciate the props, we disagree with Lewis & Keatts on one important point.

While they concede “those renderings were not very attractive,” they miss the main issues that people had with them: super-high-rise and very high density.That’s why people were “freaked out.”

Here’s some graphics of the proposed models of the project:


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Webb April 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm

At least some elements of sanity on the development scene!


Geoff Page April 18, 2022 at 1:55 pm

Oh, Paul, be careful. Optimism is seldom rewarded when it comes to something this big in San Diego. But, I am heartened to see there is still a glimmer of hope in some of us.


Paul April 19, 2022 at 8:22 pm

Those buildings look a lot like dashed bike lanes. They never learn. If they only approached it differently, we’d be more compliant.


Judy Swink April 24, 2022 at 5:24 pm

Frank, I had to laugh when you described SOHO, OB Rag as like-minded with KUSI. On the other hand, when groups as diverse as these three are on the same page regarding a development proposal, I’ll take it. I expect the Navy will eventually come back with another plan proposal though.


Frank Gormlie April 24, 2022 at 5:27 pm

Actually Judy, the Voice did that; we just quoted them, but yup, you’re right.


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