NAVWAR facility in Old Town
The NAVWAR facility in Old Town. Courtesy of SANDAG

The Navy on Tuesday officially began the search for a master developer to transform the 70-acre World War II bomber plant in Old Town.

The chosen developer would build a new facility for NAVWAR in return for a 99-year lease on remainder of the site for redevelopment as housing, offices, stores and other uses.

“The existing space is currently underutilized and is functionally obsolete given the 1940s era
facilities’ design,” the Navy said in its solicitation.

The Navy said redevelopment of the Naval Base Point Loma Old Town Campus “would bring additional economic benefits to the region by consolidating Navy activities in modern facilities on a smaller footprint, allowing the remainder of NBPL OTC to be developed for other productive uses.”

Final proposals from developers are due Feb. 7.

A draft environmental impact statement in released 2021 suggested the site could support 10,000 new residences and 2.5 million square feet of office and retail space with buildings as high as 32 stores.

The idea immediately drew criticism from nearby residents, who worried that views would be impacted by new buildings and that traffic would increase.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.