Port of San Diego may seize defense contractor's land for Chula Vista bayfront expansion

Could a land grab be the key to transforming Chula Vista's bayfront?

A spat between the Port of San Diego and defense contractor UTC Aerospace Systems is tying up a prime parcel, 10News learned.

The four-acre piece of land is used as an auxiliary parking lot on UTC Aerospace's property at the corner of Marina Parkway and G Street in Chula Vista.

However, the Port wants it for part of its plan to build a hotel and convention center on Chula Vista's bayfront.

The property would be part of the 500-plus acre Bayfront master plan, a joint project between the Port and city. It also calls for new retail, office and housing complexes, while maintaining open space.

"I'm conflicted with what I would want to see, as far as development and such, because I really do enjoy the peace here," said Chula Vista resident Suzette Peterson, who walks her dog along the bayfront.

On Thursday, the Port's board of directors could vote to take UTC Aerospace's property via eminent domain, for a price tag of $1.6 million.

A port staff report says the agency has been unable to reach a price agreement with UTC.

In a statement, UTC Aerospace said it was aware of the eminent domain issue, but would continue to work with the Port to support the bayfront redevelopment.

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