SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Efforts to streamline the construction of a massive transportation hub in the Midway District and update the Navy's Old Town campus have been approved by the state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 2731 this week, which will allow the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to quicken the environmental review process in order to build a transit hub connecting to San Diego International Airport and redevelop the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) Old Town campus site, should the Navy partner with SANDAG.
The bill, introduced by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), will allow SANDAG to use the Navy's environmental document as the basis of its California Environmental Quality Act document and requires most legal actions over the project to be resolved in 270 days.
The bill will also require the transit hub to meet high environmental benchmarks, such as LEED Gold certification, reducing vehicle miles by 25%, and be greenhouse gas neutral in exchange for the streamlined environmental process.
"This bill represents a unique opportunity to protect the existing 5,000 Navy jobs from relocation, create a 21st-century transportation system in San Diego, and provide desperately needed economic stimulus to our local economy in the wake of COVID-19," said Gloria. "This project has the potential to generate at least 16,000 jobs and provide housing for up to 27,000 residents – both of which we know are desperately needed. I want to thank Governor Newsom for allowing our region to take advantage of this potential partnership."
Atkins added, "from construction of redeveloped NAVWAR facilities to building and operating a mobility hub to better connect San Diegans and visitors with a direct transit connection to the San Diego International Airport, these are critical projects for our communities and will have a positive fiscal impact on our region for years to come."
Until the bill goes into effect, the Navy will continue to complete its environmental review set to be done by early 2021.
The bill will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2021.
Last January, SANDAG and the Navy signed a pact to explore options to redevelop the site.