SAN DIEGO (CN) – A civic group has renewed its legal challenge to the Navy’s plans for four blocks of prime downtown waterfront property. The nonprofit San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition sued the Department of Defense and the Navy over plans to hand over development of the pricey real estate to a private developer, the Manchester Financial Group.
The Manchester group is headed by “Papa” Doug Manchester, who developed the Hyatt and Marriott high-rise hotels in San Diego.
Manchester has been criticized for blocking views and access to the bay, and accused of using political pull to get the city to build a convention center next to the hotels.
The planned 2.9 million square-foot “Pacific Gateway” development, also known as the Navy Broadway Complex, would include a Navy administration building, 1 million square feet of hotels and offices, retail space and a pedestrian walk.
Of the 15.5 total acres, 2 would be set aside for a public park.
The coalition says that a 2009 environmental finding of no significant impact is baloney; they say the project would increase traffic, air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and demand on water resources.
A state appeals court last year shot down a previous lawsuit against the developer by the coalition on state law claims.
In the new complaint, the coalition is using federal laws to seek invalidation of the finding of no impact from 2009, and requests a full environmental impact statement or a new supplement to an impact statement that dates from 1990.
Represented by Cory Briggs of Upland, the group also cites concerns about terrorist attacks on the Navy facility, and increased demand on public services.
A Navy base and San Diego International Airport both occupy large areas in downtown San Diego.