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Friday, April 14, 2006 | Quote from Admiral Len Hering, voiceofsandiego.org, April 8: “Let me put this in perspective. We currently have this 14.7-acre piece of property (Navy Broadway Complex) because the city of San Diego asked us for a land swap in the ’30s. The Navy agreed to that land swap: We got 14.7 acres here and we gave up 163 acres to create Lindbergh Field. We’ve done our land-swapping.”
The admiral’s understanding of San Diego history seems fuzzy. First, at the risk of sounding picky, it was the 1920s not the 30s and the Marines contributed 182 acres not 163 to the development of Lindbergh Field. The U.S. government also tossed in a little over $1 million. Why?
Working together, the marines contributed 182 acres of land from a 500-acre grant the city had given them for the training facility, and the U.S. government provided $1,060,000 in cash and the city provided the balance of the land and $650,000 in cash. The seaplane facility was two-thirds of the total cost of the project.
Much of the land for Lindbergh is dredged land from the bay – the Navy benefited from this, as they also had two aircraft carriers headquartered in San Diego that needed the deeper bay.
Peter Q. Davis is the former chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Commerce, which was acquired by U.S. Bank; the former chairman of the Centre City Development Corp.; and the former chairman of the San Diego Unified Port District.