Another voiceofsandiego.org reader asked:
A lot has been made of the ‘threat’ that the Navy Broadway Complex (NBC) may be subjected to the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Why did then mayor Toni Atkins and the local Economic Development Corporation make such a big deal about this, and fight to keep the NBC site off the BRAC commission’s hit list? Remember, the local Naval Training Center (NTC) was closed under the BRAC process, and the city ended up getting it almost free.
Still another very good question. You’re correct that the NTC was closed by the BRAC commission and the city of San Diego ended up buying the facility from the Navy for a pittance. I’m not up to speed on all the BRAC procedures, but from what I’ve read, when a Navy facility like the NBC site is closed under BRAC, the local government has first claim on the facility of other federal agencies don’t indicate an interest in it. Apparently other federal agencies don’t typically go after facilities closed under the BRAC process, because they don’t want to pay market value for the site to the Navy, and because there are often environmental clean up issues they don’t want to take on. That clears the way for the local government to lay claim to the facility if it wants it.
I’ve read that it the local government wants to use the site for commercial purposes, they have to pay the Navy full market value, but if they are proposing to use the site for other public purposes, like creating a public park or using it to erecting new public purpose or government structures, they can get it at a very steep discount.