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City Attorney Mike Aguirre said developer Doug Manchester can ink a lease for the Navy Broadway Complex before the City Council hears an appeal of the city’s environmental review of the project, but that he does so at his own risk.

If the council grants Mission Hills resident Ian Trowbridge’s appeal at its Jan. 9 meeting, it could stall Manchester’s plans, Aguirre said.

Aguirre’s opinion, issued last week, said the appeal could alter a lease between Manchester and the Navy, but that the parties are free to pursue their lease. You can read the legal opinion here.

In exchange for constructing a new headquarters for Navy Region Southwest, Manchester will be allowed to redevelop the remaining waterfront acreage into hotels, offices, shops and museum space. Manchester and the Navy forwarded a rough draft of their agreement to Congress for review Oct. 11, but the terms have not been made public. A lease must be finalized by New Year’s Day, or the facility will be closed and made available to other federal agencies.

During Manchester’s negotiations with the Navy, the developer also had to seek the city’s approval that all of the project’s consequences on the environment, such as the planned building’s impacts to water quality, traffic and the geology.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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