Doug Manchester, the Navy’s handpicked developer for its regional headquarters on the San Diego waterfront, said he will make a major announcement at a press conference this afternoon.

Officials for the Navy and Manchester said they will not comment until today’s 3 p.m. event, but it’s probable that the announcement will be related to both parties’ agreement on a lease of the bayside property, which is due soon.

Manchester must a sign a lease to redevelop the Navy Broadway Complex with the Defense Department by Jan. 1 or the facility will be closed and made available to other federal agencies.

Manchester and Navy Region Southwest forwarded a rough draft of the lease on Oct. 11 to Capitol Hill, where congressional panels that oversee the nation’s armed services reviewed the deal that allows Manchester to build hotels, offices and shops on the property in exchange for building the Navy a state-of-the-art headquarters building. The congressional review period was supposed to take 30 official days of official congressional business before Manchester and the Navy could officially enter into a lease.

Last week, the City Attorney’s Office opined that the Navy Broadway Complex lease could go forward before an appeal of the city’s environmental study is resolved, but that the parties proceed at the risk of knowing the City Council’s approval of the appeal could change the project’s plans.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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