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Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007 | There isn’t an opportunity that goes by the John McNab doesn’t take to mislead the public and lie about the Naval Training Center redevelopment project. During a five year public process to determine what would become of NTC, with participation by thousands of San Diegans and hundreds of interest groups, McNab brought forth his own plan, which included homeless shelters and soup kitchens. That plan was soundly rejected by Point Lomans, the city and the Navy. Yet he continues to make it seem like his plan was the one that was accepted and somehow changed.
Long before the developer was ever involved in the project, the Navy told the city, in no uncertain terms, that the transfer of the land at NTC (an economic development conveyance) must be used to return dollars and jobs to the community when the Navy left. Parks don’t do that. Homeless shelters don’t do that.
Liberty Station is being redeveloped exactly as promised. There is a 28-acre civic, arts and cultural center that is home to dance, music, visual and healing arts organizations. There are schools and homes and retail and commercial opportunities. One-third of the project is public open space, including a 46-acre waterfront park that is currently being built — the largest such park in San Diego since Mission Bay Park.
A 95-acre historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is being preserved and enhanced to become a place where students, tourists and locals alike can come to learn about the men and women who served at NTC in the Navy.
This project is a model nationally for how to redevelop a military base.
People who continue to criticize this project simply haven’t been here. It’s time to move on and recognize what a phenomenal addition Liberty Station is to our city.