Doug Manchester, developer of the Navy Broadway Complex, said the waterfront project will not include condo-hotels.
In a letter sent Thursday, Manchester executive Perry Dealy asked the city’s downtown planners to remove all references of condo-hotels from the company’s development application. Dealy reserved the right to reinsert them into the plan later, according to the letter.
In an interview today, Dealy said Manchester removed condo-hotels from the plan because “we don’t think there’s a market for condo hotels.” He said Manchester has received several overtures from operators of traditional hotels, which are in high demand.
“We’ve got a number of them who have given us letters,” Dealy said.
Ian Trowbridge, a member of a citizens coalition opposing the project, remains skeptical. He claims the developer has opened up the opportunity for a bait-and-switch in which Manchester can navigate some of the regulatory process without being tethered to the politically sensitive condo-hotel issue and then change his mind again. The Coastal Commission and the coalition have been challenging plans for condo-hotels in court.
“I think it’s an attempt to deceive the San Diego public and deceive the coastal commission,” Trowbridge said.
Condo-hotels, which are essentially timeshares, are controversial because they were not contemplated in previous environmental reviews and a 1992 agreement between the Navy and the city. The high-end units are also viewed as generally unaffordable to the general public, and the Coastal Commission’s policy has been to ensure greater access to coastal areas. It’s also unclear whether the condo-hotels would be subjected to charge a hotel tax for the city services —such as police and fire — that would accommodate the development.
Tomorrow, the CCDC board will consider aspects of the Navy Broadway Complex’s design, but the review is only of the basic schematics of two buildings. The CCDC meeting will begin at 2 p.m. in the council chambers, located at 202 C St.