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At its meeting on November 9, 2010, the San Diego Unified Port District’s Board of Port Commissioners approved a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Lane Field hotel project development team and the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition (NBCC) to construct a new 150-foot-wide public space (park/plaza) that will be created on the western portion of the existing Lane Field site, extending from west Broadway north to a newly reopened B Street.

This new park will create about 2.41 acres of public space along the downtown waterfront, and could partially mitigate the elimination of a 2.5 acre Broadway Landing Park that was to be located at the foot of Broadway in the original 1998 North Embarcadero Visionary Plan (NEVP), which could be eliminated by the port’s decision in 2007 to build a new cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier. (That decision remains the subject of litigation between the NBCC and the port.)

The new park must be planned and designed through an open public planning process. In addition, the MOU requires the port to work with its North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Alliance partners, the city of San Diego and the Centre City Development Corporation to identify funding to buy back control of the 1220 Pacific Highway parcel currently leased from the port district by the US Navy, and incorporate the western portion of that parcel into the new Lane Field Park.

The MOU calls for the port to allocate funds for the design and construction of the new Lane Field Park before the Lane Field Hotel opens, or by the time the new phase one waterfront esplanade project is completed, whichever happen first. The new Lane Field Park will add an exciting new public park to our downtown waterfront, joining the soon to be built Ruocco Park near Seaport Village and the new Navy Pier Park, now in initial planning stages.

As part of the port’s NEVP Phase 1 project plans, this new park would continue to implement the “string of pearls” waterfront parks and plazas model first adopted as part of the 1998 NEVP.

For more information on this project, please refer to the San Diego Unified Port District’s website.

In addition to his other affiliations, Don Wood is a member of the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, an alliance of local civic organizations dedicated to preserving and enhancing public access to downtown San Diego’s waterfront, which is currently involved in ongoing litigation with the port over its alleged failure to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved the proposal to build the new permanent cruise ship terminal structure on the Broadway Pier.

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