SANDAG Gets Rolling on Plans For San Diego's ‘Grand Central Station'

A train passes by a large white factory
Joe Little, NBC 7

The NAVWAR building with the memorable saw tooth roof in San Diego's Old Town neighborhood has seen better days.

"It’s obsolete and falling down," explained one San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) official.

The regional agency is looking to transform the military's old cybersecurity center into a Central Mobility Hub, a Grand Central Station if you will, where bus services, Amtrak, trolley lines and all other future modes of transportation will connect with jobs, housing and services.

In town from the Bay Area, Charles Erickson said getting around San Diego on public transportation is “not great, but not bad.” He's ready to see a San Diego transportation hub get rolling. "Like in San Jose, we’ve got the train station, bus station, everything is in close proximity and works out well."

SANDAG hosted a virtual public meeting Tuesday night to take questions from San Diegans about the hub's environmental review process. They also discussed how they see the hub improving public transportation access to San Diego International Airport, improving freeway traffic flow and connections to public transportation for bikes, as well as improving social equity.

“As an immigrant, this was one of our first issues. Transportation was such a hassle. It's been known to us immigrants if you don't have a car in this country you can't get around," explained Milad Parmanesh.

SANDAG  is considering two possible locations for the estimated $4 billion project -- the Old town NAVWAR location, or an area near the northeastern edge of the airport, between Interstate 5 and Pacific Highway. An extension of the trolley to the airport is also being studied as part of the plan.

If you want to give your input on what should be studied in the hub’s environmental impact report, you have until May 28. Details here.

The Navy is also evaluating renovating the NAVWAR location independently and in conjunction with SANDAG.

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