Analysis of Potential Alternative Sites for the Proposed New San Diego Naval Hospital

HRD-80-37: Published: Jan 2, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 2, 1980.

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A request was made for an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the sites the Navy is considering for the new Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego, California. The three primary site alternatives are Florida Canyon, Helix Heights, and Balboa Park. The Secretary of the Navy approved the decision to acquire, through condemnation, the Florida Canyon property.

The question of ownership of the property on which the hospital is to be located is of utmost importance. With the Navy having a major presence in terms of military facilities and personnel in San Diego, there is every reason to expect that there will be an indefinite, continuing need for a Naval hospital to serve the area. Also, given the magnitude of the required capital investment for the project and the probable need for continued additional capital investments over the life of the medical center, fee-simple ownership should be a basic requirement. Therefore, while the Florida Canyon site has the most advantages and fewest disadvantages of the three alternatives, if the terms of final land acquisition call for the Navy to accept a lease, rather than ownership, as contemplated by the Navy and the city of San Diego, the Navy should reconsider its present opposition to the Balboa Park site.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should proceed with condemnation action to acquire fee-simple ownership of the Florida Canyon property needed for construction of the new Naval Medical Center. As a first step in the action, the Secretary should begin negotiations with the city of San Diego to acquire the property under a friendly condemnation through payment or land exchange, but not under a leasing arrangement as contemplated in the Navy's earlier memorandum of understanding with the city. If fee-simple ownership cannot be acquired, construction at the southern end of the Balboa Park site should be considered.

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