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Navy agrees to vacate waterfront land along Harbor Drive

Port of San Diego officials said more park space, public plaza or hotels could be built in the 3.4 acre space.

SAN DIEGO — The Navy agreed to vacate waterfront land along Harbor Drive and hand it over to the Port of San Diego. Naval office buildings have sat on the 3.4 acre space between North Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway for decades. 

The Port of San Diego has big hopes for its future.

"Looking at more recreation, public plaza, hotel rooms potentially so that people have more opportunity from all over the city, state and country to come," said Rafael Castellanos, chairman for the Port of San Diego.

The Port is considering taking Lane Field Park, located in front of the Intercontinental Hotel, and expanding it to Waterfront Park. Visitors CBS 8 spoke with support the idea.

"I think it's a really good idea if they want to make more spaces for people enjoying the sun and also the harbor. For me as a tourist I really like it here," said Sarah, visiting San Diego from Germany.

The Port of San Diego officials call this deal with the Navy a historic one and said the Navy had a 100-year lease on the waterfront property that began in 1949. The Port cut this deal to get the lease back. It cost $5.75 million. That money will be used to build facilities for the Navy.

"We had to get an act of congress, federal legislation to make the deal happen," Castellanos said.

The port says the Navy will have up to four years to move from the property. The Port of San Diego looks to get public input and find out what San Diegans would like to see most in the space.

WATCH RELATED: Port of San Diego looking to expand South Bay parks

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