Ted Anasis, manager of airport planning at SDCRAA, apprised community planners on the ongoing redevelopment.
The plans include the recent completion of construction on a receiving-and-distribution center, as well as a new rental-car facility housing all providers under one roof. Plans also call for a new fixed-base hangar operator complex and roadway projects to improve access to the north side of the airport. A roadway linking rental car and parking shuttle buses to ease traffic from Laurel Street and North Harbor Drive is also in the works.
“The centerpiece of the north-side development is a four-level rental–car facility housing all of the rental companies that are currently peppered along Pacific Highway Corridor today,” Anasis said, adding the new rental center, scheduled to open on Jan. 20, 2016, will dramatically reduce the number of shuttle buses circulating around the airport.
Anasis said the rental-car center will have a central customer service building.
“All rental cars will be required to be located in the facility picking up and dropping off passengers at one location,” he said, adding the center will have covered areas to protect customers from sun and inclement weather.
The rental-car center will also be state of the art, employing high-quality passenger check-in kiosks. Anasis said buses will arrive every five minutes to transport travelers.
The new rental-car facility, which is to to be LEED certified for energy sustainability, includes landscaping plans like the planting of palm trees.
“Palm trees are expensive to maintain and give no shade, and the fronds are a liability,” observed MCPG planner Cathy Kenton.
“There will be intermediate shade trees in between,” responded Anasis.
MCPG chairwoman Melanie Nickel asked if public art was planned as part of the north-side development. Anasis said, “There are three pieces of art planned. All the art has not been selected yet.”
Nickel did not appear totally convinced.
“It will be nice if we don’t just slap some art on after it’s up,” said Nickel. “We’re getting this big fat building. We want it to at least look pretty.”
San Diego International Airport’s new 23,000-square-foot receiving-and-distribution center that will concentrate food, beverage, retail and other goods has been in operation since November 2012. Anasis said this new facility increases efficiency and safety while reducing truck trips on Harbor Drive by 50 to 75 trips per day.
Anasis said a larger, more environmentally friendly fixed-base operator (FBO) complex would maximize airfield space, providing hangars, fueling and other services for general-aviation aircraft.
The advisory group also reviewed two more applications for medical-marijuana dispensaries at 3468 and 3515 Hancock St. in the Midway District.
Portions of Midway are zoned industrial, a concentrated land-use category where legal dispensaries are allowed to operate under a new city ordinance.
Several other dispensary sites proposed in Midway have also been reviewed by the MCPG. The group’s recommendations on dispensaries will be passed along to the city, which will make final decisions on the successful applicants. The city’s new medical-marijuana ordinance caps the number of dispensaries located in any one City Council district to four.
Midway is in District 2, presided over by Councilman Ed Harris — who will serve until December — and then by Councilmember-elect Lorie Zapf.
The MCPG will not meet in August. The advisory group’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. at West City Campus, 3249 Fordham St., Room 208.