Freedom Park receives approval to start construction

The project will demolish the three-story headhouse on Navy Pier and create a 10-acre park and memorial

Rendering of Freedom Park with an aerial view that shows green space and the USS Midway Museum

More green space is coming near the USS Midway Museum.

Rendering via Port of San Diego

Something big is on the horizon along the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego. The Board of Port Commissioners has approved a declaration of intention to build Freedom Park at Navy Pier — a 10-acre space that will make history and preserve it.

A close-up image of Freedom Park with seating, walkways, and trees.

In a few years, there will be trees where the headhouse used to be.

Rendering via Port of San Diego

Why this is important

This approval allows construction to begin on a project that’s been discussed by the Port of San Diego and USS Midway Museum for over two decades. Specifically, the board approved a $7.4 million contract with AMG Demolition and Environmental Services, Inc. to start demo on the three-story headhouse on Navy Pier. The facility hasn’t been used by the US Navy since 2007.

This stage is expected to begin this spring and last about a year. Navy Pier will then undergo structural repairs before construction starts on Freedom Park’s new amenities.

Freedom Park outdoor space. A rendering that shows what Navy Pier could look like in 2028 with walkways, gardens, green space, a flagpole, and bike parking.

This is what Navy Pier is anticipated to look like in 2028.

Rendering via Port of San Diego

What’s coming

Freedom Park is expected to be completed in 2028 and will bring more outdoor space along San Diego Bay. It will also honor the city’s military history and everyday heroes.

“Freedom Park at Navy Pier will be the largest veterans park on the West Coast,” said Terry Kraft, the USS Midway Museum’s president and CEO.

The Navy Pier redevelopment will cost an estimated $65 million. Once completed, it’s expected to include:

  • A public promenade with trails and educational information.
  • Gardens that emphasize native plants.
  • Signage, seating, and bike parking.
  • Two new monuments and a flagpole at the end of the pier.
  • A concessionaire with low-cost snacks and public restrooms.
A view of the Freedom Park promenade with a 4-way intersection in the middle made of walking paths.

This promenade will give San Diegans more ways to enjoy San Diego Bay.

Rendering via Port of San Diego

Much of the development costs center around the ~5-acre space on Navy Pier. The Port of San Diego has clarified that Freedom Park’s full, 10-acre footprint will encompass other areas around the museum and merge Navy Pier and Tuna Harbor Park into one entity.

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