Construction began Wednesday morning on the third of three hotels planned for a waterfront property where minor league baseball was once played.
Portman Holdings has already opened a building housing both the mid-range Spring Hill Suites and Residence Inn on the site, and is now building a luxury 400-room InterContinental San Diego.
The new 18-story hotel will feature a rooftop bar, two large ballrooms with bay views, and nearly 33,000 square feet of shops and restaurants along Broadway and Pacific Highway.
“We wanted to provide a campus of properties and bring that to the waterfront,”said Roger Zampell, senior vice president of Atlanta-based Portman Holdings.
Altogether, the company is investing $750 million in the BRIC development on the waterfront.
Marshall Merriield, chairman of the San Diego Port Authority, said the hotel development builds upon the history of Lane Field, where the Padres played as a minor league team. He noted baseball great Ted Williams began his career there.
“Greatness starts right here on this playing field,” he said, adding that when completed, BRIC will be a great addition to San Diego.
City Councilman Todd Gloria, whose district includes the downtown waterfront, recalled that it wasn’t long ago that most of the waterfront area was devoted to parking.
“We’re returning this invaluable property back to people,” he said. “Everyone benefits from an active and vibrant waterfront.”
As part of the groundbreaking ceremony, the developers donated $100,000 to the port to help light Coronado Bridge.
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