Updated at 8 p.m. Nov. 8, 2016
The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to go ahead with a $1.2 billion plan to redevelop the Seaport Village tourist attraction in San Diego.
The proposal called “Seaport San Diego” was one of six submitted to the port for the project, and had undergone considerable staff scrutiny over the past several months.
The plan calls for three hotels encompassing more than 1,000 rooms, a 151,000-square foot aquarium, 480-foot-tall observation tower, about 165,000 square feet of shopping space and 141,000 square feet of restaurants. It was submitted by 1HWY1, a coalition of companies with backgrounds in development, project management and building aquariums.
“Our board is very impressed with the 1HWY1 team — their concept is innovative, with elements that will bring San Diegans to the downtown waterfront,” said Marshall Merrifield, chairman of the commissioners. “We will continue our exclusive discussions with 1HWY1 as we look forward to making this exciting project a reality.”
The developers called Seaport San Diego “more than a set of buildings,” designing it to be a new district of downtown.
“Seaport San Diego provides an amazing opportunity to link our city’s greatest assets,” said Frank Wolden of the architecture firm AVRP Skyport Studios. “As Seaport lives up to its ultimate goal, it will be 70 acres that knits together the bay, the city, the air, Coronado Bridge, and the Midway Museum into incredible experiences.”
The IHWY1 plan also includes a specialty cinema and charter school focused on marine studies and music. The port’s legal counsel has questioned whether those uses are appropriate for public lands, so the issue will be studied over the next few months, according to the port.
Of the hotels in the proposal, one would be a full-service facility, a second would be in the “affordable luxury” category and the third would offer elements similar to hostels.
The plan is projected to bring the port $22 million in annual rent once the project is built out in around 10 years, far above the current take of $2.6 million a year, according to staff.
— City News Service
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