A view of the proposed hotel from the beach in Del Mar
Architect’s rendering shows a view of the hotel from the beach in Deal Mar. Courtesy Zephyr Partners and The Robert Green Company

Developers of a 17-acre site atop the bluff in north Del Mar announced Monday they have reduced the project’s size by 40% and will seek voter approval.

Plans for Marisol call for a 65-room hotel, 31 rental and full-time villas, restaurants, a coffee shop and 1.25 miles of hiking trails open to the public. All parking will be underground, and there will be 22 affordable rental units on the periphery of the property to comply with state law.

“This is a very special piece of property that’s been fenced off and inaccessible to the public for 100 years, and it was really important to us to honor its incredible natural beauty,” said Brad Termini, CEO of Encinitas-based based Zephyr Partners.

The undeveloped site, once the location of a large single-family home, is zoned for 16 residences, but Zephyr and its partner The Robert Greene Company say creating a world-class retreat will ensure maximum public access to the scenic bluff above Dog Beach.

Marisol developers Robert Green (left) and Brad Termini at the site

While the project’s total cost was not disclosed, the developers said it will probably be the largest investment in Del Mar since the Del Mar Plaza was built three decades ago.

The project was proposed in 2017 with a 251-room hotel and 76 villas, but the developers said “constructive criticism” from nearby residents led to the new plan, which will be placed on the March ballot.

“We’re here to ask the community for permission,” said Termini. “It’s not required by law, but we’re offering it.”

The developers said that even with public approval, the project will go through the full process of environmental and planning review, especially with respect to any impact to the bluff.

“The California Coastal Commission gets the last say on what happens on that bluff,” noted Robert Green, whose Encinitas-based firm has 20 years of experience developing luxury hospitality projects, including the recent Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp.

The developers promised to set up an endowed sand replenishment fund and noted that taxes paid by hotel guests would generate $4.5 million annually for the City of Del Mar.

“We’re both local guys,” said Green, “and we’re very excited about this project.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.