A hotel project set for an approximately 7.5-acre parcel on Harbor Island received a tentative green light this week from the Port of San Diego.
At its Tuesday meeting, the Port’s board approved an option-to-lease agreement for the Sunroad HIE Hotel Partners project, along with an addendum to a 2014 environmental impact report on the plan.
The Port and Sunroad have negotiated a 66-year lease, which would require Sunroad to invest a minimum of $153 million into the project.
The developer wants to build a 450-room hotel to house two yet-to-be-determined hotel chains on the east side of Harbor Island, near Sunroad Resort Marina.
One side would be a 12-level wing with extended stay rooms, while the other would be a 15-level wing for a “limited-service brand,” one that offers fewer amenities for budget-minded travelers.
Planners included areas open to the public, from a walk-up restaurant and bar area off Harbor Island Drive to a 15-foot wide promenade.
The site also will include retail shops, parking, mobile carts for retail/specialty items or food, and game/exercise spots.
Hotel guests will be able to use an outdoor swimming pool and private function space, a fitness center, meeting rooms and ballrooms.
“We are very excited to move forward with this project,” said Uri Feldman, president, Sunroad HIE Hotel Partners L.P. “It is the right solution for a property which the Port has had envisioned for over 30 years.”
The Port will require Sunroad to meet eight conditions related to working drawings, construction contracts, permits, financing, management agreements, and inspections, before execution of the lease.
It also allows the leasehold to be rented to another tenant during the option term, of two years with up to six months of extensions.
Chairman Michael Zucchet of the Port’s board noted the “untapped potential” of the area around the proposed project.
With popular restaurants and hotels nearby, as well as San Diego International Airport, he said, “redeveloping this and other underutilized parcels on East Harbor Island will further enhance and activate this bayfront destination.”
Port planners are working to finalize a draft coastal development permit for the project. They said it could be presented to Port commissioners for consideration, along with a request for concept approval for the project, by early summer.
Meanwhile, officials continue to research options for a 48-acre area of Harbor Island where the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Headquarters is located. Rental car services also use the land for operations and storage.