Commissioners approve Fifth Avenue Landing expansion

SAN DIEGO — The Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners determined a plan to upgrade Fifth Avenue Landing with two new hotels, a public plaza, and marina expansion should undergo an environmental review process and be further studied by staff.

Developers presented to commissioners and port staff updated plans for the Fifth Avenue Landing hotel project and marina expansion on March 8. The presentation updated commissioners and port staff on where plans currently stand.

Those current plans call for the building of two hotels adjacent to the landing and expanding of the marina by as many as two-dozen slips. The project is expected to cost between $270 million and $325 million.

One of the hotels would be a 44-story, 498-foot tall tower with 830 rooms and 213-285 parking spaces; the other would be a 166-bed “lower cost visitor hotel.” Fifth Street Landing could also have between 20-25 new boat slips as part of a proposed marina expansion.

“This is a very prominent site,” said Robert Green, CEO of The Robert Green Co. and the project’s developer. “The very first thing we started with is how people access this site.”

Once completed the new Fifth Avenue Landing would connect boaters, hotel guests and ferry commuters from Coronado to downtown San Diego and the city’s convention center. A public dock slip would be part of the expansion.

“Currently there is a large vessel marina adjoining the proposed hotel site. The marina would be expanded to include an additional 20-25 large vessel slips to the southeast of the existing marina,” port staff stated. “The slips would be attached to a new pile-supported pier or use floating docks that extend southwest of the existing slips.”

Green estimates the new Fifth Avenue Landing would bring more than $6 million in new revenue to the port district and as much as $7.5 million in tax revenues to the city and county of San Diego.

“There is really a lot to like about this project,” said Commissioner Dan Malcolm. “It’s going to enhance the public experience.”

Commissioner Anne Moore said public access to the waterfront should be guaranteed by the project’s entitlements.

The project still needs to undergo an environmental review and obtain approvals and entitlements. Construction would take up to 30 months to complete once the project is allowed to move forward, according to port staff.

Fifth Avenue Landing is located in front of the San Diego Convention Center and just south of the Marriott Marquis Marina and embarcadero area. A ferry from Coronado Island arrives at the edge of the landing and drops off nearly 300,000 people annually. The 12-slip boutique marina also serves as a place for 100- to 350-foot yachts to dock.

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