County releases request for qualifications for Dana Point Harbor

DANA POINT — Orange County hopes to establish a Public-Private Partnership, or P3, to revitalize Dana Point Harbor and the adjacent businesses.

County officials issued on March 17 a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to potential real estate development firms in hopes of partnering with private investors to upgrade and operate the harbor area and its commercial core.

The RFQ will be followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP) after county staff studies the background and resume of firms who submitted information during the initial review phase.

“The county envisions a master ground lease with a private partner, whereby the private partner would design, permit, fund, construct, renovate and operate improvements within the harbor. The Board of Supervisors will select the winning bidder at the conclusion of the RFP process,” county staff stated.

Whomever the Board of Supervisors selects will not only execute revitalization plans but also oversee operations once the updated harbor and commercial core is fully functioning.

“The plan calls for all of the improvements to be operated by the private partner for the duration of the lease,” county staff stated. “The private partner also would administer leases, collect rents and be responsible for all costs associated with running its operations, while paying rent based on gross receipts pursuant to a lease that will be deposited into the special Tidelands Trust account for use only in the harbor area.”

Specific plans call for the harbor’s commercial core, east and west marinas, guest slips and Marina Inn Hotel to be renovated or reconstructed.

Other areas will be refurbished, according to county staff.

Dana Point Harbor, county staff pointed out, is frequented by an estimated 50,000 boaters and generates about $82 million in gross revenues annually; the harbor supports about 1,200 employees.

The RFQ and planned RFP are becoming a reality more than 19 years after the county initially announced intentions to update Dana Point Harbor.

Community meetings to provide public input will soon be scheduled, county staff said.

Call 949-923-2236 or email to ask any questions about the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization project. Information is also available at

The Dana Point Boaters Association also published helpful links about the RFQ on its website at

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