SAN DIEGO – Plans to move forward on the long-sought after expansion of the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina waterfront hotel are underway with the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners recent approval of the $100 million project.
The expansion and improvement project will connect downtown to the Big Bay via a newly constructed Marina Walk, a public walkway that will connect Harbor Drive to the Embarcadero Promenade.
“The addition of Marina Walk will create a long-awaited connection from San Diego’s downtown to our bayfront,” said Penny Maus, Real Estate senior asset manager for the San Diego Unified Port District. “A pedestrian plaza at Harbor Drive will create a grand entrance to Marina Walk, with views to the Bay and signage directing pedestrians and cyclists to and from the Embarcadero.”
According to the Port of San Diego, the project will increase the hotel’s meeting space from 75,000 square feet to more than 120,000 square feet with new state-of-the-art ballrooms, a 25,000-square-foot outdoor Marina Terrace and the Marina Walk. The 446-slip marina will remain the same.
The 25,000-square-foot paved outdoor Marina Terrace will be used for private events as well as for public use, said Tuni Kyi, the hotel’s general manager. The terrace will have coffee kiosks- places where people can buy food and possibly food trucks, he added.
Walkers, joggers and bicyclists will appreciate the Marina Walk, which will feature scenic views of the marina, parks and bay through the removal of existing obstructions such as the large cooling towers. Other features will include bike racks, benches, a wheelchair accessible ramp, public art and decorative paving, according to the port.
These new additions are also expected to boost tourism and business in the San Diego area, Maus explained. As one of the port’s highest revenue producing hotels, the Marriott has experienced an increase in visitors after completing renovations to guest rooms, public spaces and the addition of a new restaurant.
“The completion of Marriott Hall, Marina Walk and Marina Terrace are sure to do the same, while also attracting group business from around the country to San Diego Bay,” Maus said.
“The San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina project is a great example of a ‘win-win tenant improvement that benefits the public in several important ways,” said Chair Ann Moore of the Board of Port Commissioners. “Most importantly, it will establish a long-awaited new public walkway where people can stroll from downtown San Diego to the waterfront.”
Construction of the project is set to begin by early 2015 and is due to be completed within 18 months. The current building will be demolished and replaced with a larger building with two enhanced ballrooms and meeting services. The public side will face Harbor Drive and feature large expanses of clear glass that overlook the city and the bay.
For more information about the San Diego Hotel Project, visit portofsandiego.org/san-diego-marriott-marquis-marina.html.