SAN DIEGO — The Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners were given another status update of the Chula Vista Bayfront redevelopment project on Feb. 9 where staff presented the board with a specific timeline of when key landmarks would be met, port staff stating major agreements, and when approvals and concepts would be in place before the end of the year.
The timeline presentation and project update came three days ahead of an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) between the port district and RIDA Development was set to enter into a 90-day extension; the ENA was originally scheduled to expire on Feb. 12 but commissioners allowed the agreement to be extended up to two times by 90 days, each.
Port staff anticipates significant progress on the Chula Vista Bayfront redevelopment project will be made before the first 90-day extension expires.
At least two commissioners questioned how the project timeline would be impacted if RIDA and the port district executed both 90-day extensions. The first extension would end May 12; a second extension, if required, would run through Aug. 12.
“We built a schedule that is achievable,” said Adam Meyer, the port’s real estate and redevelopment manager. “Thing are progressing well. RIDA is cooperating.”
Meyer said if both extensions were exhausted he would come back to the dais, update commissioners of where the port district and RIDA are in negotiations, and make a recommendation of how to adjust the project timeline going forward; he added there would be a public input process for the park design element.
“This is a tremendously complicated project,” Commissioner Ann Moore said. “Every single element of it is actually important and seems like one feeds on the other. It’s almost impossible at the end of the day to get anything done of any big nature [item], like the RIDA deal, without a whole bunch of other little things that need to get done.”
Port officials expect to adopt a Natural Resources Management Plan and Chula Vista Marina redevelopment by May, design guidelines in June, and specifications for J Street realignment at Marina Parkway in November; the contract of park design and agreement for project financing is expected to be approved in August or September.
A preliminary project description of the proposed redevelopment is due by April 2; additional details about the project description must be submitted to the port by June 1. Port staff expects a cost estimate and pro forma financial analysis by Aug. 3.
“District and city staff and RIDA will continue to develop a financing plan for the resort hotel and convention center and all required infrastructure,” Meyer said in his staff report to commissioners. “Negotiations with RIDA continue to progress towards a Definitive Agreement that will specify the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to leasing, developing and operating the hotel and convention center.”
The Natural Resources Management Plan aims to protect wildlife habitat adjacent to Chula Vista Harbor and maintain high water quality.
The Chula Vista bayfront occupies more than 500 acres in San Diego County’s second largest city; its harbor is home to 552 boat slips.
Port staff described the Chula Vista area as an “underused waterfront.”
RIDA hopes to build a large hotel and convention center adjacent to Chula Vista’s two marinas.