Port of San Diego’s commissioners weigh in on Seaport Village project vendor and plan to add permanent event venue to waterfront.
SAN DIEGO — A stretch of San Diego’s downtown waterfront slated for significant redevelopment projects was at the heart of two items vetted out by the Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners, Jan. 9.
San Diego Symphony
Commissioners spent a few minutes reviewing and approving details of a proposed project hoping to bring a permanent outdoor performance and event venue to the Convention Center area. The quasi-judicial board specifically certified a Final Environmental Impact Report and approved a Letter of Intent with San Diego Symphony.
The Bayside Performance Park venue would be built at Embarcadero Marina Park South, near the Marriott Marquis and Fifth Avenue Landing.
San Diego Symphony proposed to bring the outdoor performance and events venue to the city’s Embarcadero Marina Park area; the arts organization, according to the port district, invest about $45 million to make improvements and ultimately provide an outdoor venue for concerts and other events.
Embarcadero Marina Park South had hosted a Bayside Summer Nights (formerly Summer Pops) concert series since 2004, according to port district staff.
“Each year in the park, the Symphony assembles and disassembles a music-festival-style stage, bleachers, seating, ticketing booths, concession stands, food stands, portable bathrooms, a chain-link fence and other items for the summer season,” port district staff stated. “The proposed Bayside Performance Park would allow the Symphony to offer a limited number of performances and events year-round by replacing the temporary performance and event venue with a permanent stage and acoustic shell.”
Temporary chairs would be used for audience seating, port district staff continued.
San Diego Symphony also proposed adding permanent public restrooms and a bay viewing deck.
Port district staff still needs to obtain California Coastal Commission certification and finalize negotiations with San Diego Symphony.
Port district staff also vetted out three vendors to potentially manage the transition of Seaport Village from its previous management regime.
The vendors operate various commercial retail centers in Southern California: Flower Hill Promenade in San Diego (Protea); Terra Nova Plaza in Chula Vista (NewMark); and, Fifth and PCH in Huntington Beach (Stream Realty Partners).
Commissioners directed staff to negotiate terms with Protea, despite port district staff’s recommendation to move forward with Stream Realty Partners. Whether commissioners ultimately select Protea will be contingent upon both sides renegotiating the proposed fee structure.
Stream Realty Partners proposed a fee structure much more amenable to port district costs, however Protea made the case it was better suited to work with the project’s developer – 1HWY1 – and oversee a transition from away the current management regime, which is set to legally expire on Sept. 30.
Four commissioners – Rafael Castellanos, Garry Bonelli, Dan Malcolm and Robert Valderrama – voted to conditionally award Protea the manage Seaport Village’s transition during its redevelopment. Commissioner Marshall Merrifield was the sole vote against; commissioners Ann Moore and Michael Zucchet were excused from the vote.
The commission’s decision was not final – Protea must renegotiate its fee structure (potentially saving the port district money along the way) in order to gain the commission’s final approval. Stream Realty Partners or NewMark could still be selected as the transition management firm if the port district and Protea do not come to terms on a new fee structure.
Seaport Village, home to several restaurants and shops on the Downtown San Diego waterfront, is part of a larger overhaul of the city’s Embarcadero – including the Bayside Performance Park proposal (above), new boater and visitor-serving amenities and a Space-Needle-like structure.