SAN DIEGO –Construction on a new Waterfront Park that converted two huge parking lots located south of the County Administration Building into a 14-acre park has been completed.
The park, referred to as the “Jewel on the Bay,” will open to the public May 10 during a special ceremony hosted by the county at 1600 Pacific Highway.
“It [the park] is located on San Diego Bay and realizes a long-held vision of a park along the water, with views of various ships and boats,” said Tegan Glasheen, with the communications office for the County of San Diego.
Views of the bay, vessels docked at the cruise ship terminals and the towering sails from the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s flagship, the Star of India, can all be seen from the new park.
“San Diego’s tidelands are public property. Removing 1,100 parking spaces and turning them into a park returns 15 acres to its rightful owners,” explained San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts. “We expect families to picnic, weddings to proliferate – we already conduct more weddings at the county’s headquarters than any two places in the region – and for large gatherings to find a new home thanks to spaces with seating for more than 3,000 and all the electrical and other infrastructure pre-plumbed.
“What I’m waiting for most is to see children play in the very shallow linear water fountain that faces that bay and runs nearly the length of the property,” he added. “How often do you see a public fountain that invites kids to get wet, rather than admonishing them to stay out.”
Boosting an 830-foot-long fountain with jets that will shoot water 14 feet up in the air, the Waterfront Park features a promenade, splash pad, public art, theme gardens and a large play area. The space measures 96,000 square feet, hosts 250 parking spaces and 178 public spaces.
The park total budget is $49.4 million, with about a third of it paid for in cash, Glasheen explained. The groundbreaking took place Sept. 25, 2012.
Two employee parking lots were removed from the site to make way for the park that encircles the County’s Administration Building. An underground parking located off Ash Street was constructed for public parking.