Port of San Diego still deliberating Embarcadero Redevelopment

Waterfront projects were scheduled for June 18 meeting but set aside and to be discussed at a later date.

Editor’s Note: On July 25, Brianne Page, Acting Public Information Officer for Port of San Diego, emailed The Log stating that misinformation had been printed concerning the Brigatine project.

Page stated, “The Brigantine’s Portside Pier restaurant development is in its final stages of construction on the North Embarcadero at the former Anthony’s site. It’s been fully approved by the Board and the Brigantine’s lease began in May 2018 – therefore there aren’t any further deliberations related to this project. In fact, Portside Pier is anticipated to be open late summer/early fall 2020.”

The headline was also altered not to include “Brigantine” in the title.

SAN DIEGO—Two waterfront redevelopment projects in Downtown San Diego continue to go through the planning process. Status updates on plans to bring a new set of restaurants to where Anthony’s Fish Grotto used to hold court and an updated waterfront community the port district hopes to become the “front door” for San Diego were supposed to be presented on June 18. Staff with the Port of San Diego, however, held both discussions from the June 18 agenda. It was unclear, as of press time, when either item would be presented.

Brigantine Inc. has been planning to build a series of restaurants on the Downtown San Diego waterfront ever since the port district’s lease with Anthony’s was not renewed.

The port district was set to consider an agenda item on Brigantine’s Portside Pier project at the June 18 Board of Port Commissioners meeting, but the item was rescheduled for a future meeting. Port district staff did not note why the item was being postponed, but the agenda indicated commissioners were to deliberate an amendment to Brigantine’s lease. The proposed lease amendment would extend Brigantine’s construction rent payment of $366,666 to Oct. 31; the construction completion deadline would be extended to Aug. 31, 2020.

Anthony’s operated on the waterfront between 1964 and 2017; the port district demolished the longstanding restaurant shortly after its closure.

The port district’s Board of Commissioners selected Brigantine to build its Portside Pier concept on the property of the former Anthony’s Fish Grotto. Portside Pier, a collection of four dining establishments, would feature a dock-and-dine feature for boaters. The four businesses planned to be a part of Portside Pier are Portside Gelato and Coffee, Ketch Grill and Taps, Miguel’s Cocina and Brigantine on the Bay.

A presentation on plans to revitalize the Downtown San Diego Embarcadero district, just the same, was initially on the commission’s June 18 agenda, but put off for a later meeting.

Commissioners and port district staff view the Embarcadero District as potentially becoming the “front door” of San Diego and a “singular waterfront destination” where locals and visitors alike would take advantage of several recreational and commercial uses. Specific plans of what those uses would look like are still being vetted, as previously reported in The Log.

Changes to the proposed development appear to be in store, according to the June 18 agenda; port district staff had planned to give a general presentation on the redevelopment of the Central Embarcadero, “including changes to the proposed development,” according to the June 18 agenda.

Part of the Central Embarcadero redevelopment includes an upgrade of Seaport Village. The area to be redeveloped is located just east of Harbor Island and near the new Portside Pier project. Port district commissioners selected 1HWY1 to realize the new Downtown San Diego waterfront; the anticipated budget is $1.2 billion.

Other elements of the Central Embarcadero and Seaport Village redevelopment include a Space Needle-like tower, aquarium, hotels, maritime office uses and retail/restaurant space.

Nearly 70 acres of land and waterfront would be redeveloped, according to the most recent plans.

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