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Fisherman’s Wharf Redevelopment Is Moving Forward

Robert Dahl, German developer, received unanimous support to revamp this Channel Islands Harbor property.

Oxnard, CA—On May 19, at a regular meeting, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a one-year lease option agreement with Robert Dahl, a strawberry farmer and developer of Karl’s Village who currently operates seven locations in Germany.

For decades, the Harbor Department has been working to find an investor who could completely revamp the aging and dilapidated property known as Fisherman’s Wharf, a former “go-to” destination. Many investors have come and gone, with no redevelopment ever getting started.

Michael Tripp, the department’s director, said he was pleased with the board’s decision to allow the $16.6 million project to move forward. He also noted that it has received overwhelming community support.

He said the Karl’s Village team was prompted to “substantially modify the project based on the public input received” at more than 20 community workshops. The developer and the department, he explained, “worked very hard to get community acceptance of this project.”

“At the meeting, it was very gratifying to hear all of the positive public comments,” Tripp said.

Tripp explained that the one-year harbor lease option allows Dahl’s team to finalize development plans fand secure any necessary permits from the California Coastal Commission and city of Oxnard.

Once all requirements and conditions as outlined in the lease-option agreement are met, a 30-year lease will take effect.

“Based on their track record of successfully developing properties, the re-use of several of the existing buildings [at the Wharf], Dahl’s willingness to conform with current zoning and the project’s goal of providing low-cost, visitor-serving amenities to families of all economic backgrounds, I firmly believe that this proposed project will be a great fit at Fisherman’s Wharf and will be an attraction that generations of families will want to visit,” Tripp said.

The planned project will include retail stores, a café and bakery, restaurants, an artisan market, a small hotel, parks, children’s playgrounds and other recreational amenities.

Another feature, a pedestrian pier along the waterfront, will allow for ease of access for visitors to the property, with plenty of walking space.

Dahl is known for … (a sentence explaining what Karl’s Village is )

“We imagine that a Karl’s at the Channel Islands Harbor would revitalize the wharf area with dining, retail, recreation and educational and recreational activities for people of all ages and families of all economic backgrounds,” Dahl said. “Our goal is to create a lively space that creates value for everyone along the water.”

Fisherman’s Wharf Project Timeline – (2022 to present)

May 2022: The Harbor Department released a Request for Proposals for the Fisherman’s Wharf parcel. Four plans were reviewed by Harbor Department staff and the Harbor Advisory Committee.

September 2022: The first public meeting was held to review three proposals for the property.

November 2022: The Harbor Department announces its intent to enter an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with Robert Dahl to develop Karl’s.

February 2023: Due to some public opposition to the Dahl project proposal, 12 community workshops were held to offer the public a better understanding of what was being proposed by the Karl’s group.

April 2023: The department enters an Exclusive Right to Negotiate with Robert Dahl, for the Karl’s development.

January 2024: An additional 10 community workshops were held to give the public an opportunity to provide feedback on a revised project by Karl’s.

May 2024:  The Ventura County Board of Supervisors approves a one-year lease option agreement for the Karl’s project at Fisherman’s Wharf.

 

Assuming all conditions and requirements are met, the project is expected to break ground in early 2026.

For more information about this project and the latest harbor news, go to: channelislandsharbor.org.

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