VENTURA— The Ventura County Harbor Department has reissued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop a Channel Islands Harbor parcel where the popular, Whale’s Tail restaurant formerly operated.
An RFP was issued in Aug. 2021 and yielded two applications. Unfortunately, neither of the applications ultimately met all the RFP criteria.
Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp said the department is anticipating increasing interest now that the business climate is beginning to improve.
“It would be a great time for a developer to invest in the Harbor, particularly as the old Casa Sirena property is being demolished and a new waterfront hotel will be constructed in the next three years,” Director Tripp said in a press release from April 13. “The Channel Islands Harbor has a bright future, and this is a great opportunity for a new developer to join this community.”
The RFP can be downloaded here: https://www.channelislandsharbor.org/reports-publications/.
The RFP for the Whale’s Tail location was issued following the Harbor Department’s “Harbor Visioning Process.”
In 2020 and 2021, the Harbor Department facilitated the public visioning process by utilizing a consultant with multiple community designs and public engagement experiences to explore the types of uses preferred in the Harbor. In addition, a steering committee comprised of County of Ventura and City of Oxnard representatives, Harbor business representatives, and residents met to discuss possible future development. As a result, a preliminary survey was circulated to obtain viewpoints of residents, businesses, and visitors. Subsequently, a virtual public workshop was held to present ideas on the future development of the Harbor.
For this parcel, the visioning process concluded that the most desired development, in ranked order, include:
- A marine education center and aquarium
- Mixed-used bed & breakfast/small restaurant facility
- A restaurant
The RFPs for the Whale’s Tail parcel are due May 26. Once the RFPs are received, they will be reviewed by the Harbor Department and a Harbor Advisory Committee. One or more proposals may be selected for follow-up, including a formal presentation or request for follow-up information. It is also possible all proposals are jilted.