Progress Report on Channel Island Harbor Projects

The Channel Islands Harbor Department offers updates on work at locations throughout the Harbor.

CHANNEL ISLANDS— As 2024 approaches, Channel Islands Harbor Director Michael Tripp has recapped progress regarding projects to enhance and refurbish the harbor.

The process of beginning construction of the new Hyatt House Hotel, formerly the Casa Sirena and the Lobster Trap, is continuing to move forward. The original Casa Sirena hotel, constructed in 1972, had 197 rooms with additional space for meetings. The proposed redevelopment of the site will include the new hotel and a restaurant of up to 5,000 square feet, similar to, but not smaller than, the former Lobster Trap, which was located nearby.

The Casa Sirena Hotel demolition was completed in June 2022, and the much-needed rock revetment replacement project surrounding the property was completed in May 2023. The site of the new Hyatt was handed back to the developer, Brighton Management, in July 2023. The developer continues pursuing the necessary permits to start construction. The first visible signs of the project moving forward will be property grading, likely towards the end of December, though it could trail to January.

Tripp also announced that the Kiddie Beach parking lot will be replaced before summer 2024. This is a project that Harbor Department staff has been working on for several months. Channel Islands Harbor received bids and plans to recommend a construction company to the Board of Supervisors by the end of December.

Following the parking lot project, the Harbor Department plans to replace more lots – at Harbor View Park – between Marine Emporium Landing and the Channel Islands Boating Center – and the near the Channel Islands Yacht Club. Tripp’s goal is to replace these parking lots by the end of 2024.

The Harbor Department understands the importance of accessible and safe parking, he said. The new lots will improve convenience and contribute to the overall appeal of the Harbor.

Lastly, in April 2023, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved and authorized the Harbor Department to enter an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with Robert Dahl, a German-based strawberry farmer and entrepreneur. The 12-month ERN allows Dahl’s development team to form its ownership entity and begin design-and-construction analysis, among other items.

Dahl and his team visited the Fisherman’s Wharf site in the Harbor earlier this year as part of their analysis. They are currently designing and finalizing a concept they plan to share with the community in early 2024. Plans for Karl’s Adventure Village include refurbishing existing buildings and creating new structures, including restaurants, a specialty market, gift shops, toy and book shops, a coffee shop, public promenades, playgrounds, park areas and small children’s rides, as well as a potential boutique hotel. Dahl is excited about the opportunity to re-imagine the wharf and bring some much-needed visitor-serving amenities.

“These projects represent our dedication to enhancing the Channel Islands Harbor experience,” said Tripp. “As we move forward into the new year, we will continue to prioritize transparency and engagement with our community. Your support and enthusiasm for these initiatives inspire the Harbor Department, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact they will have on our Harbor.”

For more information on the Channel Islands Harbor Project Updates, please visit https://www.channelislandsharbor.org/project-updates/.

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