San Diego Port Board Releases Proposals For Seaport Village Makeover
The San Diego Unified Port District (SDUPD) board has released proposals submitted by six developers for a makeover of Seaport Village, a 36-year-old tourist-oriented retail center on Downtown SD’s waterfront. Proposals include an aquarium, a beach, a waterfront park, a promenade and plaza, a Ferris wheel, an observation tower, eateries, hotels, an entertainment arena and parking for up to 24,000 cars.
Pictured above is the Tuna Pavillion and Fishing Pier with amusement rides, including a Great Ferris wheel, proposed by a JV of Great Western Pacific and Santa Monica Seafood.
The public is invited to an open house today, from 3-7pm, at the SD Convention Center in Room 2. Developers will share their concepts and answer questions. Members of the community attending the open house are invited to provide written comments on proposals, which the board will consider before making a final decision. No date has been set for a final selection, but the project will occupy the board’s entire July 13 meeting.
This 70-acre redevelopment project along one of the nation’s most famous waterfronts has attracted some of the world’s most talented architects, including Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop; Denmark’s world-renowned BIG and Snøhetta; and Norway’s notable CQa, an architectural and landscape architecture firm, the San Diego Union-Tribune noted.
It also has attracted developers from near and far, including locally based Gafcon, Manchester Financial Group and OliverMcMillan, as well as Denver-based McWhinney, Great Western Pacific of Seattle, and Ripley Entertainment of Orlando. Redevelopment proposals involve up to $1.4B in development.
Proposals include a mix of destination retail, entertainment, hotels, parks and open space by four teams, but two teams only want to develop a portion of the site. Ripley’s Entertainment has proposed Ripley’s Aquarium of California (above), a $150M, 111k SF project on 4.3 acres, while a JV of Great Western Pacific and Santa Monica Seafood has proposed a $130M, 150k SF Tuna Pavillion with a fish market and a variety of eateries, as well as a fishing pier with theme park rides (similar to Santa Monica Pier, but smaller scale), including a Great Ferris wheel.
A JV of Manchester Financial Group and Dealy Development have proposed Celebration Place (pictured above), a $700M, 718k SF development designed by HKS global architects and Snøhetta and KTU&A landscape architects, along with locally based Turner Construction. This proposal includes a 500-room hotel, a 2,000-seat performing arts center, a fine-mesh walkway on the water along the bayfront, 200k SF of retail, 10k SF of tech and office space, fishing enhancements and possibly recreational boating facilities.
OliverMcMillan, in conjunction with designers Renzo Piano, Gensler and landscape architect James Burnett, has proposed the Embarcadero District, a $1.4B, 2.4M SF development, featuring three hotels with 1,700 rooms; an 18,000-seat sports and entertainment arena (pictured); up to 325k SF of shops and restaurants; 125k SF of “blue tech” and creative office space; a 10k SF learning center and tide pools for Scripps Institution of Oceanography; and a 2k SF performance space for the San Diego Symphony.
A JV of McWhinney and DJM Capital Partners, along with designers RNL and Tucker Sadler Architects, has proposed SeaPort, a 1.2M SF development that includes three hotels with 515 rooms; 250k SF of Maritime-related office space, of which 60k SF would be dedicated to startups; 330k SF of retail and restaurants, including a seafood market; a 25k SF cultural performance center; a 40k SF Equinox Fitness Club; a recreational marina with a high-diving board; and a wave-making pool for surfing that covers a large portion of Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A JV of Gafcon and Protea Waterfront Hotel Development has proposed Seaport San Diego, a $1B, 1.3M SF development designed by global design-build firm AECOM, along with architects AVRP/Skyport Studios and BIG, and construction by Denver-based PCL. This proposal includes three hotels with 1,077 rooms, including SD’s first Virgin Hotel; a 178,500 SF aquarium designed by BIG; an amusement park ride and observation tower that incorporates a redesigned Ruocco Park.
It also calls for a University of San Diego Charter High School; 388,600 SF of retail and restaurant space, 40% of which will be offered to current Seaport Village tenants; a floating barge with a giant movie screen and stage; an Olympic-size floating swimming pool and potentially other recreational uses when the Fish Market restaurant’s lease expires; Smithsonian virtual reality presentations; and beaches, boating and sports on the Embarcadero Marina Park North, connected with a drawbridge to South Park and the San Diego Symphony’s planned concert stage. [SDUPD]