Latest on Chula Vista’s Bayfront

It’s been about 30 years since plans for Chula Vista’s Bayfront first surfaced.

Leslie Wade, a consultant for the Port of San Diego, was on hand today at the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors for a presentation on the latest developments of the massive undertaking surrounding Chula Vista’s Bayfront.

The Bayfront development is a joint effort by the Port of San Diego, the city of Chula Vista and the Pacifica Companies which will be the builder of the residential component of the 550 acre plan designed to develop the much needed area surrounding the Chula Vista marina.

The master plan is essentially divided into 3 districts. The Harbor District, which includes the current marina, the Sweetwater District to the North, adjacent to the Nature Center and preserve, as well as the Otay District to the south, where the ever so popular South Bay Power Plant is located.

Originally, the Sweetwater District, which had been owned by the Pacifica Companies was planned for high density mixed use units but due to the proximity to the Nature Center and preserve, the community opposed the project, forcing a change in the plans. As a result, a land swap was initiated between the Pacifica Companies and the Port of San Diego which transfers ownership of the 97 acres (Sweetwater District) for a 35 Acres located in the Harbor District east of the marina. The tax payers will also receive $3 Million in this land swap agreement from Pacifica.
The land swap with the Port of San Diego was necessary because no residential units can be built on Port land.

Designed with the environment in mind.

The entire project will contain habitat buffers around wetlands and the buildings on the project will be twice as energy efficient as the state’s standards. Because of it’s proximity to the preserve, the Sweetwater district will contain very little development.
In it’s first phase includes 45 acres of parks and over 2 miles of pedestrian promenades and walkways and will feature 240 acres of parks and open space when completed.

Boosting the waterfront economy.

In addition to the Goodrich plant which will remain, preserving jobs in Chula Vista, the Harbor District will feature a resort hotel and conference center between 1600 to 2000 rooms. As of right now there is no specific hotel company committed to the project yet many speculate that Gaylord will return once all approvals have been completed.
In addition to the resort, 3 smaller hotels comprised of 250, 500 and 750 rooms, and estimates suggest over 1 Million square feet of office, mixed use and restaurants will be built as well. This will no doubt create an abundance of jobs for not only Chula Vista but the entire south bay community.

The Residential Details.

The Pacifica plans for the Harbor District include 7 podiums and 11 towers. The podiums which will conceal the units’ parking, are large buildings which will support the thinner towers, avoiding the Manhattan style skyscraper look from the ground level. Instead the buildings will look like normal 4-5 story buildings making the project feel more comfortable and less intimidating.
The complex will contain 1,500 condominiums and feature 15,000 square feet of office and mixed space on the ground floor.
Pedestrian friendly is how this project will be built, with public plazas and pedestrian access making the entire location walkable for all and not just unit owners.

What’s happening now.

On May 18th, The City of Chula Vista will have a hearing regarding the plan’s environmental impact report inside the City’s council chamber at 1:00pm. The environmental impact report is one of the few major hurdles in the plan’s approval process.
The environmental impact report is a 10,000+ page report comprised of 3 years of environmental analysis of the project which was first issued in 2006 and reissued in 2008 for changes based on the community input, including 947 comments which were taken into account.

Approvals Left.

Environmental impact report – May 2010
Additional Port and City approvals – 2010
State Lands Commission – Fall 2010
California Coastal Commission – 2011

In the meantime.

The transmission towers which plagued our views by the marina have been removed, the south campus of Goodrich is demolished and is being remediated, the extension of H street to the bay is in progress, and 2 of the 4 engines of the power plant have been shut down with plans of it’s removal in the next couple of years.

According to Mrs. Wade, she expects the Bayfront’s approvals to be complete in 2011 and ground breaking on the Pacifica condominiums to begin in 2014/2015. Like every residential project, the real estate market will ultimately dictate when the units will begin with construction.

As a Chula Vista resident, I cannot wait for this project to get going. This will be the catalyst Chula Vista needs to make this the great city we deserve to have, with a thriving homegrown economy, jobs, and entertainment right in our backyard.
Great things are happening in Chula Vista and I look forward to seeing them happen.

About Daniel Di Matteo

Realtor at CENTURY 21 Award, Daniel was Voted U-T San Diego’s Best Real Estate Agent in 2014. A Husband, Father, and most recently, accomplished Blog writer, which explains your visit today.