Chula Vista, Calif. — The Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista authorized key agreements that significantly advance the Chula Vista Bayfront resort hotel and convention center project on San Diego Bay. The 535-acre Bayfront project is one of the largest waterfront developments on the West Coast. This collaborative development effort will create a world-class destination that reflects strong planning and design principles, economic feasibility and community benefits.
At a special joint meeting on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, the Board of Port Commissioners and the Chula Vista City Council unanimously approved a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) between the Port, the City and RIDA Development Corp. The DDA sets forth the necessary steps for the parties to authorize the financing of the project and commence construction, ultimately leading to a ground lease and required subleases for development and operations of a world-class hotel and convention center. Additionally, the Board and City Council approved a revenue sharing agreement between the two agencies.
“This is an historic day for Chula Vista and the entire South Bay,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “Our dream for the bayfront – 30 years in the making – is coming true. This is the product of the hard work and dedication of previous mayors, councils, staff and our community whose contributions got us to this special day.”
The Chula Vista Bayfront resort hotel and convention center will be constructed west of Marina Parkway between H and G Streets. It will be operated by Gaylord Hotels, the large convention hotel brand of Marriott International. It will include approximately 1,600 hotel rooms, a 415,000 square-foot convention center with 275,000 usable square feet of convention and meeting space and associated retail and resort-style amenities such as restaurant/bar/lounge facilities, recreational facilities, a spa, a pool with a lazy river, bike and boat rentals. More than 250 acres are set aside for protected wildlife and habitat and 46 acres will consist of new parks, trails and bike paths.
Public infrastructure improvements are planned to get underway by 2019, which includes site preparation, building access roads and new public streets, providing utility services and developing the new Harbor Park. The Hotel Resort and Convention Center is expected to break ground by late 2019. And, the Costa Vista RV Resort to be developed by Sun Communities Inc. will be opened in 2019.
The Bayfront project also presents an exceptional opportunity to blend development with technology to promote sustainable energy use, intelligent communication networks that measure and control assets and new Smart City applications. This proactive approach uses smart technologies to help the City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego increase sustainability and resilience while promoting additional economic development opportunities. Building requirements will exceed California’s Title 24 requirements in the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards. All developments will achieve a minimum of a 50 percent reduction in annual energy use. Additionally, renewable energy generated within the boundaries of the development will be credited toward the energy reduction requirement.
“The Chula Vista Bayfront project has tremendous momentum this year with our approval of agreements for the future RIDA resort hotel and convention center, as well as the approval of our first development project, the Costa Vista RV Resort,” said Port of San Diego Commissioner Ann Moore, the Board’s Chula Vista Representative. “The Port’s longstanding partnership with the City of Chula Vista is leading to the creation of a vibrant waterfront that people can access and enjoy with these two important development projects.”
“We at RIDA are very excited and appreciative for the opportunity to create a transformational convention resort on the Chula Vista Bayfront. The City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego are to be congratulated for their forward thinking in creating this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Ira Mitzner, President & CEO, RIDA Development Corp. “RIDA is committed to the success of this development which will bring not only economic benefit to the Bayfront, but create a new destination for the City of Chula Vista, San Diego County, the state of California, and the region as a whole.” The project cost is estimated to be approximately $1.13 billion. Contributions from both the Port and the City are necessary to enable RIDA to achieve a reasonable return on its investment in the project and to allow the Port and the City to construct public infrastructure and improvements. These concepts are the foundation for the economic terms included in the DDA.
The project is expected to have a tremendous regional economic impact, generating approximately $1.3 billion and creating more than 2,300 jobs (both direct and indirect) during the construction period. Once built, another $475 million is anticipated to be generated per year and nearly 7,800 permanent jobs created.
The resort hotel and convention center is the centerpiece and catalyst project of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan (CVBMP), a decade-long joint planning effort by the Port, the City of Chula Vista and a broad coalition of stakeholders. The CVBMP was collaboratively planned through extensive public outreach that included more than 100 community meetings and resulted in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report and Port Master Plan Amendment, which was approved by the Board in May 2010 and certified by the California Coastal Commission in August 2012. When complete, the public will enjoy more than 200 acres of parks, a shoreline promenade, walking trails, RV camping, shopping, dining and more. The CVBMP also establishes ecological buffers to protect wildlife habitat, species and other coastal resources.