Harbor Island Redevelopment

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As part of efforts to enhance our San Diego destination, the Port of San Diego is moving forward on the redevelopment process for 57 acres of land and water near San Diego International Airport and overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay.

The Parcel includes the East Basin Industrial Area located just north of Harbor Island and an adjacent "elbow site." The area encompasses approximately 44 acres of land and 13 acres of water. Bordered by North Harbor Drive to the north and Harbor Island Drive to the west, the area touches the water of the yacht basin on its south side with the North Embarcadero to the east.

The coastal site offers an unbeatable combination of water access, stunning views, and foot traffic from existing high-performing restaurants and hotels on Harbor Island. This is a tremendously desirable location and it has immense potential with several rental car leases expiring in 2017/2018.

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Development Proposals

In September 2016, after a competitive process, the Board of Port Commissioners directed staff to enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with two developers: Sunroad for the "elbow site" and OliverMcMillan for the East Basin Industrial Area. As of February 2017, staff is currently in the ENA process. Following completion of the negotiations, staff will work collaboratively with the developers over the coming months on revised project descriptions.

The Port’s goal in issuing a solicitation for vision proposals was to obtain market-feasible proposals. The Port provided some general guidance on what could go on the site, but mainly sought fresh ideas from the development community. While specific details are being negotiated regarding how the redevelopment will work with OliverMcMillan and Sunroad both selected, the Board wants to see consistency with the design for the area and potential cost sharing between the two developers for public infrastructure as well. Below are the visions OliverMcMillan and Sunroad submitted.

OliverMcMillan, Inc.

The vision is a mixed-use development that includes:

  • Two hotels totaling 1,125-1,500 rooms
  • A 350-450 room "Boat-el" providing affordable accommodations
  • Canals for kayaks, paddle boards and small watercraft
  • "Hangers on the Canal," which could include hospitality, blue tech, retail, public market, office, restaurant and marine services
  • A sea plane history exhibit
  • Beaches and a network of plazas, open spaces, piers and viewpoints
  • A grid of "urban" sidewalks, streets and blocks
  • Public administration campus, including a Port administration building and Harbor Police Headquarters

Sunroad Enterprises

The vision is a mixed-use development that includes:

  • Two hotels totaling 1,025 rooms
  • Ferry dock
  • Parking
  • Park
  • Conference center
  • Blue Tech building for industrial and incubator space
  • The Marsh, which includes tidal wetland restoration, interpretive boardwalk trail, public art, and birdwatching
  • Pedestrian bridges
  • Restaurants with an event lawn
  • Harbor Police and Port office space

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Process and Timeline

The San Diego waterfront is one of our region’s biggest assets and the Port is entrusted with stewarding it for the benefit of all. One of the ways we do this is through an open, public development process that allows us to ensure that the land’s potential is maximized.  

  • September 8, 2016 - Board directed staff to enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Sunroad as to the "elbow site" and OliverMcMillan as to the East Basin Industrial area
  • April 14, 2016 - Board moved forward two proposals, OliverMcMillan, Inc. and Sunroad Enterprises
  • February 1-2, 2016 - Staff conducted interviews with respondents
  • November 19, 2015 - The Port hosted an Information Exchange meeting for interested parties to meet with the project manager and ask questions
  • October 26, 2015 - Public solicitation issued

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