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General Press Releases
Waterfront Development

Chula Vista Bayfront Transformation Begins; Groundbreaking Celebration Held for First Major Projects

Media Contact: Brianne Mundy Page, 619.348.1518; Anne Steinberger, 619.405.6461

Project renderings available at https://bit.ly/2lQaKWy

The Port of San Diego, the City of Chula Vista and Sun Communities, Inc. held a groundbreaking celebration on Thursday, September 26, 2019 for the first two major projects on the Chula Vista Bayfront – the Costa Vista RV Resort and the Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade. This monumental step sets the stage for the transformation of the Chula Vista Bayfront as envisioned by the Port, City of Chula Vista, and the community in the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan.

“The components are being put in place. After years of diligent work, and collaborating with the right partners, such as Sun Communities, this largely vacant and underutilized industrial landscape will soon be transformed into a thriving recreational, residential and resort destination right here on the Chula Vista waterfront,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

“The day is finally here when we are celebrating the start of construction on two bayfront projects,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “We are thrilled that work has begun on the new RV Park providing overnight accommodations and the Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade that will create a wonderful walking and biking route on the northern edge of the bayfront. What a great day!”

The Costa Vista RV Resort, to be built at E Street and Bay Boulevard, will enhance public access and public recreation by providing lower-cost overnight accommodations, walking trails and other improvements on and around the site. It will also pave the way for the anchor of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, the future resort hotel and convention center, as well as the future Sweetwater and Harbor Parks, and roadways.

Sweetwater Path will be a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle pathway winding through the future Sweetwater Park in the northern portion of the Chula Vista Bayfront, and connecting the existing Bayside Park (site of the future Harbor Park) to Bay Boulevard at E Street. It is the first segment of a loop connecting to the Bayshore Bikeway at the northern and southern ends of the Chula Vista Bayfront.

“Thanks to the collective vision of the public, stakeholders, the Port, the City and our development partners, the South Bay community is getting what it has asked for for decades,” said Vice Chair Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “This day is finally here, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be celebrating it with everyone who has helped make it a reality. I can’t wait to celebrate the opening of the Costa Vista RV Resort and Sweetwater Path next year!”

“Sun Communities is honored and excited to be a part of the development of Costa Vista RV Resort on the Chula Vista Bayfront!” said Tom OBranovic, Sr. VP of Operations, Sun Communities. “We have been ‘all in’ since the project became a reality and we are dedicated to developing a resort that is second to none in the U.S., one that complements the wonderful features of the bayfront and the Port of San Diego’s master plan vision. We thank the Port and the City for their partnership and their faith in Sun…this will be an amazing project in a beautifully planned area of recreation, commerce, and hospitality. It’s ‘go’ time!”

“It’s about time that this project – which will provide good jobs, economic development and a beautiful bayfront - moves forward,” said California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). “Chula Vista has been looking forward to this day for over a decade.”

“The Sweetwater Bicycle Path will be a critical connector to the Bayshore Bikeway, allowing families to enjoy a fun, scenic ride and giving commuters an opportunity to leave their cars at home and bike to work at major job centers in San Diego and Barrio Logan,” said San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox.

The Costa Vista RV Resort and Sweetwater Path will be the first major new components of the 535-acre Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, which envisions a world-class destination in Chula Vista on San Diego Bay – a unique place for people to live, work and play. When complete, the public will enjoy more than 200 acres of parks, open space, a shoreline promenade, walking trails, RV camping, shopping, dining and more. While providing long-awaited, enhanced shoreline recreation and an active, commercial harbor in the South Bay, the Chula Vista Bayfront project will also establish ecological buffers to protect wildlife habitat, species and other coastal resources.

Costa Vista RV Resort Project Details:
With opening anticipated for summer 2020, features of the $55 million Costa Vista RV Resort project will include panoramic views of the bayfront as well as:

  • 246 sites with a mix of traditional RV stalls and park model stalls (park models are temporary cabin-like units that can be rented by the general public and provide temporary accommodations for recreation, camping or seasonal use)
  • A variety of amenities, such as:
    • Aquatic features including a children’s play pool, family pool and Jacuzzi
    • Day spa/salon, massage/treatment rooms, sauna, workout gym
    • Grill/restaurant
    • Entertainment arcade, game room
    • Business center and a multi-purpose room for educational and large guest gathering
    • A covered picnic area with outdoor grills
    • Children’s rock climbing and playground, bocce ball courts and horseshoe pits
    • Welcome center with a marketplace, restrooms, showers and guest laundry facilities
  • Off-site improvements include:
    • The extension of and traffic improvements along E Street
    • Improvements to the future F Street
    • The realignment of Gunpowder Point Drive to allow continued access to the Living Coast Discovery Center
    • Grading on adjacent parcels

On August 13, 2019, the Board of Port Commissioners granted a 66-year lease to Sun Chula Vista Bayfront RV, LLC, a subsidiary of Sun Communities, Inc., for its Costa Vista RV Resort. Sun, which recently acquired Northgate Resorts LLC, is based out of Southfield, Michigan and is an experienced, award-winning RV park developer and operator with more than 100 RV resorts across North America. Sun’s team includes the engineering and construction firm, Atwell, LLC. The Sun team has partnered with local contractors for the project – Tucker Sadler Architects, Rick Engineering and Wimmer Yamada Landscape Architects for project design, and Swinerton Builders for construction.

Sweetwater Bicycle Path & Promenade Project Details:

With opening anticipated for the spring of 2020, the primary features for Sweetwater Path include:

  • A three-quarter mile Class I bike path and pedestrian promenade (in bike and pedestrian terminology, a Class I path provides exclusive right of way for bicyclists and pedestrians away from the roadway with cross flows by motor traffic minimized)
  • A truss pedestrian bridge spanning the F & G Street Marsh inlet
  • Benches and overlook areas for optimal views of San Diego Bay
  • Native trees, shrubs and ornamental landscaping
  • Improvements near the bridge to restore a naturalized channel bed and channel stability while also creating new wetland habitat and increasing resiliency of the wetlands to sea level rise
  • ADA-compliant features including seating areas and cross-slopes on all designed surfaces

The total project cost for Sweetwater Path is $5.63 million, $4.8 million of which is being funded through an Urban Greening Grant awarded to the Port by the California Natural Resources Agency. The intent of the grant is to encourage the development of facilities that connect a community to destinations that they may normally drive to and to encourage the use of trees and vegetation to provide for oxygen production, carbon dioxide sequestration, and urban heat island reduction in temperatures. Additional funding of $794,000 is provided by the Port’s Capital Improvement Program and $33,000 is provided by the City of Chula Vista.

On July 24, 2019 the Board of Port Commissioners awarded the construction contract for the Sweetwater Path project, designed by KTU+A, to 3-D Enterprises, Inc., both based in San Diego.

About Chula Vista
The City of Chula Vista is located at the center of one of the richest cultural, economic and environmentally diverse zones in the United States. It is the second-largest City in San Diego County with a population of 270,000. Chula Vista boasts more than 50 square miles with coastal landscape, rolling hills, 65 parks, a marina, and miles of trails. Chula Vista is a leader in conservation and renewable energy, has outstanding public schools, and has been named one of the top safest cities in the country. Established neighborhoods, contemporary communities, a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site, and historic downtown all contribute to Chula Vista’s attraction for both families and businesses. A promising future includes implementing smart city technology citywide, developing the 535-acre Chula Vista Bayfront, and planning for a new university on 375 acres.

About Sun Communities
The company owns and operates or has an interest in 382 manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities/resorts located in 31 states throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada, as of June 30, 2019. Sun Communities' portfolio consists of approximately 133,000 developed sites. 

Established in 1975, Sun Communities became a publicly owned corporation in December 1993. The company is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: SUI. 

Sun Communities has twice been honored by the Manufactured Housing Institute as winner of the "Community Operator of the Year" award. The award is emblematic of Sun Communities' focus on professional management at the community level.

About the Urban Greening Program
The Urban Greening Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.

About Port of San Diego Waterfront Development

Port of San Diego Waterfront Development contributes to the continuous prosperity of the local economy.

From Real Estate to Aquaculture and Blue Tech, the Port invests in major redevelopment and community infrastructure, so businesses in our region have the opportunity to stay competitive in the global marketplace.