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General Press Releases
Waterfront Development

Pacifica Companies Breaks Ground on Public Improvements for Ambitious Amara Bay Project

(Press release was originally issued by Pacifica and reposted here.)

Pacifica Companies has officially broken ground on the public improvements for the Amara Bay project on the Chula Vista Bayfront. In a ceremony attended by representatives of the City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego, Pacifica Companies Founder and Chairman Ash Israni thanked attendees for their support in helping advance the vision for the project. “I’d like to thank everyone here today for the support you’ve given and, for many of you, the multi-year commitment to seeing this ambitious development effort through to this stage.” Participating in the ceremony were Chula Vista Mayor John McCann, Port Commissioner and Vice Chair Danielle Moore, Chair of the Port’s Wildlife Advisory Group Bill Hall, and Chula Vista City Manager Maria V. Kachadoorian.

The Amara Bay Project, which includes 1,500 condominium units spread across seven residential towers, a 250-room hotel, and 400,000 square feet of commercial office space, has been in the planning stages for more than 20 years. Israni described the long road that led to the project. “When we originally embarked on our vision for the Amara Bay Project over 20 years ago, it involved 100 acres of land on the north section of the Chula Vista Bayfront.”

The original project proposal ran into significant hurdles with several agencies and environmental groups and became the nexus for the City of Chula Vista and Port of San Diego to initiate the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan. The Master Plan took nearly 10 years to complete but was eventually approved by the California Coastal Commission and culminated in a land swap between Pacifica Companies and the Port of San Diego. The land swap helped preserve significant acreage of sensitive marsh habitat that was added to the federal wildlife refuge and moved the Amara Bay project to its current location on Marina Parkway.

“Pacifica’s public improvements project is another significant step forward in transforming the Chula Vista Bayfront as envisioned for decades by the Port, City of Chula Vista, and Pacifica,” contributed Commissioner Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s appointee to the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “It will make way for Pacifica’s Amara Bay residential and commercial development. Together with the Gaylord Pacific hotel and other projects underway, the makeover of our dreams is happening right before our eyes.”

The public improvements for the project are significant and will involve the construction of new public infrastructure and utilities surrounding the development. The work will include the demolition and reconstruction of Marina Parkway, J Street, and a portion of Marina Way as well as new roads on the project site. The work is expected to take roughly 18-24 months to complete and will progress in phases that allow access to all marina facilities throughout the construction period.

Once the public improvements for the project are completed, Pacifica will be able to pursue construction of the residential, hotel, and office components of the project. The project, in concert with the completion of the nearby Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center, is expected to provide a catalyst for future development on both the Chula Vista Bayfront and Downtown Chula Vista. Chula Vista Mayor John McCann speaking at the event added, “Chula Vista’s Amara Bay community will create a regional bayfront destination with new dining options, recreational activities, quality retail and new housing opportunities for our community.”

About Pacifica Companies: Pacifica Companies is a privately held, San Diego-based real estate company. Founded in 1978 by the current Chairman, Ash Israni, Pacifica Companies is a vertically integrated real estate developer, owner, investor and investment manager focused on the hospitality, senior housing, and multi-family sectors.

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.