Chula Vista Bayfront
The Chula Vista Bayfront project is underway. In September 2019, the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista held a groundbreaking celebration for the first two major projects - 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 Chula Vista Bayfront project represents one of the last truly significant large-scale waterfront development opportunities in Southern California. At approximately 535 acres, the project seeks to transform a largely vacant and underutilized industrial landscape into a thriving recreational, residential and resort destination on the Chula Vista waterfront. When complete, the public will enjoy more than 200 acres of parks and 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.
The Costa Vista RV Resort, under construction 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. 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, including a children’s play pool, family pool and Jacuzzi; day spa/salon with massage/treatment rooms, a sauna, and a workout gym; a grill/restaurant; an entertainment arcade and game room; a 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; and a 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; and grading on adjacent parcels.
The Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade 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. 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 (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
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.
On June 18, 2019, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized issuance of an appealable Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and granted concept approval to RIDA Chula Vista, LLC for its Gaylord Pacific resort hotel and convention center project. Gaylord Pacific will be the centerpiece of and the catalyst project for future development within the Chula Vista Bayfront. It will include:
- Up to 1,600 hotel rooms
- Convention center (approximately 719,000 gross square feet including convention space, meeting space, breakout space, pre-function space, and back of house) with four ballrooms, three levels of meeting space and two outdoor meeting and event lawns
- Public promenades and public amenities
- Associated retail and resort-level amenities such as:
- Pool with a lazy river
- Recreational facilities
- Restaurant/bar/lounge facilities
- Bike rentals
- Boat rentals
- And more!
In addition to providing a world-class hotel and convention center in the South Bay, the goal is to also provide a vehicle to build future public parks, restore sensitive habitat, and construct public infrastructure. Construction, beginning with public infrastructure improvements, is anticipated to begin as early as late 2020.
Chula Vista Bayfront Timeline
After completing a decade-long planning effort and clearing several regulatory hurdles, the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan was unanimously approved by the California Coastal Commission on August 9, 2012.
California Coastal Commission unanimously approves Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan.
South Bay Power Plant imploded.
Port and City of Chula Vista celebrate completion of the H Street extension project.
Port enters into an exclusive negotiating agreement with RIDA Chula Vista, LLC for a resort hotel and convention center.
Port adopts a Natural Resource Management Plan.
Port selects Sun Communities, Inc. & Northgate Resorts LLC to develop and operate the Destination RV Park.
Port and City of Chula Vista approve a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with RIDA Chula Vista, LLC for the resort hotel and convention center.
Port approves the Costa Vista RV Resort project by Sun Communities, Inc. and authorizes a Coastal Development Permit, pending satisfaction of certain conditions.
Port and City of Chula Vista approve a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) between the Port, the City and RIDA Chula Vista, LLC. 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.
The Port and the City of Chula Vista continue inclusive and open outreach to gather input on the community’s vision for the Chula Vista Bayfront with design workshops for the future Harbor and Sweetwater Parks. The first workshop was held Sept. 27 for a discussion on the community’s preferred uses at both parks.
The Port and the City of Chula Vista hold second Harbor Park Design Workshop.
The Port and the City of Chula Vista hold second Sweetwater Park Design Workshop.
The Port and City of Chula Vista celebrate groundbreaking on the Costa Vista RV Resort and Sweetwater Bicycle Path & Promenade projects.
The Port and the City of Chula Vista hold the final Design Workshop for the future Harbor and Sweetwater Parks.
Harbor Park and Sweetwater Park
In 2018 and 2019, the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista conducted a series of community outreach meetings as part of the design process for the future Harbor and Sweetwater Parks. Combined, the parks will account for more than half of the new park space planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront. While each park will be unique, they will be inherently connected and offer the community a full spectrum of ways to engage with the waterfront in complementary spaces.
- Harbor Park will provide signature amenities, recreational opportunities and programming in its much larger available acreage.
- Sweetwater Park will connect visitors with the bayfront’s ecology and provide environmental educational opportunities and family/child-oriented recreational exploration.
Through the outreach process, community members shared their vision for these important park spaces in order to help the Port and City balance the recreational wants and needs of the community that will create a welcoming, warm environment for visitors with equally important efforts to preserve Chula Vista’s natural resources and improve and protect waterfront access for future generations.
Regional Economic Engine
$2.8Btotal during construction phases
$2.1Bper year at buildout
10Kconstruction jobs & 20,000 permanent jobs
The Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan is a local and state-approved land use plan by the Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista. The plan envisions:
- 70 acres of new parks (100 acres total, including existing parks)
- 120 acres of open space, habitat replacement, wetlands and ecological buffers to protect wildlife habitat, species and other coastal resources
- Shoreline promenade, walking trails and bicycle path network
- 2,850 total hotel rooms
- 600,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and marina-support uses
- 220,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial recreation/marine-related office uses
- 1,100 – 3,000 space parking facility
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Chula Vista Bayfront project’s objectives?
The objectives of the Chula Vista Bayfront project are to:
- Create an active commercial harbor with public space at the water's edge;
- Redevelop underutilized and vacant areas in the city of Chula Vista and on Port tidelands with a variety of uses;
- Extend Chula Vista's east-west streets to the bay to ensure pedestrian, vehicle, bicycle, and transit links;
- Provide a continuous pedestrian walkway, fully accessible to the public that connects the new Sweetwater, Harbor, and Otay Districts;
- Establish ecological buffers to protect adjacent environmentally sensitive resources.
What is the cost for Sweetwater Path and who's paying for it?
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.