East Harbor Island Redevelopment
As part of efforts to enhance our San Diego destination, the Port of San Diego is working to redevelop portions of eastern Harbor Island overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay. This area offers an unbeatable combination of water access, stunning coastal views, and proximity to San Diego International Airport. Harbor Island currently offers land and water recreation – paddle boarding, sailing, jet-skiing, bike riding and more – along with premier restaurants and hotels.
Your Request for Proposal (RFP)
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Current Phase - Environmental Review
The Port of San Diego is the lead agency in preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed East Harbor Island Redevelopment/Topgolf redevelopment project. On December 13, 2022, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized staff to begin the environmental review process for the proposed East Harbor Island Redevelopment/Topgolf project.
On November 17, 2023, Port staff issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft EIR. On December 15, 2023, a Revised NOP was issued to extend the public review date. Comments previously submitted via email should be resubmitted. The NOP and attached materials include the project description, location, and an initial study of the possible environmental effects of the proposed project.
The NOP is available for a 30-day public review period. Written comments regarding the scope and content of the environmental information that should be included in the EIR and other environmental concerns will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, and should be emailed to EHITopgolf@portofsandiego.org or mailed to: Port of San Diego, Development Services Department, Attn: Megan Hamilton – Senior Planner, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101.
Topgolf, which operates golf-themed restaurant, entertainment, and party venues across the country, is interested in an approximateley 9.5-acre parcel on a portion of the north basin side of East Harbor Island. The proposed site is the southwest corner of North Harbor Drive and Liberator Way.
Topgolf venues feature high-tech gaming, outdoor hitting bays, chef-driven menus, hand-crafted cocktails, music, corporate and social event spaces, and more. For the proposed East Harbor Island location, Topgolf is proposing a three-story venue housing over 100 hitting bays with an event/stage area, outdoor patios, additional games and entertainment, and more. Topgolf will also contribute toward the public infrastructure around the site such as parks and promenades.
On December 5, 2023, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized staff to sign a non-binding term sheet with Topgolf, which provides staff with a negotiating framework for any potential future real estate or lease agreement to be submitted for future consideration by the Board. Environmental review for the proposed Topgolf project is underway.
It is anticipated that public review of the Draft EIR would occur in the first half of 2024 followed by Board consideration of the project for approval and an Option to Lease Agreement in the second half of 2024. Final approval of the Port Master Plan Amendment (if necessary) followed by a Coastal Development Permit is expected in 2025 with commencement of construction soon after.
East Harbor Island Entertainment District
On December 5, 2023, the Board of Port Commissioners directed Port staff to issue one or more Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to create an entertainment district on a portion of eastern Harbor Island. The goal is to bring new public access and recreation opportunities where none currently exists, as well as to provide leisure activities and food and beverage options for visitors and locals.
The current plans call for Topgolf as the anchor tenant and could include other so-called “eatertainment” concepts – leisure activities such as pickleball, mini-golf, darts, ping-pong, and shuffleboard in tech-infused settings similar to Topgolf, breweries, or other retail operations with an emphasis on blending entertainment with quality food and drinks.
The area of East Harbor Island proposed to be improved is approximately 43 acres. It includes plans for approximately 11 acres to be developed into new public waterfront parks and promenades (in addition to the existing Harbor Island parks and promenades), the proposed Topgolf venue, space for one or more additional “eatertainment” venues, and supporting infrastructure. Several rental car companies currently operate in the area and there are currently no public amenities on the site.
Staff anticipates issuing the RFP(s) toward the end of the first quarter of calendar year 2024 with responses anticipated to be due in mid-2024. Staff expects to return to the Board no sooner than the third quarter of calendar year 2024 with recommendations.
Sunroad Harbor Island East Hotel
Sunroad HIE Hotel Partners, L.P. is planning to develop Sunroad Harbor Island East Hotel on an approximately 7.55-acre site on what's known as the Elbow Parcel at the northeast corner of Harbor Island Drive and East Harbor Island Drive west of Safe Harbor Sunroad Marina.
The project includes a 450-room hotel with two yet-to-be-determined brands: a 12-level wing with extended stay rooms and a 15-level wing with limited-service rooms. Amenities open to the public would include a walk-up restaurant and bar area accessible via the sidewalk on Harbor Island Drive, designated public parking spaces, a 15-foot-wide waterfront promenade, and temporary and permanent mini destinations to draw people to and through the hotel and amenities by creating various activating uses, such as artwork, benches, mobile carts for retail/specialty items and/or food and game/exercise spots. Amenities for hotel guests include an outdoor swimming pool with a jacuzzi spa and outdoor private function space, a fitness center, retail shops, and meeting rooms and ballrooms.
Sunroad’s project is anticipated to break ground in 2024.
Harbor Island Redevelopment Timeline
Port issues public solicitation for the redevelopment area on East Harbor Island consisting of the East Basin Industrial Subarea and Elbow Site.
Board of Port Commissioners moves forward two proposals, OliverMcMillan, Inc. and Sunroad Enterprises (Sunroad).
Board directs staff to enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Sunroad for the Elbow Site and OliverMcMillan for the East Basin Industrial Subarea on Harbor Island.
Board receives an update and provides direction to staff to work with OliverMcMillan to include a consolidated Harbor Police Headquarters, but not a replacement Port Administration Building, in their development program for the East Basin Industrial Subarea.
Sunroad delivers its first submittal to Port staff, which requires a preliminary project description, preliminary site plan, and development cost estimate and pro forma financial analysis.
Sunroad delivers its second submittal, which requires a detailed project description, site plan, colored architectural exterior elevations, and at least three conceptual renderings and a detailed Pro Forma.
OM submits its first submittal.
OM notifies Port staff it is withdrawing from the OM ENA for the East Basin Industrial Subarea.
Sunroad submits its revised second submittal.
Port staff presents Sunroad’s latest redevelopment proposal for preliminary project review and Board feedback and receives direction from the Board to begin environmental review of the proposed project.
Board grants Sunroad an Option to Lease Agreement (Option) for a 66-year lease as well as an Addendum to the 2014 Revised Final Environmental Impact Report.
Board grants concept approval and authorizes issuance of a Coastal Development Permit for Sunroad's 450-room hotel development.
Port enters into a two-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Topgolf for their proposed project on the north basin side of East Harbor Island.
Board votes to advance the proposed Topgolf project to environmental review.
A Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report and Port Master Plan Amendment is issued for the East Harbor Island/Topgolf Redevelopment project.
The Board of Port Commissioners directs staff to issue one or more Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to create an entertainment district on a portion of eastern Harbor Island and authorizes staff to sign a non-binding term sheet with Topgolf.