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Projects
a view of the San Diego Bay from above

East Harbor Island Redevelopment

Waterfront Development

As part of efforts to enhance our San Diego destination, the Port of San Diego is working to redevelop 55 acres of land and water on the eastern portion of Harbor Island overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay. This site 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.

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.

Conceptual rendering depicts Sunroad's proposed hotel for East Harbor Island.
Rendering depicting proposed Topgolf development for East Harbor Island

Topgolf Proposal

Topgolf, which operates golf-themed restaurant, entertainment, and party venues across the country, is interested in an 8.5-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 public viewing areas.

The proposed project has many steps to go and will require various approvals by the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, including real estate negotiations, environmental review, drafting and issuing a Coastal Development Permit, construction schedule, etc. It’ll be at least a couple years before construction could begin, but likely longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me more about this development site?

As part of efforts to enhance our beautiful San Diego Bay waterfront as a destination, the Port of San Diego is looking to redevelop 55 acres of land and water on the eastern portion of Harbor Island.

Sunroad's project would take up more than 7 acres of this area 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. 

Topgolf's project is proposed for an 8.5-acre parcel at the southwest corner of North Harbor Drive and Liberator Way.

West of the proposed Topgolf parcel, Port staff proposes two development sites for hotels as well as a mobility hub with structured parking to be developed in a future phase:

  • A hotel with 440 rooms and 198 lower-cost overnight accommodation units
  • A 500-room hotel and 200 lower-cost overnight accommodation units
  • Mobility hub with flexible visitor parking with connections to nearby water taxi pick-up and drop-off sites and short-term public boat docking facilities.

Additionally, there would be waterfront public park space, pedestrian pathways that establish connections to, through and around the area, and a two-lane vehicle access roadway.

Staff also prepared an optional development configuration that allows for potential future development of a 420-room hotel in the event Topgolf does not come to fruition or is removed.

All future development of commercial sites would require the developer’s participation in adjacent public infrastructure.

The proposed development configuration prioritizes the placement of public space on the waterside of Liberator Way to create a large-scale, contiguous park area that provides a meaningful, waterfront experience.

Through consideration of the area in a comprehensive and holistic manner, the recommended development configuration prioritizes the placement of public spaces while optimizing the potential of future visitor-serving development.

What’s there now?

East Basin Industrial Subarea: existing off-airport parking and rental car surface parking; Harbor Police Headquarters; and prior Lockheed Martin

Elbow Site in the East Harbor Island Subarea: Paved parking lot for ABM Parking Services and Sunroad Enterprises.

Harbor Island Redevelopment Timeline

October 2015
October 2015

Port issues public solicitation for the redevelopment area on East Harbor Island consisting of the East Basin Industrial Subarea and Elbow Site.

April 2016
April 2016

Board of Port Commissioners moves forward two proposals, OliverMcMillan, Inc. and Sunroad Enterprises (Sunroad).

September 2016
September 2016

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.

April 2017
April 2017

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.

January 2018
January 2018

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.

June 2018
June 2018

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.

July 2018
July 2018

OM submits its first submittal.

February 2019
February 2019

OM notifies Port staff it is withdrawing from the OM ENA for the East Basin Industrial Subarea.

August 2019
August 2019

Sunroad submits its revised second submittal.

October 2019
October 2019

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.

April 2021
April 2021

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.

November 2021
November 2021

Board grants concept approval and authorizes issuance of a Coastal Development Permit for Sunroad's 450-room hotel development.

January 2022
January 2022

Port enters into a two-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Topgolf for their proposed project on the north basin side of East Harbor Island.