Harbor Island Redevelopment
As part of efforts to enhance our San Diego destination, the Port of San Diego is moving forward with a redevelopment process for 57 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 close 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.
Harbor Island Redevelopment Timeline
Port issues public solicitation for the 57-acre 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you tell me more about this development site?
This coastal site offers an unbeatable combination of water access, stunning views, close proximity to San Diego International Airport – which served over 20 million passengers in 2016 – and foot traffic from existing high-performing restaurants and hotels on Harbor Island.
The redevelopment site encompasses approximately 44 acres of land and 13 acres of water, a total of 57 acres. It is bordered by North Harbor Drive to the north, Harbor Island Drive and Spanish Landing Park to the west, US Coast Guard Station to the east and North Island Naval Air Station across the San Diego Bay to the south. The Harbor Island East Basin is the body of water located in the center of the redevelopment site primarily used as a 600-slip marina by Sunroad Resort Marina.
What’s there now?
East Basin Industrial Subarea: Rental car services for Hertz Corporation (Hertz), Avis Rent A Car System, LLC (Avis), and Enterprise Rent A Car Company of Los Angeles LLC dba National Car Rental (National); in addition, 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.
What do you want to see there?
The Port’s goal in issuing a solicitation for qualifications and vision was to obtain market-feasible proposals. We provided some general guidance on what could go on the site, but mainly sought fresh ideas from the development community. We do not yet have specific details about how the redevelopment will work now that both Sunroad and OliverMcMillan will be working on different portions of the site. We do know the Board wants to see continuity of design for the entire development area and there is potential for cost sharing between the two developers for public infrastructure and public realm costs.
What are the details of the proposals submitted by OliverMcMillan, Inc. and Sunroad?
Operational Team: OliverMcMillan selected Evans Hotels, Pacific Marina Development & Almar Management, Inc. as their operational partners. The Evans Hotel was founded in San Diego in 1953 and was awarded the first-long-term lease on Mission Bay for what is now the Bahia Resort Hotel. Pacific Marina Development & Almar Management, Inc. owns and operates 13 marinas with over 4,000 slips in the major western boating markets.
Design Team: Professional services include two architectural firms, Tucker Sadler and Gensler; one landscape architectural firm, Burton Landscape Architecture Studio; and one waterfront engineering firm, Moffatt & Nichol.
OliverMcMillan’s initial 57-Acre project concept envisioned a mixed-use development with:
- Two hotels, totaling 1,125-1,500 rooms;
- Public administration campus, including a Port administration building and Harbor Police Headquarters;
- A 350-400 room “Boat-el” providing affordable accommodations;
- Canals for kayaks, paddle boards and small water craft;
- “Hangers on the Canal,” which could include hospitality, blue tech, retail, public market, office, restaurant and marine services;
- A sea plane history exhibit;
- Beaches and a network of plazas, open spaces, piers and viewpoints;
- And grid of “urban” sidewalks, streets and blocks.
OliverMcMillan's initial project concept was for the entire 57-acre development area with a projected investment of $782 million to $978 million. However, the Board’s decision to split the 57-acre development site between two developers will require a new concept with a newly-projected investment cost.
Operational Team: Sunroad currently has two Port leases on East Harbor Island Subarea: First is their restaurant leasehold with Island Prime/C-Level and Coasterra, with Cohn Restaurant Group as their operator; Second is their Sunroad maintained marina leasehold, Sunroad Resort Marina, which is located between their restaurant leasehold and the Elbow Site.
Design Team: Sunroad retained Carrier Johnson + Culture Architects and indicated they have spoken with Geocon, SCS Engineers and others who may be interested in participating in the project.
Sunroad’s initial 57-acre project concept envisioned a mixed-use development with:
- Two hotels totaling 1,025 rooms;
- Harbor Police and Port office space;
- Ferry dock;
- Conference center;
- Blue Tech building for industrial and incubator space;
- The Marsh, which includes tidal wetland restoration, interpretive boardwalk trail, public art, and birdwatching; and
- Pedestrian bridges
- Restaurants with an event lawn.
Sunroad’s initial project concept was for the entire 57-acre development area and was projected to be a $600 million investment. However, the Board’s decision to split the 57-acre development site between two developers will require a new concept with a newly-projected investment cost.