Opinion: How Scripps, SDUSD and Seaport San Diego will boost waterfront educational opportunities
Students from Pacific Beach Middle School gather plankton samples for analysis in San Diego Bay as part of the Seaport Climate Science Program, a partnership between Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, San Diego Unified School District and Seaport San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Seaport Climate Science Program.)
5/2/2023 - SD Union Tribune
Commentary by Richard Barrera, Yehudi Gaffen, Harry Helling
Barrera is a San Diego Unified School District trustee, and lives in South Park. Gaffen is CEO of 1HWY1, the Seaport San Diego developer, and lives in Downtown San Diego. Helling is executive director at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and lives in Dana Point.
San Diego Bay is our region’s most precious resource, and it connects us to a shared culture. From the homeland of Indigenous nations and rich marine wildlife to a center for fish processing and aerospace factories, it boasts a rich history. Today it’s studded with shipyards, cargo terminals and the Naval Base. It’s known for much more than industry alone, the waterfront is a gathering place — a treasured destination for picnics, sunsets, public art walks and community celebrations.
It may come as a surprise that many San Diego-area youth — our next generation — tell us they have never been to the waterfront that plays such an important part in our collective experience.
Coastal access is an equity issue. A 2016 UCLA study, one of the only comprehensive reports on equity in coastal access, stated that 62 percent of Californians cite access to the coast as a problem — with historically disadvantaged communities and lower-income households being less likely to visit the coast.
A new partnership between Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, San Diego Unified School District and Seaport San Diego demonstrates how institutions can come together to connect more students to the Bay and the opportunities it holds.
The Seaport Climate Science Program is a shining example of a public-private partnership that benefits youth in a unique and meaningful way while contributing to our understanding of best practices in climate science education. Now in its second year, the pilot program has served more than 1,000 students from San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union High School districts.
The idea for the Seaport Climate Science Program arose from a transformative development proposal within the Port of San Diego’s waterfront. In 2016, 1HWY1 was selected by the Port to propose redevelopment of the Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village and surrounding areas — with coastal access a priority. The concept, Seaport San Diego, is an ambitious project that would include an observation tower; a Blue Campus with ocean-related uses such as blue tech, educational and outreach programs; hotel properties; retail and restaurant space; an entertainment venue and a fish-processing facility as well as 16 acres of parks and recreational and open space. Seaport San Diego will physically connect people to the bay with new piers and marinas, a new living shoreline area and urban beach. The design is currently going through the Port’s environmental review process.
One of the most exciting components of Seaport San Diego is the proposed Blue Campus, featuring a combination of education and entertainment. The Blue Campus is envisioned as a leading center for ocean education and outreach, open to youth and adult learners from throughout California. As 1HWY1 created this vision, the development team sought guidance from the region’s leading experts in climate science and education, and the Seaport Climate Science Program was launched as a partnership to test these ideas.
Both Birch Aquarium at Scripps, which is proposed to operate a Learning Center within the Blue Campus, and San Diego
Unified are key partners in this pilot program which engages middle school students in on-the-water field trips. Connecting students to the natural world through place-based field trips where students can authentically engage in science activities provides an opportunity for significant impact to student learning beyond the classroom.
Students are energized and inspired to learn how researchers evaluate the health of our ocean. They delight in using echo sounder technology to monitor fish populations and special tools to gather plankton samples, and bringing their data collected on the field trip back to the classroom for further analysis continues the learning beyond the field trip.
Dozens of students shared that the program was the first time they had ever set foot on a boat or visited a waterfront park.
This program contributes to our understanding of best practices in climate science education and will inform the proposed Learning Center design. We believe it’s a model for other public-private partnerships.
San Diego Unified students tell us they value the opportunity to visit the coast. Some students have expressed interest in careers as scientists, researchers and educators, and others mention plans to return to the waterfront in the future.
Will future generations feel connected to the history and significance of San Diego Bay? Will they thrive and be inspired by climate science to explore STEM careers? Most importantly, will they feel a sense of belonging and pride when they visit our waterfront? With an inclusive approach to coastal access, we believe the answer to all of these questions is yes.
Estudiantes Locales Experimentan un Viaje de Campo en el Agua en el Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport
Birch Aquarium at Scripps | Photo: Jordann Tomasek
4/7/2023 - Hispanos Unidos
NATIONAL CITY – Hoy, los líderes locales tuvieron la oportunidad exclusiva de recorrer el Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport. El programa único en su tipo es una asociación entre Birch Aquarium en Scripps Institution of Oceanography en UC San Diego, el Distrito Escolar Unificado de San Diego y Seaport San Diego. El programa piloto se estableció como una prueba de concepto para informar el diseño de la futura instalación permanente en Seaport San Diego.
Durante el recorrido, el vicepresidente del Puerto de San Diego, Sandy Naranjo, el síndico unificado de San Diego, Richard Barrera, y otros líderes aprendieron más sobre el Programa de Ciencias del Clima de Seaport, que involucra a los estudiantes de secundaria en excursiones prácticas centradas en la ciencia del clima. Aproximadamente 70 estudiantes de séptimo grado de la Escuela Intermedia Pacific Beach participaron en la gira, rotando entre las estaciones de aprendizaje de STEM a bordo de un barco equipado para investigación que partió desde Pepper Park en National City.
“Seaport San Diego es una propuesta para revitalizar una parte importante del frente de la bahía de San Diego de manera cuidadosa y audaz para el próximo siglo, y el Centro de aprendizaje es la piedra angular de nuestra visión para conectar a los estudiantes y adultos de todo California con el océano de manera significativa. ”, dijo el desarrollador de Seaport San Diego, Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, director ejecutivo de 1HWY1. “Nos sentimos honrados de contar con la asociación del Distrito Escolar Unificado de San Diego y el Acuario Birch en Scripps mientras nos embarcamos en el diseño de nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje. Estoy encantado de ver cómo el Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport ya está inspirando a las mentes jóvenes y espero con ansias a tener un centro permanente para el aprendizaje centrado en el océano en Seaport San Diego.
Guiados por educadores de Birch Aquarium en Scripps, los estudiantes diseccionaron estómagos de peces lanceta y examinaron el contenido en busca de pistas sobre el ecosistema oceánico. Usaron tecnología de ecosonda para monitorear las poblaciones de peces, recolectaron muestras de agua del océano para analizarlas y examinaron el plancton bajo un microscopio, todas actividades que se llevan a cabo como parte de los viajes de campo del Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport.
El Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport “permite que los niños de todo el distrito puedan venir y explorar el océano”, dijo Collin Scott, de 13 años, estudiante de Pacific Beach Middle School. “Algunos niños sueñan con ser científicos y creo que esto definitivamente podría ayudarlos. Tienes la oportunidad de aprender sobre el medio ambiente, los peces y los animales, la temperatura del agua, todo lo que hay aquí en la bahía”.
Los planes de lecciones para el Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport se basan en la investigación y la educación que se llevan a cabo en Birch Aquarium. “La asociación entre Birch Aquarium en Scripps, San Diego Unified y Seaport San Diego nos permite presentar a una nueva generación de estudiantes la investigación oceánica y los métodos mediante los cuales los investigadores evalúan la salud de nuestros océanos”, dijo Margaret Leinen, directora de Scripps. Institución de Oceanografía y Vicecanciller de Ciencias Marinas de UC San Diego. “El Programa de Ciencias Climáticas de Seaport es un brillante ejemplo de una asociación público-privada que beneficia a los jóvenes de una manera única y significativa al mismo tiempo que contribuye a nuestra comprensión de las mejores prácticas en la educación de las ciencias climáticas”.
4/7/2023 - CBS News 8
Local Students Experience On-The-Water Field Trip in Seaport Climate Science Program
Educators from Birch Aquarium and San Diego Unified Lead Pilot Program To Inform Design of Future Seaport Learning Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Tanya Castaneda | 619.764.9874 | firstname.lastname@example.org
With the backdrop of the Downtown San Diego site for the proposed Seaport San Diego project, students from Pacific Beach Middle School gather plankton samples for analysis. Photo Credit: Seaport Climate Science Program
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (April 6, 2023) – Today local leaders had an exclusive opportunity to tour the Seaport Climate Science Program. The one-of-a-kind program is a partnership between Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, San Diego Unified School District and Seaport San Diego. The pilot program was established as a proof-of-concept to inform the design of the future permanent facility at Seaport San Diego.
During the tour, Port of San Diego Vice Chair Sandy Naranjo, San Diego Unified Trustee Richard Barrera and other leaders learned more about the Seaport Climate Science Program, which engages middle school students in hands-on, climate science-focused field trips. Approximately 70 seventh-grade students from Pacific Beach Middle School participated in the tour, rotating among STEM learning stations aboard a research-equipped vessel that launched from Pepper Park in National City.
Local leaders had a special opportunity to learn about the Seaport Climate Science Program on April 6, 2023, observing students as they rotated among hands-on STEM learning stations in Pepper Park, National City.
“Seaport San Diego is a proposal to revitalize an important part of the San Diego Bayfront thoughtfully and boldly for the next century, and the Learning Center is a cornerstone of our vision for connecting students and adult learners throughout California with the ocean in a meaningful way,” said Seaport San Diego developer Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, CEO of 1HWY1. “We are honored to have the partnership of San Diego Unified School District and Birch Aquarium at Scripps as we embark on the design of our Learning Center. I’m delighted to see how the Seaport Climate Science Program is already inspiring young minds and look forward to having a permanent center for ocean-centered learning at Seaport San Diego.”
A conceptual rendering of Seaport San Diego. Credit: Seaport San Diego/Master architect CallisonRTKL Inc.
Guided by educators from Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the students dissected lancetfish stomachs and examined the contents for clues about the ocean ecosystem. They used echosounder technology to monitor fish populations, gathered ocean water samples for testing and examined plankton under a microscope — all activities that take place as part of Seaport Climate Science Program field trips.
The Seaport Climate Science Program “is allowing kids from all over the district to be able to come and explore the ocean,” said Pacific Beach Middle School student Collin Scott, 13. “Some kids have dreams about being scientists and I think this could definitely help them. You get to learn about the environment, fish and animals, water temperature – all the stuff out here in the Bay.”
The lesson plans for the Seaport Climate Science Program are based on the research and education being conducted at Birch Aquarium. “The partnership between the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego Unified and Seaport San Diego allows us to introduce a new generation of students to ocean research and the methods by which researchers evaluate the health of our oceans,” said Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego. “The Seaport Climate Science Program is a shining example of a public-private partnership that benefits youth in a unique and meaningful way while contributing to our understanding of best practices in climate science education.”
The Seaport Climate Science Program is aligned with curriculum standards for STEM education.
“It is increasingly important that our students are equipped to become good stewards of the environment. Through this collaboration, students will have the opportunity to thrive as they engage in hands-on, climate and marine-science focused learning experiences,” said San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson. “This is so important in San Diego because the ocean is connected to our environment, our lives, our culture, and is an essential resource for current and future jobs.”
The Seaport Climate Science Program, now in its second year, will have served more than 1,000 students from San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union High School District by the end of April 2023.
About the Seaport Climate Science Program
The Seaport Climate Science Program is a pilot program that demonstrates the partnership between Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, San Diego Unified School District and Seaport San Diego. The program is a proof-of-concept for the future Seaport San Diego Learning Center within the Port of San Diego, which will be a resource for San Diego Unified and other schools throughout California, and will be operated by Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The Seaport Climate Science Program seeks to engage middle school students in hands-on, climate science-focused field trip experiences in a way that informs the future permanent facility at Seaport San Diego. Students experience curriculum-aligned, STEM learning onboard a research-equipped vessel operated by Pacific Maritime. Between 2022 and 2023, approximately 1,000 students will have participated in the pilot program.
A rendering of the Seaport San Diego project by 1HWY1.
11/9/2022 - Times of San Diego
By Chris Jennewein
Port of San Diego commissioners have authorized staff to begin the environmental review process for the Seaport San Diego project proposed by 1HWY1 for redevelopment of the central embarcadero.
1HWY1 is proposing a mixed-use development that includes parks, plazas, piers, walkways, beaches, nature trails, hotels, an event center, an aquarium, office space, an observation tower, restaurants and retail space.
The potential redevelopment area includes Seaport Village and surrounding areas between the Manchester Grand Hyatt and USS Midway. Embarcadero Marina Park North, Ruocco Park, and Tuna Harbor are also included.
“This site is unlike any other along our San Diego Bay and advancing the proposed Seaport San Diego project to environmental review is a good step forward,” said Port Chairman Dan Malcolm on Tuesday. “The central embarcadero has tremendous potential to become San Diego’s signature waterfront destination."
“We are overjoyed at the opportunity to enter a new phase of the approval process and grateful to our supporters who have been with us every step of the way,” said Yehudi Gaffen, CEO of 1HWY1. “Seaport San Diego is designed to keep the best of what we have and reflect the community’s wants and needs, with greater public access to the waterfront for everyone.”
In late 2016, the Board selected the 1HWY1 development team following a competitive solicitation and due diligence process. Since then, 1HWY1’s proposed Seaport San Diego project has evolved in response to board, public, and stakeholder feedback.
The environmental review process that now begins will 24 months or longer and include public feedback.
Port signals support for $550M in public funding for Seaport Village redevelopment
The Port of San Diego's administration building on Pacific Highway on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. / Photo by Jakob McWhinney
Six years after the Port selected a developer to rebuild Seaport Village, the developer now says the project requires half a billion public dollars for infrastructure.
10/12/2022 - Voice of San Diego
By Andrew Keatts
Six years after selecting developer 1HWY1 to redevelop Seaport Village, the Board of Port Commissioners Tuesday indicated it is on board with the developer’s plan to seek $550 million in public money to make the project happen.
The subsidy would help pay for things like stabilizing the shoreline, lifting the land to withstand sea level rise, and accommodating utilities, and pay for amenities that were a selling point for the project like an urban beach, parks, a boardwalk and an elevated “green strand” walkway modeled after The High Line in New York.
Public funds wouldn’t be used for revenue-generating infrastructure like parking garages, or for the $2.6 billion in private development that would include 2,000 hotel rooms, an aquarium, observation tower, retail and office space or concert venue.
Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, who runs 1HWY1, had said he could build the project without public funds, covering upgrades out of profit from the private development. That changed, he said, when the bill for those upgrades swelled from $150 million to $1.2 billion.
Where the money is coming from: One chunk, about $250 million, would come from special taxes on hotel rooms and tickets for attractions in the project. That would be on top of hotel taxes the city of San Diego charges.
The other chunk would come from a tax-increment financing district. The development would itself generate new tax revenue and a portion of that would be kept in the district. The port would use it to pay back the money borrowed to make the improvements outlined. Tax increment was a common source of public funding in downtown San Diego, before the state killed the redevelopment program in 2011. This could rely on a similar, little-used replacement, known as an enhanced infrastructure financing district, though that wasn’t detailed Tuesday.
That increment would come from increases to the property taxes, sales taxes, and hotel taxes that would flow to the county, city and school district.
Port commissioners, though, made clear that they are in favor of the idea and want the city’s help to study its feasibility.
“Folks are mischaracterizing it because they oppose any development on the site, period – they call it a subsidy,” said Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos. “In the private sector they’d call it an investment, because you get a return on it. I implore the city to devote the resources necessary to vet the economic impact study, just as we will, to determine if the business case is there… If the return is there, we should invest in our region.”
“The reality does sound a lot different than a tax subsidy, or revenues funneled away from other things,” said Commissioner Michael Zucchet. “These are revenues paid for by things that don’t exist right now.”
Commissioner Ann Moore said she always expected some public funding, but she didn’t want it coming from the Port’s general fund, or using the Port’s general fund as a backstop for bonding.
“That’s a bottom line, we can’t go there, and so we do need participation from the city and county of San Diego,” she said.
What’s next: The Port could next month give preliminary approval to the project, which would allow the developer to begin its environmental review needed before it can seek approval from the state Coastal Commission. Gaffen said he hopes the project could break ground in 2025 or early 2026, ten years after the Port selected the developer.
‘Infrastructure doesn’t grow on trees.’ Port OK with using public money to fund Seaport San Diego
10/11/2022 - SD Union Tribune
By Jennifer Van Grove
The developer proposing to remake the Central Embarcadero region that includes San Diego’s Seaport Village received no pushback on potential public financing strategies from the government agency set to consider preliminary project approval next month.
Tuesday, Port of San Diego Commissioners spoke favorably about 1HWY1’s plan to seek up to $550 million in public funds to pay for a portion of Seaport San Diego’s site infrastructure needs and all of its public amenities — so long as funds don’t come directly from the agency.
“If the return is there, we should invest in our future — if we want to transform our region, create good jobs that sustain families. Or, will we do nothing?,” said Commissioner Rafael Castellanos. “It takes money to make money, and like money, infrastructure doesn’t grow on trees. We need to evaluate all of the potential sources to make a project like this work, just like we did in Chula Vista.”
The comments, meant to cast aside criticisms from people opposed to public subsidies, came after a presentation from Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, who runs 1HWY.
Gaffen told commissioners of the group’s interest in using public sources of money to pay for public infrastructure and amenities. Revenue generated by the project — in the form of property tax increment, or tax dollars from hotel guests and event-goers — could be used to pay for stabilization of the shoreline, underground utility work, new piers, reconstructed wetlands, promenades, an elevated way, parks and the proposed urban beach, he said.
“We feel and believe that this is a transformational project that can make a huge difference for our city. It ... has the potential to really put our city in the same context as the other great cities of the world,” Gaffen said. “In my 40 years of work, I’ve never come across a site with as many complexities as we’ve had to deal with here. ... The bottom line is that our infrastructure costs have more than quadrupled.”
Backed in part by San Diego’s famed Jacobs family, Seaport San Diego proposes to redevelop the port subdistrict that includes Seaport Village and follows the coast from Embarcadero Marina Park North to the G Street Mole, just south of the USS Midway Museum.
In November 2016, the port selected 1HWY1 to redevelop the expansive, waterfront area, and the parties have be negotiating lease and development terms since October 2017.
Over the years, the developer’s plan has morphed in size and scale — and price. The latest $3.6 billion proposal, which could receive preliminary approval next month, includes more than 2,000 hotel rooms spread across seven properties, substantial retail and restaurant space, new piers and marinas, a large entertainment venue, a blue-tech office campus, a fish-processing facility, an urban beach, more than 2,100 parking spaces, and 16 acres of parks and open space.
Over a 30-year period, the project will generate $1 billion in new revenue for the city of San Diego and $400 million in new revenue for the county of San Diego, according to an economic analysis of the project commissioned by the developer. The sums have not been independently vetted or reviewed by port staff.
1HWY1 framed Tuesday’s discussion as the start of a conversation around public financing. The developer floated a range of options, including an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District, which would capture incremental growth in property tax dollars — above what the city and county currently receive — within the project site. Also in the mix is the creation of a special tax district, or Community Facilities District, to impose special taxes on hotels and entertainment venues within the project site.
The tools allow for a handful of public funding sources, including property tax increment, sales tax, Transient Occupancy Tax and Tourism Marketing District taxes, Special District Hotel Tax and Special District Entertainment Tax.
One conceptual scenario, presented by the developer, would see the project use $250 million in special tax dollars, generated from on-site hotel stays and entertainment venue ticket sales, to fund critical infrastructure such as a new shoreline that wouldn’t be swept into the sea during a major disaster. A combination of other site-specific tax-based sources and grant funds could be used to fund the remaining $300 million in costs, or the developer could scale back on public infrastructure, Paul Gherini, a project executive, told commissioners.
Four commissioners — Castellanos, Dan Malcolm, Ann Moore and Michael Zucchet — spoke approvingly of 1HWY1’s approach to public financing, characterizing the money as an investment in the region. They pointed to the under-construction resort hotel on the Chula Vista Bayfront, paid for in part with public money, as an example of a partnership worth emulating. Port Commissioners Sandy Naranjo and Danielle Moore did not weigh in on the item, and Commissioner Frank Urtasun was absent.
Key to the conversation is that public financing sources for Seaport San Diego would come at the expense of the city and the county, and not the port. That means the city and county will need to make their own determination as to whether they want to help fund the project, commissioners said.
“We as government agencies need to collaborate, and so I’m going to call on Mayor Todd Gloria today and I’m going to call on the San Diego (City) Council. And I’m going to call on the County Board of Supervisors,” Malcolm said. “Join with us. Join with the port. Collaborate with us. Let’s do something special together. We don’t do this and we’re going to have 100 percent of nothing, which is nothing.”
The developer did, however, receive a word of caution from Commissioner Zucchet, who warned against eliminating any aspect of the project’s public realm.
“I do think that it’s dangerous — and I don’t think it’s your intent either, by the way — to talk about the notion that if we don’t get that public financing, then the public infrastructure is at risk. That’s not the way I see it. I see the entire project is at risk,” Zucchet said. “We’re not going to do all of the private infrastructure and do none of the public infrastructure.”
The developer’s public financing ideas were supported, during public comment, by local agencies and labor groups, who welcome the prospect of boosting San Diego’s profile and adding more jobs.
In contrast, around 20 members of the public wrote letters or left voicemails expressing their displeasure with using public funds for a project they believe is either too big or unnecessary.
“I object to the Seaport project wanting over half a billion dollars to pay for public infrastructure,” Janet Rogers, who is with the Embarcadero Coalition, said in a voicemail played at the meeting. “For nearly (six) years, the developer said he can fully fund the project. Now he’s made such a huge monstrosity that he can’t pay for it and (he) wants the public to foot the bill. This is a bait and switch.”
The Board of Port Commissioners, which took no formal action at Tuesday’s meeting, is next scheduled to receive an update on the project at its Nov. 8 meeting. The board will consider preliminary approval, a milestone action that would trigger the start of the environmental review process.
Seaport San Diego wins design award from International Council of Shopping Centers
12/12/2022 – SD Transcript
Daily Transcript Staff Report
While the major mixed-use development Seaport San Diego is a long way from realization, it has already won a Gold Award for evolving projects from the International Council of Shopping Centers.
The 1HWY1 Partnership, led by Yehudi "Gaf" Gaffen, Jeff Jacobs and Jeffrey Essakow. is developing the project. The team called the award the latest milestone for the projected $3.6 billion project on the Port of San Diego's tidelands.
The award was in the "innovation and aspiration in the new developments" category.
Seaport San Diego's master architect James Mellor, principal of CallisonRTKL Inc., accepted the award on behalf of the project team.
"Seaport is really a love letter for San Diego—a once-in-a-lifetime project—and we are grateful to ICSC for recognizing the passion and quality of this innovative design in enhancing public access and economic development for this cherished site," he said in a statement. "We have had tremendous momentum this year and we are excited about where it's going as we advance this truly world-class waterfront for our beautiful San Diego Bay."
ICSC highlighted Seaport San Diego's design for dramatically increasing coastal access, recreational space, activities, and water views of San Diego Bay while providing improved commercial fishing facilities and creating unique features, including an iconic observation tower, aquarium, learning center and Blue Tech Innovation Center.
The mixed-use development as planned would also include retail, hotels ranging from luxury to hostels, and an event center, among other components.
"This design provides contemporary experiences designed to prioritize accessible waterfront recreation with 16-plus acres of open space," ICSC stated in the video accompanying the award presentation.
"Seaport San Diego is more than just an urban redevelopment project—it's the expression of our hopes and dreams for future generations and our passion for being a good steward of the ocean and the planet," Gaffen said. "Our process has been progressive, with community input shaping every part of the design. We are humbled to receive the ICSC GOLD Award and hope to serve as a model for other developments that put the community first."
The next step for the project, which will ultimately need the approvals of both the Port of San Diego and the California Coastal Commission, will be to enter the environmental review process beginning early next year—also a critical step for any large development.
12/09/2022 – SD Metro
Seaport San Diego has been honored with a design award, the latest milestone for the transformative redevelopment proposed for the Downtown San Diego waterfront within the Port of San Diego. The $3.6 billion project is currently preparing to enter the environmental review process, a critical step for any large development.
Now, the project team has been presented with the 2022 ICSC GOLD Award for Evolving Innovation and Aspiration in the New Developments category. ICSC highlighted Seaport San Diego’s design for dramatically increasing coastal access, recreational space, activities and water views of San Diego Bay while providing improved commercial fishing facilities and creating unique features including an iconic observation Tower, Aquarium, Learning Center and Blue Tech Innovation Center.
Vision for Seaport San Diego Honored by Industry Group for Innovation in New Developments
12/08/2022 – Times of San Diego
A Seaport San Diego rendering. Photo credit: @portofsandiego, via Twitter
Seaport San Diego has been honored with a prestigious design award, the latest milestone for the redevelopment proposed for the downtown San Diego waterfront.
The $3.6 billion project, through the Port of San Diego, is preparing to enter the critical environmental review process.
The honor, the 2022 ICSC GOLD Award for Evolving Innovation and Aspiration in the New Developments category, noted how Seaport San Diego’s design dramatically increased coastal access, recreational space, activities and water views of San Diego Bay. The design team also provided improved commercial fishing facilities and unique features, including an observation tower, aquarium, learning center and Blue Tech innovation center.
As the member organization for the marketplace industry, ICSC promotes and elevates the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather.
Its Global Design and Development Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievements in design and development of marketplaces properties and retail store design. This year’s winners were announced at the annual ceremony Dec. 1 in Phoenix.
Master architect James Mellor, AIA, NCARB, Principal of CallisonRTKL Inc., accepted the award on behalf of the project team.
“Seaport is really a love letter for San Diego – a once-in-a-lifetime project – and we are grateful to ICSC for recognizing the passion and quality of this innovative design in enhancing public access and economic development for this cherished site,” Mellor said. “We have had tremendous momentum this year and we are excited about where it’s going as we advance this truly world-class waterfront for our beautiful San Diego Bay.”
The Seaport San Diego developer is the 1HWY1 Partnership, made up of Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, Jeff Jacobs and Jeffrey Essakow.
“Seaport San Diego is more than just an urban redevelopment project – it’s the expression of our hopes and dreams for future generations and our passion for being a good steward of the ocean and the planet,” said Gaffen, 1HWY1’s CEO. “Our process has been progressive, with community input shaping every part of the design. We are humbled to receive the ICSC GOLD Award and hope to serve as a model for other developments that put the community first.”
1HWY1 was selected by the Port of San Diego for its Seaport San Diego concept after a competitive process in 2016 in which developers submitted ideas for the land and water area known as the Central Embarcadero.
This includes Seaport Village, Santa Monica Seafood (formerly Chesapeake Fish), and surrounding areas between the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the USS Midway Museum, with some exclusions.
The port initiated the redevelopment to create more public space on the water, extend streets to the water, preserve and enhance view corridors and facilitate the enjoyment of the bay.
The team spent years refining its proposed project in response to stakeholder feedback, due diligence findings and input from prospective partners. The port held four public meetings to consider Seaport San Diego this year.
On Nov. 8, the Board of Port Commissioners unanimously voted to move the project into the California Environmental Quality Act review process. That is expected to take at least two years, after which the project may be considered for approval.
If all the expected milestones are met without delay, 1HWY1 projects that groundbreaking could take place in 2025.