11/8/2022 – The San Diego Union-Tribune
By Lori Weisberg
San Diego Port Commissioners agree to move forward with environmental review, marketing a mile stone moment for a project that was conceived more than six years ago
Seaport San Diego, from developer 1HWY1, is a $3.6 billion plan to remake 105 acres of land and water area on San Diego Bay with 2.7 million square feet of mixed-use development, including 1 500-foot observation tower. This rendering depicts a view from the green Strand elevated walkway looking north, with the marina on the left. (Courtesy, CallisonRTKL, Inc)
San Diego Port commissioners on Tuesday agreed to launch an environmental review of a $3.6 billion plan to remake Seaport Village and the surrounding waterfront, culminating six years of planning on one of the single biggest projects in port history.
The unanimous 7-0 vote signals the Port of San Diego's willingness to move forward a development that has undergone multiple revisions over the years and attracted, at times, significant concerns from various stakeholders, from downtown homeowners to commercial fishermen. Commissioners themselves have expressed reservations in the past, and just last month, the staff of the California Coastal Commission weighed in with deep concerns of its own.
Although they acknowledged those pockets of opposition, commissioners lauded the developer, 1HWY1, for the numerous changes it has made to its proposed redevelopment of downtown's Central Embarcadero. The time is now, they said, to move forward, with the caveat that the Tuesday vote is not an expression of formal support for the development itself nor does it represent a commitments to Seaport San Diego.
"We need to think big; if we stall, if we wait, it'll take another 10, 15 years," said Commissioner Rafael Castellanos, calling the redevelopment of the Central Embarcadero a "transformational" undertaking. "Many people will be very happy if that's what we do. I'm not willing to not try to swing for the fences and to not think big. It's really hard to do something like this. After six years, it's time to take it to the next level of review.