The view of the proposed Seaport San Diego project as seen from a relocated Ruocco Park on the peninsula where Embarcadero Marina Park North is today. The 500-foot observation tower, event center and other hotels contemplated in the project can be seen in the background.(Courtesy, Seaport San Diego. Master Architect: CallisonRTKL Inc.; Iconic Tower: BIG; Landscape: OJB.)
JULY 22, 2022 2:47 PM PT – SD Union-Tribune
BY JENNIFER VAN GROVE
It’s not back to the drawing board, but the developer proposing to redo downtown’s broader Central Embarcadero with hotels, attractions and new marinas will need to revise — and perhaps even eliminate — some key elements of the mega project known as Seaport San Diego.
Thursday, Port of San Diego Commissioners expressed opposing views of 1HWY1’s Seaport project during a 4.5-hour-long workshop where public concerns about the overall size of the project, the developer’s fraught relationship with local fishermen and the volume of the project’s boat slips dominated the conversation. Still, the general tenor of the discussion suggested a path forward where the road to approval appeared blocked just a few months ago.
“I think that we continue to move down the right path,” Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos said. “I know it’s controversial and a lot of folks aren’t going to like it. But there are a lot of folks who don’t just like it, they love it. And so I’m not entirely there yet, but I’m supportive of the vision. I’d like to see the transformative project come to fruition on this site.”
Like Castellanos, Commissioners Dan Malcolm and Ann Moore said they see the project — and its more than 2,000 hotel rooms — as an appropriate fit for downtown’s urban waterfront.
A new rendering of the proposed Seaport San Diego project shows the mixed-use development has been changed to include more open space and wider walkways.
7/22/2022 – SD Daily Transcript
By Thor Kamban Biberma
A transformative reimagining of Seaport Village has been in a constant state of flux since it was first proposed six years ago, and what the project will ultimately look like is anyone's guess.
On Thursday, the latest proposal of Seaport San Diego was presented to the Board of Port Commissioners. It's a plan that puts a heavy emphasis on the expanded amount of open space in the project.
Even with all the changes, Yehudi Gaffen, who is helping spearhead the project, remains upbeat.
"I was encouraged by the meeting with the commissioners," said Gaffen, who is CEO of both Gaffen Development and Protea Waterfront Development.
He added that he is actually looking forward to getting into the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process once the latest changes have been given the green light by the Port. The project would also need approval from the California Coastal Commission.
The group developing the project is known as 1 Highway 1 (1HWY1). Since it was selected for the project in 2016, the team been refining its proposal that would replace the existing Seaport Village site on the Central Embarcadero.
The project has undergone more than 100 public presentations to ensure public involvement. The 1HWY1 team and previously the Board of Port Commissioners saw a presentation on Seaport San Diego in March 2022.
The latest renderings of Seaport San Diego, which were presented Thursday to the Port of San Diego, illustrate possible revisions to the proposal in response to the public feedback in March.
The Board of Port Commissioners didn't make a decision Thursday but provided feedback, which will help finalize the revisions.
The changes include the addition of more recreational open space, increases in the width of walkways, improvements in circulation and open sightlines to the water, and the creation of a more open feeling along the waterfront. All of these changes would be achieved by reducing proposed density, lowering some building heights, increasing setbacks and moving most parking underground.
The decreased density would be achieved by reducing the size of the proposed Blue Tech Innovation Center, the full-service hotel conference facility and the number of boat slips.
The Port has received more than 400 letters of support for the Seaport San Diego proposal this year. The list of supporters includes the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Downtown San Diego Partnership, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, the San Diego Airport Authority, the San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council, UC San Diego, the San Diego Tourism Authority and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
The new proposal increases recreational open space by more than 1 acre to 16 acres and increases the width of public access from Pacific Highway to Market Street Pier by up to 100 percent compared to the December 2021 project description, from 50-feet wide to 80-to 100-feet wide by reducing the full-service hotel conference facilities.
The full-service hotel's footprint would be reconfigured to improve circulation to the water and open sightlines to the water.
The latest proposal also more open space along the waterfront by increasing the building setbacks at the aquarium by more than 60 percent (from 40 feet to 65 feet) compared to the December 2021 project description.
The number of boat slips has been reduced from 366 to 265 compared to the December 2021 project description.
The Blue Tech Innovation Center area has been reduced by more 25 percent to 220,000 square feet, and the facility's tower height has been decreased by 60 feet compared to the December 2021 project description to 320 feet.
The new proposal also dramatically increases the number of recreational experiences to include expanded and improved parks, piers, a living shoreline, an urban beach, a kids' nature play area, and a "green strand" elevated walkway.
"We want to make sure this project is accessible to everyone," said Gaffen, emphasizing that the plans are very environmentally conscious as well.
Last spring, PCL Construction and McCarthy Construction were both named as general contractors to handle the construction.
Three architectural firms are currently part of the 1HWY1 team. They include Bjarke Ingels Group Architects, Safdie Rabines Architects, and Callison RTKL Architects.
"This has been a long journey," said Gaffen, adding that he remains very confident that all the efforts will make for the best possible project.
JULY 22, 2022
The development team for Seaport San Diego has presented new renderings to the Port of San Diego to illustrate contemplated revisions for the Central Embarcadero project.
At a Thursday special meeting by the Board of Port Commissioners, the team discussed how the updated proposal creates a more open feel along the waterfront – dramatically increasing coastal access, recreational activities and views of San Diego Bay.
“We are keeping the best of what the waterfront currently offers while adding experiences that reflect community wants and needs and creating a more open feel along the waterfront,” said Yehudi Gaffen, CEO of 1HWY1, the winner of a 2016 competitive bidding process for the project.
Developer 1HWY1 releases new and refreshed renderings ahead of public workshop.
By JENNIFER VAN GROVE
JULY 19, 2022
In advance of a public workshop, developer 1HWY1 is leaning on the artistic work of its architect CallisonRTKL Inc. to engineer a more visual — and potentially more digestible — experience of its proposed mega project Seaport San Diego.
The idea is to win over naysayers, Port of San Diego Commissioners in particular, with new and refreshed renderings that emphasize waterfront experiences over the project’s many towers, providing a perspective that was perhaps lacking in the past.
In November 2016, the port selected 1HWY1 to redevelop downtown’s Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village and follows the coast from Embarcadero Marina Park North to the G Street Mole, just south of the USS Midway Museum. The parties have, since October 2017, been actively negotiating a development program and ground lease for the expansive site, although the board has yet to OK the project.
Revamped vision emphasizes how the public will be ushered into the waterfront expanse, afforded new opportunities for outdoor recreation and offered uninterrupted views of San Diego Bay.
BY JENNIFER VAN GROVE
JULY 15, 2022 2:47 PM PT
Four months after receiving less-than-glowing reviews on the latest rendition of its $3.5 billion Seaport San Diego mega project, developer 1HWY1 is back with an edited proposal and a new story to tell.
Thursday, the developer will present Port of San Diego Commissioners with a revamped Seaport vision that emphasizes how the public will be ushered into the waterfront expanse, afforded countless new opportunities for outdoor recreation, and offered uninterrupted views of San Diego Bay along supersized promenades that create space for both pedestrians and cyclists. The developer will also stress a wealth of new vantage points engineered by the project’s elevated walkways.
REAL ESTATE: PROJECTED COST HITS $3.5B ON DOWNTOWN MEGA-REDEVELOPMENT
By Ray Huard
Monday, March 14, 2022
The price tag on a massive redevelopment that will replace Seaport Village on San Diego’s downtown waterfront has jumped from $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion under a revised plan.
The $1 billion increased cost of Seaport San Diego is due partly to a surge of new development downtown focused on job creation, which prompted Seaport developers – 1HWY1 – to rethink the project, adding hotel rooms and expanding other portions of the project that will include a 500-foot-tall observation tower that will itself contain a hotel.
The project also has grown from about 70 acres to 105 acres of land and water – and now includes about 36.6 acres of land and 68.5 acres of water stretching from Embarcadero Marina Park North to just south of the USS Midway Museum.
Concern over climate change also has led to some design changes that include raising the overall site an average of three feet, said Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, the founder and CEO of Gafcon, who formed 1HWY1 to develop Seaport San Diego.
Posted: March 1, 2022 by KUSI Newsroom, Dan Plante
SEAPORT VILLAGE (KUSI) – After many years of planning and designing, the Port of San Diego will finally consider a major makeover for Seaport Village.
The developer has finalized their plans and the Port of San Diego released those plans Tuesday morning.
KUSI’s Dan Plante was live from Seaport Village with more information.
$3.5B Seaport San Diego project grows to include 105 acres of land, water
BY JENNIFER VAN GROVE
COURTESY OF SEAPORT SAN DIEGO
A rendering shows a view from Block D of the planned Seaport San Diego, which includes the new Ruocco Park, a children’s play area and an event lawn.
With a more fully baked site plan and an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, the long-awaited Seaport San Diego project from developer 1HWY1 is now available for public examination.
Today, the Port of San Diego released the Seaport San Diego project description, a 167-page document with development specifics and narrative descriptions for each of the project’s seven land blocks and five water zones. The document, which is more than five years in the making, will go before port commissioners at the March 8 board meeting where they’ll get to weigh in on — but not approve — the latest iteration of the mega project that promises to substantially alter the city’s front porch.
“We’re breaking the pencil, as I would call it, and cementing in place the final project,” said Yehudi “Gaf ” Gaffen, who runs 1HYW1. “It’s a one-of-a-kind, transformational mixed-use project on the water that I truly do believe is going to set the bar for other projects, if not in the United States then in the world.”
Backed in part by San Diego’s famed Jacobs family, Seaport San Diego is a total reimagining of downtown’s Central Embarcadero — the expansive, bayfront area 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. Following a competitive bidding process, the port selected 1HWY1 in November 2016 to redevelop the subdistrict.
Over the years, the redevelopment effort has swelled in size and now includes 105 acres of land and water area — and 2.7 million square feet of mixed-use development — in and around San Diego Bay. It’s also ballooned in price, adding billions to the bottom line with each iteration presented to the port.
Today, the program envisions a total of 2,058 hotel rooms spread across seven properties, including 400 rooms taking up 24 of the 34 stories planned for a 500- foot, skyline-defining observation tower at the foot of Pacific Highway. Additional features include 597,600 square feet of floating docks and fixed piers, 229,213 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 308,524 square feet of office space reserved for ocean researchrelated enterprises, a 129,900-square-foot public beach, and nearly 15 acres of parks and open space.
By DAVE SCHWAB | Downtown News
Plans to give Seaport Village a huge, distinctively San Diego “makeover” are still in play, though it’s taking longer than anticipated.
“A project of this size and nature doesn’t just happen — it evolves over time,” said Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, managing partner of Protea Waterfront Development, the team behind Seaport San Diego, a re-imagining of the 39-year-old, 90,000-square-foot Seaport Village waterfront shopping and dining complex.
“Our vision is to create a vibrant, experimental-based attraction near the water,” said Gaffen. “Our goal is for this to be a legacy project for more than just San Diego, that’s going to be transformational for the whole West Coast.”
Years in the making, the long-term Seaport Village redevelopment’s two major new attractions, an aquarium and an observational spire and platform, continue to anchor the project.
However, Gaffen noted there have been “enhancements” made to the overall project concept, which now includes construction of three, brand-new full-service hotels as well as a “new generation” student hostel. The hostel will have beds in shared rooms offering travelers less-expensive accommodations.
Another new feature of revitalizing Seaport Village will be the introduction of a “butterfly wonderland.” Gaffen said that project is based on an existing butterfly exhibition in Scottsdale, Arizona, which he described as “a magical, educational and entertaining experience for both kids and adults.”
Additionally, Gaffen noted the number of hotels in the project has now grown from three up to as many as six.
Meanwhile, the transition from old to new at Seaport Village continues. In October 2018, the Port of San Diego became the owner/landlord of Seaport Village, with Protea Property Management, Inc. (Protea) managing and operating the shopping and dining center for the Port.
“Working in close collaboration with our partners, the Port of San Diego is revitalizing and enhancing the experience at Seaport Village for residents, visitors and the businesses that operate within it,” said Garry Bonelli, San Diego Board of Port Commissioners chair. “Our goal is to create excitement and energy within Seaport Village, and also strengthen our relationships with our tenants while maximizing revenues for the public’s benefit.”