The future vision proposed for Seaport Village

Among its amenities, the Seaport San Diego proposal promises more public rec space, a tower, new piers, and an ‘urban beach’ for the waterfront landmark.

1HWY1 Seaport San Diego project

The tower, innovation center, hotel + some of the public park space in the Seaport San Diego plan.

Rendering via CallisonRTKL Inc. and 1HWY1

Table of Contents

We’ve seen the restaurant renaissance happening at Seaport Village over the past few years, with a fresh crop of tenants moving in — and more on the way.

Simultaneously, the longtime waterfront landmark has been undergoing redevelopment as part of the Port of San Diego’s Central Embarcadero Project, which includes 70 acres of land and water between downtown + the San Diego Bayfront.

In 2016, the Board of Port Commissioners selected the 1HWY1 development team and its ambitious vision to revitalize the landmark. Let’s take a look at the details of the $3.6 billion proposal.

1HWY1 Seaport San Diego Project

A view of the “urban beach.”

Rendering via CallisonRTKL Inc. and 1HWY1

📝 The vision

1HWY1 released its latest plans for Seaport Village over the summer. The bells + whistles include:

  • New parks, plazas, walking paths, public piers, and an “urban beach” (peep page 15) that would offer areas for BBQs, kayaking, volleyball + rec equipment rentals. Per the plan, 72% of the site will be “public realm.”
  • An observation tower that would change our skyline, alongside an aquarium, learning center + new hotel (see pages 62-72).
  • A “living shoreline” featuring artificial wetlands + tidepools (page 16).
  • Upgrades to the commercial fishing harbor + an elevated deck with views of Tuna Harbor.
  • Public water access via new piers, marinas + day-use docks and slips.
  • Tripling the width of the walkways along Central Embarcadero from the current 20-ft to 60-ft.
  • Underground parking structures totaling 2,100+ spaces.
1HWY1 Seaport San Diego project

The Seaport San Diego proposal also calls for upgrades to the commercial fishing harbor.

Rendering via CallisonRTKL Inc. and 1HWY1

➡️ So, what now?

The public reviews for the proposal have been mixed, so it’s still a work in progress. Last week, the developer said it plans to seek $550 million in public funding to make the project a reality.

Voice of San Diego reports that next month, the Port could give the project preliminary approval, which will allow 1HWY1 to begin its environmental review. Then, the developer will need to seek approval from the California Coastal Commission.

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen — CEO of 1HWY1 — envisions the project breaking ground in 2025 or early 2026.

Meanwhile, the Port of San Diego says the public can continue to provide input on the project at meetings, and if it does undergo environmental review, there will be more opportunities for public input.

1HWY1 Seaport San Diego project

The developer hopes the project breaks ground in 2025 or 2026.

Rendering via CallisonRTKL Inc. and 1HWY1

Gaffen released a statement via email on Tues., Oct. 11, saying the project is designed to “keep the best of what we have and reflect on the community’s wants and needs with greater public access to the waterfront for everyone.”

Gaffen said the costs of the project have increased after developers “identified major infrastructure needs.”

“Our region must address the worrisome projections for sea level rise and other risks affecting this site; not doing so would be irresponsible. We’re stepping up with a plan to stabilize the shoreline, address the changing sea level rise projections, and relocate massive utilities, among other issues. These investments will need to be made by someone – and it makes sense to include them in this transformational project,” Gaffen said.

“Let me be clear – private investment will fund the vast majority of this multi-billion-dollar project. At the same time, it is important to start a conversation about public financing strategies for public infrastructure and public space. We have assembled some of the industry’s brightest and most capable financial experts including MuniCap and Kosmont & Associates, and everything is on the table including private investment, sponsorships, and various mechanisms to re-invest tax revenues that are generated by the project itself,” he added.

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