AAPA Seaports Advisory

Environment: San Diego

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San Diego: Port Completes Land Exchange with Pacifica and the California State Lands Commission

In a step forward for redeveloping the Chula Vista Bayfront, the Port of San Diego, North C.V. Waterfront L.P.(also known as Pacifica), and the California State Lands Commission, have closed escrow on a land exchange. The port exchanged approximately 35 acres located within the Harbor District of the Chula Vista Bayfront, east of the marina for approximately 97 acres, located within the environmentally sensitive Sweetwater District of the Chula Vista Bayfront. Escrow closed on February 18.

The land exchange is part of the ongoing redevelopment of the Chula Vista Bayfront, gradually replacing former industrial sites with new development providing a balance of jobs, environmental buffers, housing and recreation.
The board of port commissioners originally approved the land exchange between the port, Pacifica and the State Lands Commission in February 2010 and the State Lands Commission subsequently approved the land exchange in December 2010. The Pacifica site is designated for the development of up to 1,500 residential units with 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail, a 250-room hotel and 420,000 square feet of office space. The Port site is designated for a park, some commercial development, and an RV park.

The California Coastal Commission approved the full, approximately 535-acre Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan in August 2012. The Chula Vista Bayfront Project includes a future convention center, signature park, open space, and recreation and cultural areas.

The land exchange shifts high density residential land uses away from the environmentally sensitive Sweetwater District, which is adjacent to the National Wildlife Refuge and the Living Coast Discovery Center, to the centrally located Harbor District. In addition, part of the 97-acre site will be dedicated to a 400-foot-wide buffer between the RV Park and National Wildlife Refuge.

"The Chula Vista Bayfront has been an exemplary demonstration of partnerships and collaboration," said Port Commission Chairman Marshall Merrifield. "This land exchange is a perfect example of working together to achieve the best solution."

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