San Diego Business Journal

Port Selects Company to Negotiate on Chula Vista Bayfront Hotel Development

By Steve Adamek Wednesday, October 22, 2014
   

The board of Port Commissioners announced the selection of RIDA Development Corp. to enter negotiations to develop a destination resort and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront.

RIDA, with U.S. headquarters in Houston, was the successful respondent to the San Diego Unified Port District’s request for qualifications issued in June 2014 to build a planned hotel and convention center.

Port staff and RIDA will put together an exclusive negotiating agreement and return to the board for approval in 60 to 90 days, the Port said.

The resort hotel is expected to feature 1,400 to 1,600 hotel rooms and approximately 400,000 square feet of convention space. The world-class convention-oriented resort hotel fronting San Diego Bay will be the centerpiece of the Chula Vista development, according to the Port.

“With the recent board action, the Chula Vista Bayfront is one step closer to reality,” said Port Commissioner Ann Moore. “With the company’s strong reputation and proven experience, we are delighted to begin negotiations with RIDA Development Corp.”

According to the Port, the Chula Vista Bayfront is one of the last great waterfront development opportunities in the state. It will transform 535 acres on San Diego Bay into a world-class destination. When built out, it is expected to have more than 200 acres of parks and other public space along with the hotel.

City and port officials have projected that at full build-out, private developers will have invested $1.5 billion to $2 billion in waterfront projects. Developments are expected to generate about 7,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs, and generate $1.3 billion in new tax revenue over 20 years.

Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment walked away in 2008 from plans to build a $1 billion hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista waterfront.

At the time it dropped the project, Gaylord cited issues including prolonged planning and approval processes, legal and regulatory complications, infrastructure costs and the general state of the national economy.

Local officials said hurdles have since been cleared, including the crucial 2012 approval of long-term waterfront plans by the California Coastal Commission.