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CONSTRUCTION–Manchester Resorts Projects Take Major Strides Forward

The construction fence is up and workers are starting site preparation for a second tower at the Hyatt Regency San Diego in Downtown.

Manchester Resorts, the developer of the property, also received more good news. The Oceanside City Council approved April 5 Manchester’s plan for a 500-room hotel, 114 timeshare units, an amphitheater and retail space at Oceanside Harbor.

That measure now goes to the California Coastal Commission for a hearing in late summer, said Charles Hughes, assistant Oceanside city clerk.

The new 34-story tower at the Hyatt in Downtown will have 750 rooms with 86,000 square feet of meeting space. It will connect to the existing tower by a low-rise building with a 34,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom and a rooftop swimming pool.

“From a purely visual standpoint, you could call the design post-modern, but you could also say it is neo-traditional,” said Joe Martinez of Martinez & Cutri Architects of San Diego. He spent a year designing the new tower with the help of architects David Priest and Janine Hurd of his firm.

The new tower will be 66 feet wide, while the current Hyatt tower is 102 feet wide, he said. It will be 246 feet in length and 456 feet tall. The existing tower is 250 feet long and 498 feet tall, Martinez said.

“My tower is really thin,” Martinez said. “The precedents for the building’s design are the tall, thin towers of turn-of-the-century Chicago and Manhattan.”

The existing hotel tower is 40 stories tall.

“The narrow profile of the design was crucial for Port Commission and Coastal Commission approval because of complaints from neighbors to the east about views being obscured,” Martinez said.

Huber, Hunt & Nichols of Phoenix is the general contractor on the project.

Flores Lund Mobayed Structural Engineers, GEM Mechanical Engineering, Randall Lamb Electrical Engineers, Project Design Consultants and Parterre, a landscape architecture firm, are also involved in the design, he said. All are San Diego firms.

“I tried to use all local firms just to show that we can do a big project with San Diego talent,” Martinez said. “This $150 million project is a major landmark on the San Diego skyline and it was all designed by San Diego firms.”

His company’s other projects include the conceptual design of the San Diego Convention Center expansion and the Mid-City Urban Village project on Fairmount Avenue.

The expanded hotel will have 1,625 guest rooms, making it the largest Hyatt on the West Coast and the second largest in the world, said Scott D. Miller, president of Hyatt Hotels Corp. The newly expanded facility will get a new name when completed: The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

“San Diego is gaining in importance and stature as a major convention destination, so it’s only natural that we’d want to be at the forefront of this dynamic market,” Miller said.

Pete Litrenta, senior vice president of Manchester Resorts, said he was enthusiastic about the positive Oceanside City Council vote.

“It’s another very important step in getting this project realized,” Litrenta said.

Now that his company has won approval for the beachfront resort, he has to work on getting approval for a golf course to be built a few miles away.

The golf course at the former El Corazon sand mine at El Camino Real and Oceanside Boulevard will have between 18 and 36 holes and be open to the public, Litrenta said. That project only requires Oceanside City Council approval, he said.

He said Manchester Resorts was doing the Oceanside resort and golf course projects sequentially, since it wouldn’t be economically practical to start the permit process for the golf course without first having full approval for the resort.

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