Construction has started on the $1.5 billion Manchester Pacific Gateway project along San Diego’s waterfront. Rendering courtesy of Manchester Financial Group

Construction has started on the $1.5 billion Manchester Pacific Gateway project along San Diego’s waterfront. Rendering courtesy of Manchester Financial Group

After more than a decade of planning and a flurry of lawsuits, developer Doug Manchester in June broke ground for construction of the $1.5 billion Manchester Pacific Gateway project to remake 13.5 acres of downtown San Diego.

With construction underway, Manchester Financial Group has started pre-leasing space in the massive project and expects that tenants will be able to start moving in by 2020.

The project covers eight blocks along the waterfront and includes: a 29-story office tower with 524,000 square feet of office space and 93,000 square feet of retail space; a boutique hotel with 260 rooms; a 29-story tower with a 1,100-room convention center hotel with 70,000 square feet of retail space; an eight-story building with 178,000 square feet of office space and 81,000 square feet of retail space; and a 17-story headquarters building for the U.S. Navy.

More than four acres will be dedicated open space, including a 1.9-acre plaza.

“It will be a huge construction project but exciting, and it will transform the waterfront and downtown San Diego,” Project Development Manager Perry Dealy said at the time of the groundbreaking. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be a phenomenal project.”

Completion dates will be staggered, Dealy said, with everything due to be done by mid-2021.

Manchester was awarded a 99-year lease on the bulk of the project in 2006 in exchange for building new regional headquarters for the U.S. Navy.

The project is bounded by Broadway, Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive.