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Sunday, Jul 14, 2024

$1 Billion Chula Vista Bayfront Project Coming

REAL ESTATE: $30M Infrastructure Project Kicks Off Construction

CHULA VISTA – Pacifica Companies has started construction of $30 million of street improvements and other infrastructure work on the Chula Vista bayfront that is the prelude to development of the more than $1 billion Amara Bay project.

Still in the design stages, plans for Amara Bay call for 1,500 condominium units in seven residential towers and more than 400,000-square-feet of commercial space on the bayfront.

Coupled with the $1.2 billion Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center, Amara Bay will be among the largest projects built along the Chula Vista bayfront.

Jack Straw
Project Manager, Entitlements
Pacifica Companies

“The transformation of the Chula Vista bayfront has begun,” said Jack Straw, Pacifica Companies project manager.

“It’s going to be night and day from what it was just a couple of years ago,” Straw said.

“Ten years from now, it’s going to be completely different down there. You’re going to have a location that was nothing before and it’s going to become a landmark for the city of Chula Vista. It will help drive a lot of dollars into the City of Chula Vista.”

Gaylord Pacific Resort is due to open in May 2025, but Straw said that a firm timeline hasn’t been set for construction of Amara Bay.

“That’s going to depend entirely on market conditions to see how quickly we accelerate construction,” Straw said. “We’re not going to be doing it all at once because it’s a massive amount of buildings.”

The site is divided into 11 lots, and Straw said that, “We’re probably not going to want to be under construction on more than two lots at a time.”

There’s also the chance that Pacifica might sell one or more of the lots to another developer.

“That’s all going to be market driven,” Straw said, “Right now, our focus is getting through the public (infrastructure) improvements. Nothing else can happen until we complete this.”
Amara Bay will cover 35 acres of what was the south half of the former campus of Rohr, Inc.

The residential towers will be on the west side of the property, fronting Marina Parkway.
A 250-room hotel and 400,000 square feet of commercial space will be on the south end of the property, Straw said.

“There’s definitely a need for hotels down there,” Straw said. “Gaylord can handle 4,000-person conventions with 1,600 rooms. There’s going to be a pretty big (room) gap to fill in terms of convention goers.”

Infrastructure improvements that are already underway will include the demolition and reconstruction of Marina Parkway, J Steet, and a portion of Marina Way and the addition of new roads through the site.

Pacifica Companies is planning to build a more than $1 billion development, Amara Bay, in Chula Vista. Rendering courtesy of Pacifica Companies

Regional Destination

Pacifica has been working on the Amara Bay plan for more than 20 years, Straw said.
“We ran into a lot of hurdles,” Straw said.

Initially, the project was planned for a site adjacent to the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, but was moved in a land swap between Pacifica and the Port of San Diego when the marsh habitat near the refuge was determined to be too environmentally sensitive.

The California Coastal Commission also required that the city and the Port prepare the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, which was approved by the commission in 2012.

“Our project really kicked off the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan and was the nexus behind moving forward with that,” Straw said. “We were just on hold during that time.”

Ann Moore
Board of Port of San Diego Port Commissioners

Now that work on Amara Bay has started and Gaylord is well on its way to being finished, “The makeover of our dreams is happening right before our eyes,” said Ann Moore, who represents Chula Vista on the San Diego Port Commission.

“Pacifica’s public improvements project is another significant step forward in transforming the Chula Vista bayfront as envisioned for decades by the Port, City of Chula Vista and Pacifica,” Moore said.

John McCann
City of Chula Vista

Chula Vista Mayor John McCann said that Amara Bay “will create a regional bayfront destination with new dining options, recreational activities, quality retail and new housing opportunities for our community.”

Pacifica Companies
OPENED: 1978
Headquarters: Middleton
Chairman: Ash Isani
Business: real estate development, investment and management
Employees: 3,000
Website: www.pacificacompanies.com
Contact: 619-296-9000
Notable: Pacifica Companies is a global company with ventures in the U.S., Mexico and India

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