Tuesday, December 3rd

Announcements:

Saturday, December 8th, 6:00 pm, PLO Holiday Party, at the home of Russ and Sandy Valone

Tuesday, December 11th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, Speaker will be Greg Geisen, Facilities Planner at SPAWAR.

Monday, December 17th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at SDYC

Tuesday, December 18th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, Holiday Steak and Eggs Fare

Program:

Do you remember Seaport Village?  That waterfront shopping center with a few restaurants and of course the carousel?  When was the last time you visited Seaport Village?  Do you know there are big changes planned for this aging San Diego icon?

Enter Gafcon et al.  In 2016, the Port of San Diego awarded Protea Waterfront Development a $1.6 billion redevelopment opportunity on 70 acres of prime waterfront property in downtown San Diego.  The Managing Partner of Protea is Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, the CEO of Gafcon, Inc.  Gaf brings over 35 years of construction and program management experience to this venture.

Original concept for Seaport Village redesign

According to Gaf, “this new waterfront development will include about 2,000 hotel rooms in five different classifications, from Hostel to 5 Star luxury.  We are also planning commercial opportunities, to allow existing tenants to remain in Seaport Village and bring in new tenants to the mix.  The 500′ tower will act as the focal point for the property.  The top 8 floors will include an observation deck, restaurant, meeting facility and other uses.”  Also included in the plan is a Blue Tech Hub.  Blue Tech is exciting new research, science and innovation of the oceans of the world.  The Hub, will bring together Scripps Institute researchers with ocean focused industry to foster the development of new technologies and innovation.  The combination of education, research and industry, all focused on the ocean environs, will be unique to San Diego.

Pres Steve Doyle and Gafcon CEO, Yehudi Gaffen

“We will also be enhancing the waterfront access and usage for all San Diegans,” he told us.  “Tuna Harbor will be upgraded and we hope to bring in a true fish market, so our local fishermen will have a place to auction off their fresh catch to restaurants and grocers.”  Improved access to the water will also be provided by a new “beach area” and enhanced marina access for visiting vessels.  A new aquarium for San Diego is also planned to be integrated into the project.  “You might even get to sleep with the fish,” Gaf joked.

Seaport Village is also looking to keep the carousel as part of the historic linkage for the property development.  And, is investigating the possibility of a new Medal of Honor Museum as a way to link the Military History of San Diego and the Midway Museum, into a contiguous waterfront experience.  But all these new and unique waterfront amenities do come with a cost.  The project must deal with the active Rose Canyon fault line, a major sewer line from Coronado, a large fiber optic communication cable and a very large storm drain from the city of San Diego.  Nothing is ever easy in the redevelopment business!

“We are projecting 4 years of entitlement work to process the project through the Port District, Army Corps of Engineers and California Coastal Commission.  Then, we are looking at a 4 year construction timeline,” Gaf shared with us.  “We are very upbeat about the plan and the process.  There is a lot of work in front of us, but also a lot of potential!”

Thanks for sharing your new Seaport Village plans with us, Gaf.  We are excited to see this new waterfront project come to fruition.

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