Port of San Diego invites developers to Chula Vista waterfront

CHULA VISTA (CNS) – The Port of San Diego invited developers Monday to demonstrate they have the money and ability to build a hotel and convention center on Chula Vista’s waterfront.

The port’s request for qualifications comes six years after similar plans fell apart.

The next stage in the vetting process will be identifying a hotel brand and operator.

The port touts the 535-acre plot as “one of the last great waterfront development opportunities in California.”

In November 2008, Tennessee-based developer Gaylord Entertainment abandoned a $1 billion plan to build a 1,500-room hotel and convention center complex on the waterfront.

The company, which runs the Grand Ole Opry, cited financial challenges after negotiations with organized labor stalled. It was unclear whether Gaylord would participate in the request for qualifications.

“With an improving U.S. economy and predicted increases in business and leisure travel, Chula Vista’s unique location on San Diego Bay is sure to attract strong interest from the development community,” said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox. “Chula Vista and the port have cleared the way to create a shovel-ready project on prime bayfront property.”

The port is working off a master plan for the Chula Vista waterfront that was approved by the California Coastal Commission two years ago. The port and city government have formed a joint powers authority to handle governance, infrastructure financing, and some capital funding for the convention center portion of the project.

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