June 2, 2022 — The Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista have successfully secured $275 million in public bond funding for construction on the Chula Vista Bayfront, enabling the flagship Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center project to break ground.
Officials from the Port and the City gathered at Bayside Park on June 2, 2022 to announce the close of escrow for the complex bond funding transaction.
It has taken decades to make the catalyst project on the Chula Vista Bayfront a reality, and recent years have focused on the complex tasks of securing and structuring the public and private financing. The Chula Vista Bayfront Facilities Financing Authority, of which the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista are the sole members, and developer RIDA Chula Vista, LLC, closed escrow in late May on their respective financings. On a parallel track, the various parties have entered into multiple leasing and construction documents for the project. The total estimated cost to construct the resort hotel, parking improvements, and convention center and associated improvements is $1.35 billion. The public financing of $275 million in bonds, along with other funding sources, is essential for constructing the new convention center, a new park, site preparation, utility connections, and improvements to streets surrounding the site.
Now that these final milestones are complete, construction can begin on the 1,600-room Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center and a groundbreaking celebration will be scheduled this summer.
“Chula Vista deserves the best, and we have always believed our City is worthy of a world-class bayfront. Many years of effort have brought us to this point and I am overjoyed that we have secured funding for the Chula Vista Bayfront,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “This is the culmination of decades of commitment and leadership by many people in our community and we will all celebrate this victory together.”
“Our community’s hopes and dreams are embedded in the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, which we developed through a consensus-based process, and we have been diligently working to bring this vision to life,” said California Coastal Commissioner and City Councilmember Steve Padilla. “I’m so proud to be here on this historic day to announce the successful completion of this critical funding milestone.”
“This is a momentous day – not only for Chula Vista, but for the San Diego region and the State of California. For years, we have been preparing to transform the bayfront into a vibrant destination with better coastal access and economic development,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Dan Malcolm. “Everything we have worked toward is happening now as we consummate the largest public-private-partnership the Port has ever undertaken.”
“While we are here to talk about the closing of escrow, this announcement is about far more than funding. It’s about a partnership between the City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego, and RIDA Chula Vista – and it’s about having faith in our vision for what our beautiful bayfront can and will be,” said Port of San Diego Commissioner Ann Moore. “Chula Vista is finally coming into its own after many years of taking a back seat to investment and economic development in San Diego – and now our project is funded.”
Also present were Port of San Diego President and CEO Joe Stuyvesant and Chula Vista City Manager Maria Kachadoorian.
The project is expected to have an enormous impact on the South Bay and the San Diego region and attract visitors from throughout the State of California and beyond. The developed bayfront will raise the city’s quality of life, with new parks and coastal access – amenities for all to enjoy. The project is anticipated to create 3,580 jobs during construction alone. Once open, it is expected to have an economic impact of half-a-billion dollars each year and produce 4,000 permanent jobs.
For more information about the Chula Vista Bayfront, visit portofsandiego.org/chulavistabayfront.