June 16, 2021 — The Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista have taken the next major step toward breaking ground on the Gaylord Pacific resort, the adjacent convention center, associated public infrastructure, and two parks on the Chula Vista Bayfront. On June 15, 2021, the Board of Port Commissioners and City of Chula Vista City Council approved the following critical leasing, financing, and construction documents:
- Port and City
- Project Implementation Agreement
- Amendment No. 1 to the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement
- Mutual Lease and Sublease Enforcement Agreement
- Bond Purchase Agreement
- Port Only
- Site Lease
- City Only
- Convention Center Facility Lease
- Convention Center Sublease
RIDA Chula Vista, LLC is the Port and City’s development partner on the project. This critical step is another major milestone and moves the Port, the City, and RIDA closer to financing, leasing, and starting construction of the convention center, resort hotel, and public infrastructure.
“This is a momentous day and represents a significant achievement for the Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista. RIDA’s Gaylord Pacific project is key to unlocking the full potential of our beautiful Chula Vista Bayfront,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “This stage is critical to get right and the team’s careful execution of this process and complex financing structure is keeping this important project on track and will ensure the project is implemented in an elegant way.”
“We are thrilled that we are that much closer to the transformation of our Chula Vista Bayfront,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “This is a complex project with the City, the Port, multiple agencies, and a private developer involved. But we all have the same goal, to create a world class destination for tourists, visitors and residents.”
Gaylord Pacific will be constructed west of Marina Parkway between H and G Streets. RIDA is preparing to do some early utility work, which is anticipated to begin late summer 2021. The Port, the City, and RIDA anticipate closing escrow in late 2021/early 2022, clearing the way for RIDA to begin construction on the resort hotel, public infrastructure, and convention center soon thereafter and open as early as 2025.
“These milestone approvals set in motion an important regional redevelopment; the seeds of which were sown decades ago by the visionaries at the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista. We’re thankful for the tireless commitment of our partners at the Port and City, whose thoughtful and detailed approach, made this achievement possible,” said Luke Charlton COO RIDA Development Corp. “We believe the Gaylord Pacific will combine best in class hospitality, convention, and resort amenities and as we emerge from a pandemic that has devastated our industry and nation, we are enthusiastic about its future and the future of the Chula Vista Bayfront.”
The latest approved documents specifically set up the mechanism for the City to contribute funds toward the payment of debt service on the public financing, and the approach for the construction of the public infrastructure improvements and convention center. Last month, the Port Board approved the 66-year ground lease for the resort hotel, and in February 2021, the Port Board approved a Support Agreement that set up the mechanism for the Port to contribute funds toward the payment of debt service. On June 28, 2021, the Chula Vista Bayfront Facilities Financing Authority (Authority) will consider the Project Implementation Agreement, Site Lease, Facility Lease, Indenture, Loan Agreement, and Bond Purchase Agreement.
Once all required documents are approved, the Port, City, and the Authority will file a Validation Action. After the Validation Action is complete, the parties would then move forward with issuing the Authority Bonds and entering into their respective leases to commence construction of the convention center, resort hotel, and associated public infrastructure and parks.
The Port and the City formed the Authority to finance most of the Public Contribution. The Public Contribution is anticipated to be made in part through the issuance of taxable and tax-exempt bonds by the Authority (collectively, the Authority Bonds), with the Port and the City as the sole members of the Authority committing certain funds to repay the Authority Bonds. Additional funding will be provided through grants, a contribution of $25 million from the County of San Diego, funds from the Port that have been set aside and collected through various projects on the Chula Vista Bayfront, such as funds from Pacifica in connection with a land exchange, and other funds on hand that will be contributed by the City.