May 5, 2022 — The Port of San Diego’s Pepper Park redesign and improvements budget has received a $250,000 infusion thanks to Austal USA, which is operating a new ship repair facility on the National City Bayfront. The Port has designated $3.85 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding toward the Pepper Park redesign and improvements to be completed by summer 2024. Austal USA’s contribution, presented to the Port at its May 5 Pepper Park design workshop, brings the current budget to approximately $4.1 million.

“Pepper Park is already a recreational gem on our San Diego Bay waterfront. Austal USA’s $250,000 gift, on top of what we’ve already budgeted for the redesign and enhancements, will truly help to make it sparkle,” said Commissioner Sandy Naranjo, Board of Port Commissioners. “Thank you to Austal USA and all in the community who are helping us transform Pepper Park into a resource that visitors and residents will cherish for years to come.”

“We are thrilled to make this donation to help transform this important part of the National City waterfront area,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh. “This event continues our proud tradition of partnership and giving as we further develop roots here in National City and in the wider San Diego community.”

“We look forward to growing the partnership with Austal USA through the Port of San Diego,” said National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo Solis. “We are excited that through the leadership of our National City Port commissioner Sandy Naranjo, this partnership includes a local hire requirement, environmental justice component, and a financial commitment to our National City Balanced Plan! This multifaceted effort demonstrates Austal USA’s long-term commitment to our City, Port and region for economic development and environmental justice. Bienvenidos.”

As a Port of communities, the redesign of Pepper Park is a team effort between the community, stakeholders, and local leaders. The May 5 design workshop was the latest of several public outreach events at which the Port and KTUA have collected public input. KTUA, a landscape architecture firm with extensive urban park and waterfront design expertise, is managing design and outreach in close coordination with the Port.

Pepper Park and the area in and around Pier 32 Marina are located in the approximately 60-acre National City Marina District. The redesign and future 2.5-acre expansion of Pepper Park is part of the National City Marina District Balanced Land Use Plan, commonly referred to as the “Balanced Plan,” which seeks to rebalance land uses through a collaborative partnership between the Port of San Diego, the City of National City, and business and community stakeholders.