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Chula Vista Bayfront Project Moves Forward

July 6, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

The Chula Vista City Council and Port of San Diego officials recently signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with the RIDA Development Corporation to move forward on the construction of a resort hotel and convention center along Chula Vista’s bayfront.

The LOI sets the stage for a future deal by defining the key economic terms and financing for the project. The City of Chula Vista, the Port of San Diego, and RIDA will now continue exclusive negotiations and due diligence as they work toward formal agreements.

“This historic decision is a big step forward in realizing the potential of our bayfront as a tourist destination and as a recreational place for our neighbors,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

With approximately 1,450 hotel rooms, 275,000 usable square feet of convention and meeting space, and associated retail and resort-style amenities, the project will anchor the Chula Vista Bayfront and catalyze development in the surrounding area.

It could also have a significant economic impact, both during construction and after completion.

A total countywide economic impact of $1.2 billion is expected to be generated over the construction period. This will result in the creation of nearly 3,100 jobs, both direct and indirect. Once built, the ongoing economic impact to the region is projected to be $390 million per year with the creation of nearly 3,700 permanent jobs.

In parallel with the exclusive negotiations between the Port, the City of Chula Vista and RIDA, RIDA has been in its own negotiations with Gaylord Hotels to manage and operate the future resort hotel and convention center. This potential partnership is described in the terms included in the LOI.

As a Gaylord Hotel, the Chula Vista resort hotel and convention center will ensure the prosperity of the local economy and will be a treasured destination, providing unique opportunities to captivate visitors and residents to ensure everyone is welcome, connected and inspired.

The Chula Vista resort hotel and convention center project, which includes public infrastructure (parks, roads and utilities) and private development, is projected to cost approximately $1 billion.

Per the terms of the LOI, the Port and the City of Chula Vista will contribute $281 million, to be financed by existing and projected revenue streams and bonds. Port staff anticipates presenting the definitive agreement to the Board and City Council for approval later this year.

“After the hotel and convention center is built we expect higher tourism in Chula Vista, that’s clear,” said Chula Vista City Manager Gary Halbert to La Prensa San Diego. “We also expect this project to be a catalyst, so we could see more projects on the bayfront, including more hotels, retail, and residential projects. We also expect improvements in the rest of the Western area of Chula Vista not only on the bayfront.”

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