Embarcadero Developments Poised to Add New San Diego Commercial Properties

With the approval earlier this month from the Unified Port District, two new developments to be built near the heart of the Embarcadero will add new high-end San Diego commercial properties in this prime downtown location. One of the key tourist areas in San Diego's downtown waterfront, the Embarcadero will increase in size significantly with the addition of a major transportation terminal, hotel rooms, restaurants, retail and other commercial properties.

The first approved project, a dual hotel complex at Lane Field, is estimated to cost $400 million. When completed, the larger hotel, operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group, will stand 22 stories with 525 rooms. An additional 50,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space will also be built. The second hotel, operated by Woodfin Suite Hotels LLC, standing 13 stories high, will include 275 rooms and an additional 30,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Developers say the dual hotel complex is expected to create 500 temporary construction jobs and 2,000 hotel jobs, strengthening the market for San Diego commercial properties. Additionally, the estimated hotel taxes generated from the hotels in the first year alone is estimated to be $5.4 million.

The second project voted on earlier this month by commissioners of the San Diego Unified Port District is the unanimous approval of a development permit for a new cruise ship terminal at the Broadway Pier. Initially, the existing terminal was only supposed to serve for a few years while a more elaborate cruise ship terminal at the B Street Pier began construction this year. However, designs for the terminal have met with heavy criticism and have been stalled. The designs that incorporated a metal prefabricated building were scrapped in favor of a new design using much more glass, an embellished roof and public art. The result is a price tag $11 million more than the project's budget of $12.75 million, or $23.6 million. San Diego's cruise ship business has escalated in recent years and now counts some 200 ship calls annually.

Both projects approved earlier this month will help strengthen downtown San Diego commercial properties, particularly along the harbor's tourist areas. The two projects are part of a larger plan to revitalize the downtown waterfront, making it a more inviting place to visit. The larger plan, named the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, was adopted more than ten years ago by five agencies: the port; the city of San Diego; Centre City Development Corp., the city's downtown redevelopment agency; the county of San Diego; and the U.S. Navy.