Chula Vista

Groundbreaking for Amara Bay project on Chula Vista Bayfront

The project is expected to bring 2,000 jobs to Chula Vista and to put the city on the map when it comes to tourism

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Wednesday was the groundbreaking for Amara Bay — a development bringing a hotel, condos, retail and other amenities to Chula Vista.

The 35-acre project is being built near the Gaylord Pacific Resort, which is also under construction, and it’s expected to transform the city.

"We are groundbreaking Chula Vista's future," Chula Vista Mayor John McCann said.

The Amara Bay community will include 1,500 residential condos, retail, and a 400,000-square-foot in office space.

The groundbreaking started the public improvements for the infrastructure phase of the project. City leaders say the more than $1 billion development will play a key role in bringing economic revitalization to Chula Vista.

"Amara Bay will be a quintessential destination point for the region and a major economic driver in Chula Vista,” McCann said.

With the Marina’s and the Gaylord Pacific just down the street, residents and visitors of Amara Bay will have access to housing, dining and the scenic San Diego Bay.

"It's immensely gratifying to see our plans materialize after years of diligent work in paper and in meetings,” Danielle Moore, vice chair of the board of commissioners for the Port of San Diego said.

The Bayfront redevelopment and revitalization project began decades ago. Project developer Pacifica Companies initially planned to build the Amara Bay development near the National Wildlife Refuge. Then it made a land swap with the Port of San Diego to protect the habitat of the original location and build on the 35 acres near the Bayfront.

The gigantic Gaylord Pacific is taking shape on Chula Vista’s Bayfront. But, it isn’t stopping other projects from being developed in the area. NBC 7’s Joe Little has the details.

"It ensured that our Bayfront development aligns with the community's aspirations, a vibrant waterfront that balances recreational needs, welcomes visitors, drives economic growth and safeguards our precious wildlife,” Moore said.

Jack Straw with Pacifica said the Gaylord will offer conference capacity for nearly 4,000 people, and they hope the hotel portion of the Bayfront will help meet that need.

He said keeping tourists in Chula Vista will help keep tax dollars local.

"It's going to make the Bayfront a destination. It's going to be a landmark destination. It will be a tourist draw, and beyond that, it's going to catalyze additional development that is going to move into downtown, into Chula Vista's downtown,” Straw said.

The developer said this is one of the largest coastal developments in the state.

Developers said part of this improvement includes demolishing and rebuilding J Street and Marina Parkway. He said those streets will be raised in elevation to account for sea level rising.

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