Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher held a press conference Tuesday, touting the advancement of the Chula Vista Bayfront development.
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2646, authored by Gonzalez-Fletcher, which allows the transfer of 97-acres of state land in Chula Vista to the San Diego Unified Port District. In the agreement, the space must be used for open space and to promote access to the coast and to protect sensitive wetlands.
“So many of us have been working on this for so many years,” Gonzalez-Fletcher said at the press conference. “We are going to develop what people thought was impossible."
Bonita resident Cece Wilkens has been walking in the area for years. "I think it's been ugly for a long time. It's just been empty land," she said. "I'll tell you what's exciting – I'm hopeful to have some nice, new restaurants to come into the area."
The Chula Vista Bayfront master plan includes homes, shops, restaurants and a billion-dollar resort hotel and convention center. A new RV resort will be built next year allowing room for construction on the new hotel in 2020.
“I'm hopeful that we're going to get a convention center in Chula Vista before we ever expand the convention center in San Diego. I think that's clear,” Gonzalez-Fletcher said.
“It’s another step forward,” She told NBC 7. “We know that this project hasn’t come about the quickest, but... it’s still getting done.” She said the land swap itself has been in the works for about 17 years. “Eventually we’ll have a generation of Chula Vistans that can appreciate all the hard work that’s put into it.”
For a while, the Airport Authority joined a lawsuit with two rental car companies against the Port of San Diego. The rental companies didn’t like how a new fee at the airport rental car garage was going to help pay for a new garage on the Bayfront. The Authority has since settled with the Port.
“We somehow get pushed aside a little too often. We just want to make sure we're asserting our role,” she added. “We're not going to let anyone stand in our way.”
NBC7 reached out to the Airport Authority about Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s comments. A spokeswoman emailed this statement:
“The Airport Authority stands behind important projects, like the Chula Vista Bayfront redevelopment, that draw visitors to our region. Regional prosperity hinges on everyone working together. The long-awaited and transformational project has clear economic benefits to the South Bay and the entire region and we look forward to seeing the project come to fruition.”
The development could bring in thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to the community.