Port of San Diego

Seaport Village Still a Work in Progress

Courtesy of Port of San Diego

In February 2019, the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners approved approximately $2.2 million in funding to implement various repairs, maintenance and site enhancements in hopes of revitalizing Seaport Village.

Now, partially due to the recent and upcoming addition of a number of hospitality businesses, including Mike Hess Brewing, Mr. Moto Pizza, Spill the Beans coffee and bagel shop, Seaport Market and an as-yet unnamed Grain & Grit Collective “Sam the Cooking Guy” restaurant, Seaport Village’s revenue is projected to be $11.7 million in FY20, up from $6.7 million in FY19.

2019 Revenue: $6.7M

The total revenue for FY19 for Seaport Village was $6.7 million, which includes concession revenue (rent), parking revenue, recovery income from tenants for common area maintenance and marketing expenses, and fixed/miscellaneous revenue, according to Randa Coniglio, president and CEO of the Port of San Diego, which owns and operates Seaport Village along with Protea Property Management.

Looking ahead, for the Seaport Entertainment LLC and Seaport Market leases, port staff anticipates collecting approximately $2.3 million in rent over the 10-year term of the leases, she said.

For Mike Hess Brewing, Mr. Moto Pizza and Spill the Beans, Port staff anticipates collecting approximately $1.75 million in rent over the 10-year term of the leases, for a total of $4.1 million, Coniglio said.

In anticipation of the expected 2024 groundbreaking of the 1HWY1 Seaport San Diego redevelopment plan of the Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village, “the Port of San Diego is revitalizing Seaport Village,” said Coniglio.

So far, site enhancements of the 1980-founded, 90,000 square feet waterfront area include a rebrand of the center through a new logo and other imagery, repainting of existing buildings, new furniture and décor, updated signage, and more, she said.

“Seaport Village has been in need of some updating and refreshing for some time. Since the Port became the owner/landlord in October 2018, we have been making major investments to enhance and re-energize the center,” Coniglio said. “You can already see some of the updates and enhancements, primarily in the Carousel District. Most of the buildings have been repainted, we’ve replaced tables, chairs and benches with new furniture, we’ve refreshed the landscaping and have added additional seating areas.”

Beach Break

For instance, the port has created a “beach” along the Embarcadero with Adirondack chairs, she said, which has become a popular place for visitors to sit and enjoy food and refreshments while taking in the view of San Diego Bay.

“All of this is in addition to attracting new and exciting shops and restaurants, as well as offering a variety of new and established entertainment, activities and events,” said Coniglio.

Ann Moore, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners chair, said the hope is to enrich the Seaport Village experience starting now.

“Through the port’s revitalization efforts at Seaport Village, we’re looking to transform and enhance the experience for Seaport Village visitors and tenants,” she said. “We are feeling a fresh energy with several new shops already open and a variety of site enhancements, entertainment and events. With several new tenants coming soon, Seaport Village will be an even more vibrant and prosperous destination on the San Diego Bay waterfront.”

Opened recently in Seaport Village, which houses more than 60 shops, galleries and eateries along the Central Embarcadero, is Something Sweet, a confectionary that offers an assortment of treats and candies; Introstem, specializing in luxury skincare products; and Vino Stoppers, a novelty gift store offering a selection of wine stoppers.

Live Music

Additionally, the port and its partners continue to energize Seaport Village with various site enhancements and operational improvements, said Coniglio.

This includes: free live music daily at the Carousel District and at the Lighthouse District on Sundays; a speaker series called “Seaport Sessions”, held every third Thursday of the month in the Lighthouse District; “Studio by the Bay Family Days”, a collaboration with The New Children’s Museum, which features art-making, free monthly workshops and play-based experiences for children and families; and Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, which takes place every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features fresh-caught seafood and aqua-farmed seaweed directly from local fishermen and aquafarmers.

Compelling Destination

“With leasing, we are seeking lease terms with flexibility so that Seaport Village remains vibrant and active — a fun and exciting place to be for locals and visitors alike — and when the time comes, we can begin transitioning to the future redevelopment project, known as Seaport San Diego, which is proposed by 1HWY1,” said Coniglio. “The port and the 1HWY1 team are working to shape the Central Embarcadero, which includes Seaport Village, into a compelling destination for San Diegans as well as tourists. In order to do it right, it will take time to finalize concepts, design, entitlements and permits. With our current timeline, construction on the proposed Seaport San Diego project isn’t anticipated to begin for at least five to seven years.”

The port has been pursuing redevelopment of the approximately 70-acre site (40-acre of land, 30-acre of water) through an open, public and competitive process since late 2015, said Coniglio, and selected 1HWY1 in 2017 as its developer.

Coniglio added that The Headquarters and The Fish Market Restaurant are within the boundaries of the plan but excluded due to long-term leases on those properties. Other zones included in the plan are Tuna Harbor, Santa Monica Seafood (formerly Chesapeake Fish) and surrounding areas between the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the USS Midway Museum, she said.

Future Lineup

As the construction timeline becomes clearer on the 1HWY1 proposal, Coniglio said Protea will work with the Port, the businesses and the 1HWY1 team on a transition plan that may mean the retention of businesses from the existing Seaport Village lineup and into the future Seaport San Diego plan.

Meaning, because the Seaport San Diego proposal includes retail and public market components, it could provide future opportunities to the existing businesses, she said.

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