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Bayfront Expansion Project Breaks Ground In Chula Vista

Above: One of the approved concept renderings of the Chula Vista Bayfront and H Street Expansion.

Wearing construction hats and holding shovels, officials from Chula Vista, the Unified Port of San Diego and a private developer broke ground Wednesday on the H Street Extension Project in Chula Vista.

Aired 11/14/13 on KPBS News.

The $7.2 million-project will run between Bay Boulevard and Marina Parkway and connect the marina to the main streets on the west side of Chula Vista.

The project will expand access to the Chula Vista bayfront and is part of a master plan to revitalize the area. Fifty years ago, access to the bay front was cut off to residents after Interstate 5 was built and Chula Vista decided to focus on industrial development.

Chula Vista is San Diego County's second-largest city with more than 250,000 residents. The bayfront is just a 15-minute drive from the San Diego International Airport and the U.S.-Mexico border.

The development plan for the area was approved last summer by the Port Commissioners. The first step, however, came in February, when the South Bay Power Plant was demolished. The next phase of the $7.2 million-project is extending H Street west from the freeway to the bay.

Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said the extension of H Street will provide beach access that has been blocked for years.

"Probably for the first time in 60 years, H Street will open from the hills to the beach. That sounds nice, doesn't it?" Cox said.

Port Commission chairwoman Ann Moore said the changes will create a more enjoyable experience for visitors to the area.

"That means the Port of San Diego will be able to welcome more people strolling in the port's Bayside Park, sailing from the marinas, casting a line from the fishing pier or enjoying dinner with a bay view," she said.

The plan is also expected to create 7,000 jobs during the project and 2,200 permanent positions. The extension is due to be finished within a year. Hotels, convention facilities, homes and shops will eventually be built in the area.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | November 13, 2013 at 7:03 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Chula Vista has been trying to attract tourism for years, with no evidence that they've succeeded in any sort of measure.

The problem is the politicians. Save for one or two, they are mostly the same faces that have been revolving through public offices, boards and committees, etc. They have been promoting redevelopment with promises of grand change, which has never happened. I just question why the voters continue to recycle these obvious failures. Is it a lack of candidates? I sure haven't seen any new blood in the city for a long time.

So we remodel 3rd ave for the millionth time with promises that NOW we'll get more tourism. It's like history is purposely ignored. No one is coming. Most of the businesses close by sundown, and many of them aren't tourist-friendly types of business in general.

The problem is Chula Vista thinks it's San Diego, Jr. What they don't realize is San Diego is already bigger and better, so why would anyone go out of their way to visit a half-cocked version? The Tourism & Marketing District was dissolved last year because the motel owners weren't getting enough business for the taxes paid. First city in the state to dissolve a TMD... Now that's telling...

Someone has already proposed a solution I can get behind. Chula Vista is in the process of acquiring land out by their landfills in the southeast side, in order to eventually build a UC college campus. Yeah, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing (except overpriced condos), off of a toll freeway.

If they took that campus and built it on the bayfront, it would really give the city a tremendous resource and a huge economic engine. The residents could keep the signature park they requested, and it could be integrated into the campus. The city would bring in better, higher-wage jobs than with hotels. The influx of students would leave a giant demand for food and entertainment, which could actually revitalize 3rd ave. The location is right near the trolley, and is bike friendly. It gives the city a distinction from San Diego, and we have seen from La Jolla how a UC campus can enrich your city not just financially, but culturally.

But instead we'll end up building another failed mecca for the invisible tourists. Our next election is going to be full of ex-council members and mayors re-running, and don't be surprised if the Mayor's daughter (the same one in the SANDAG controversy) takes a stab at a seat. It's disgusting how divorced our politicians are from the people they're supposed to represent.

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