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Quality of Life

What's the future of San Diego's iconic OB Pier? A look at the proposed redesign

An aerial view of the preferred design concept of the Ocean Beach Pier replacement is shown in this rendering released April 6, 2024.
City of San Diego
An aerial view of the preferred design concept of the Ocean Beach Pier replacement is shown in this rendering released April 6, 2024.

The city of San Diego is asking for feedback on a proposed redesign of the iconic Ocean Beach Pier.

At a forum earlier this month, community members got a first look at the city’s preferred design concept for a replacement of the nearly 60-year-old OB Pier that has been plagued by years of sporadic closures due to storm damage.

According to the city, the Ocean Beach Pier preferred design concept emerged from a community engagement process and incorporates components from the three preliminary design concepts revealed in September 2023.

Ocean Beach Pier Renewal Project Preferred Design Concept Flythrough

New features

The proposed design includes an elevated walkway, which the city is calling the “Horizon Walk.” It’s a secondary walkway about 14 feet above the main pier deck. The design also calls for a reimagined café and restaurant area with indoor and outdoor seating.

Also among the new features is a “surfers lounge” with a proposed shade structure and terraced seating where visitors can watch the surfers below.

The design retains the pier's unique “Y” shape but imagines the pier’s arms in a more free-flowing way. It also adds more fishing amenities such as shade canopies and fish cleaning stations.


What’s next?

This is not the final design, but rather the next step in the Ocean Beach Pier Renewal project. The city is now gathering community feedback on the preferred design concept through an online survey.

City staff expect to present the final design concept to the public later this year.

How’d we get here?

In 2018, a study by consultants Moffatt & Nichol found that ongoing structural problems with the aging Ocean Beach Pier have caused it to reach the end of its useful service life. That study also determined that potentially replacing the pier is the best option for it in the long-term, given the ongoing costs of repairs and the need to modernize the facility, as well as anticipating future sea-level rise.

"The cycle of damage and repairs for the Ocean Beach Pier has been an increasing challenge in recent years — and one that we cannot prevent," said Rania Amen, director of the city's Engineering and Capital Projects Department in January. "Our teams will monitor the situation throughout the storm season, and be ready to fully assess the structure, both above and below the water, once it is appropriate."

Ocean Beach Pier has been closed several times over the past few years. The City of San Diego said it has spent $1.7 million to repair the pier during that time.