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What to Know About Chula Vista’s $1.2B Bayfront Project

Local entities are heavily investing in the South Bay community across 535 acres of land—here's what's planned
Aerial view infographic the new billion dollar Chula Vista bayfront development project in San Diego's South Bay
Photo Credit: Cole Novak

The Chula Vista Bayfront is ready for the spotlight, with a massive, $1.2 billion facelift underway. Centering around a new hotel and convention center, the project includes much more: parks, a beach, and a new bike path are all in store, plus an RV resort and future residential development. It’s the type of project that carries the potential to bring a whole new generation to an oft-overlooked part of SD.

The Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista are teaming up on the 535-acre project, expected to be finished in 2025. Here’s what’s happening.

(A) Harbor Park

The new Harbor Park will double the existing Bayside Park already on the water. When it’s done, it could include more beach space, paths, picnic tables, restrooms, a portion of the waterfront promenade, and a boat launch, fountain, playground, café, beach rental building, hand-launch ramp for non-motorized watercraft like kayaks and paddle boards, and new pier at H Street. The existing fishing pier will remain. Harbor Park and Sweetwater Park will take up more than half of the new park space planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront.

(B) Safe Harbor Marinas

The Chula Vista Bayfront masterplan is considering enhanced public access, a larger promenade, and increased restaurant and retail space at the existing marina, but no decisions have been finalized.

Rendering of the Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center by Marriott which is part of the billion dollar Chula Vista Bayfront development project
Courtesy of Marriott

(C) Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center

The Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center is intended to be the centerpiece of the Chula Vista Bayfront’s redevelopment. It will include up to 1,600 hotel rooms and a convention center with four ballrooms, three levels of meeting space, and two outdoor meeting and event lawns, plus retail spaces and a pool with a lazy river and spa. When it opens in the summer of 2025, it will also feature public park space and a public promenade.

(D) Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast Discover Center opened in 1987. There are currently no changes planned for the zoo and aquarium.

Rendering of the Sweetwater Park expansion which is part of the billion dollar Chula Vista Bayfront development project
Rendering courtesy of the Port of San Diego

(E) Sweetwater Park (Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade)

Under construction now, this park will accompany the already-built Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade, which connects Bayside Park (the future Harbor Park) and the marinas to the Living Coast Discovery Center and the new Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay RV resort. The path has a truss pedestrian bridge, benches, overlook areas, native trees, and other landscaping.

(F) Environmental buffers being constructed by the Port of San Diego

The Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay RV resort which is part of the billion dollar Chula Vista Bayfront development project
Courtesy of Sun Outdoors

(G) Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay

This RV resort includes a combination of RV sites and vacation cottage rentals with resort amenities, including a café and bar, indoor and outdoor gym, arcade, welcome center, and pool.

(F) Future hotel/ cultural redevelopment

Ideas for this parcel are still in the rough-draft phase.

(I) Pacifica Residential

A residential, hotel, and commercial development. The Pacifica Residential could include 1,500 condos, plus up to 420,000 square feet of commercial space and a 250-room hotel. According to the Port of San Diego, it’s designed to be pedestrian-friendly, with wide public plazas and walkways.

By Claire Trageser

Claire Trageser has been writing for San Diego Magazine for 10 years. She also is a reporter at KPBS and writes for The New York Times, National Geographic, Marie Claire, Elle and Runner's World.

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