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Port and City Unanimously Approve Major Step in Development of Resort Hotel and Convention Center on Chula Vista Bayfront

Jun 21, 2017 08:09PM ● By Paul Spear
A major milestone has been reached in the exclusive negotiations process for the resort hotel and convention center planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront. During a special joint meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners and the Chula Vista City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with RIDA Chula Vista, LLC. The LOI sets the stage for a future deal by defining the key economic terms and financing for the project. The Port, the City and RIDA will now continue exclusive negotiations and due diligence as they work toward formal agreements.

“This is an historic moment. Two years of negotiations are paying off. This LOI represents a good deal for the Port, the City, RIDA and the public we serve. I am very proud to see this materialize,” said Chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, Board of Port Commissioners, Port of San Diego. “This will be the first major development on the South Bay and we could not have gotten it done without Commissioner Ann Moore, a persistent, driving force on the Chula Vista Bayfront project.”

“This historic decision is a big step forward in realizing the potential of our bayfront as a tourist destination and as a recreational place for our neighbors,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

With approximately 1,450 hotel rooms, 275,000 usable square feet of convention and meeting space, and associated retail and resort-style amenities, the project will anchor the Chula Vista Bayfront and catalyze development in the surrounding area. It will also have a significant economic impact, both during construction and after completion. A total countywide economic impact of $1.2 billion is expected to be generated over the construction period. This will result in the creation of nearly 3,100 jobs (both direct and indirect). Once built, the ongoing economic impact to the region is projected to be $390 million per year with the creation of nearly 3,700 permanent jobs.

“The Chula Vista Bayfront project is a new model for development and will be a significant achievement in job creation and economic prosperity for the region,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, Board of Port Commissioners, Port of San Diego. “Through innovative and collaborative partnerships, we are making the impossible possible.”

In parallel with the exclusive negotiations between the Port, the City and RIDA, RIDA has been in its own negotiations with Gaylord Hotels to manage and operate the future resort hotel and convention center. This potential partnership is described in the terms included in the LOI. As a Gaylord Hotel, the Chula Vista resort hotel and convention center will ensure the prosperity of the local economy and will be a treasured destination, providing unique opportunities to captivate visitors and residents to ensure everyone is welcome, connected and inspired.

“We at RIDA Development are grateful for the joint action today by the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista,” said Luke Charlton, Chief Operating Officer, RIDA Development Corporation. “This approval paves the way for the construction of the resort hotel and convention center, but more importantly, creates a path for responsible development of the entire Chula Vista Bayfront property. We'd like to thank the Port commissioners and City officials along with their respective staffs for their tireless commitment to this process and our project. We have a lot of work to do to bring this to fruition, but the spirit of cooperation and partnership shown by these institutions gives us incredible confidence in the future of the bayfront.”

The Chula Vista resort hotel and convention center project, which includes public infrastructure (parks, roads and utilities, etc.) and private development, is projected to cost approximately $1 billion. Per the terms of the LOI, the Port and the City will contribute $281 million, to be financed by existing and projected revenue streams and bonds. Details are included in the approved LOI and the Restated Financing Agreement, approved by the Board in a separate action during the June 20, 2017 Board meeting.

Port staff anticipates presenting the definitive agreement to the Board and City Council for approval later this year.
About RIDA Development Corporation:
RIDA Development Corporation is a full service real estate organization that has created and invested in innovative and economically successful office, residential, industrial, hospitality and retail developments for more than forty years. RIDA Development's corporate headquarters is located in Houston, TX with regional offices in Orlando, FL and Warsaw, Poland. These centralized locations allow RIDA Development to intimately oversee its projects in the US as well as Europe. Among RIDA Development's strategic relationships is a longstanding partnership with Ares Management, L.P. with whom they have co-invested in over $4 billion worth of investments and development on three continents. RIDA Development’s recent projects include the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Hilton Orlando, Marriott Marquis Houston, and Gaylord Rockies (currently under construction and the largest new hotel construction in the U.S.).
About Gaylord Hotels:
Gaylord Hotels is the large convention hotel brand of Marriott International. Gaylord properties include: Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla. near Orlando; Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas; Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Md.; Gaylord Rockies opening late 2018 near Denver, Co.; and The Inn at Opryland in Nashville, Tenn.
About the Port of San Diego:
The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.
About the City of Chula Vista:
The City of Chula Vista is located at the center of one of the richest cultural, economic and environmentally diverse zones in the United States. It is the second-largest City in San Diego County with a population of 268,000. Chula Vista boasts more than 50 square miles of coastal landscape, canyons, rolling hills, mountains, quality parks, and miles of trails. Chula Vista is a leader in conservation and renewable energy, has outstanding public schools, and has been named one of the top safest cities in the country. Established neighborhoods, contemporary communities, start-up firms, corporations, nationally recognized entertainment venues, an elite athlete training center – a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site, award winning wildlife zoo and aquarium, and historic downtown all contribute to Chula Vista’s attraction for both families and businesses.

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