Insight

Port Commissioners Give Update on Port Activities

November 7, 2013


The cargo business at the Port of San Diego has expanded four years in a row, fed by imports of automobiles and bananas, according to Marshall Merrifield, a port commissioner. Around 383,000 vehicles were shipped into San Diego in the last fiscal year, with an increase of more than 20 percent expected this year, Merrifield said. Dole is also increasing it's fruit imports, he said.

Merrifield and port commissioners Bob Nelson and Rafael Castellanos appeared before the San Diego City Council's Rules and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday to give reports on the port's activities.

Cruise Industry

Merrifield also reported that the cruise industry brought 220,000 passengers to San Diego in the last cruise season, with about the same number expected this year. The annual economic impact of cruise travelers on the region is around $100 million, he said. Port officials are already working with cruise companies for the 2015 season, and a large increase of passengers is possible then, he said.

The Headquarters

The project that has repurposed the old police headquarters near Seaport Village into a mall with 30 upscale shops and restaurants is just about complete, Nelson said. The Headquarters at Seaport District is scheduled to open in 10 days, and includes The Cheesecake Factory, Geppetto's Toys, Venissimo Cheese and Eddie V's steakhouse.

New Hotels

Construction is due to begin in the spring on a pair of new hotels on the block around Broadway, Pacific Highway and N. Harbor Drive. Work is scheduled to take 20 months, according to Castellanos. He also said planning is also underway for a renovation of the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel and an expansion of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.

Bayfront

Nelson said the first phase of a project to transform the city's bayfront into a more park-like setting should be mostly finished next May. The block of West Broadway between Pacific Highway and N. Harbor Drive that has been closed for construction is due to reopen this week, he said.

Dredging

Castellanos said dredging of contaminated sediment in San Diego Bay began Sept. 30 adjacent to the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard, and should take about two years. The project is in response to an order from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board.

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