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Public support strong for $3B South Bay development plan

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A projected $3 billion South Bay project that’s been in the works for 20 years is closer to becoming a reality.

Wednesday a virtual tour and renderings of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan was unveiled to residents during a community forum.

Approved by the California Coastal Commission in 2012, the 500-plus acre project is one of the last large development opportunities to create a legacy destination on San Diego Bay, city leaders said.

“Right now we are in the process of doing the exclusive negotiating agreement with the developer, and we’re very hopeful and confident this deal is going to happen,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas-Salas.

Chula Vista residents who attended Wednesday’s forum said they are ready for this deal.

“It’s a long time coming. People are very excited. We have a need for housing it solves it," said Chula Vista resident Hector Gastelum.

The project includes residential condominiums, a resort hotel and convention center, retail space, parks and trail settings, and waterfront improvements.  All of this means jobs for San Diegans.

“Initially 10,000 construction jobs and then after a good 20,000 jobs that will be servicing the area,” said Casillas-Salas.

The entire project is also environmentally conscious with a 50 percent reduction in energy use. The project's boosters say the nearby Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge will not be impacted.  The design goes as far as specifying the use of special glass in high rises to prevent birds that fly through the area from smashing into windows.

“West Chula Vista really needs something like this to bring it back to life,” said Chula Vista resident David Polansky.

The project is funded through a combination of bonds, hotel taxes and rent. If all goes according to plan, ground breaking will take place at the end of 2019 and the first parts of the project will begin opening in 2022 and will continue with construction for 20 more years.