Chula Vista hotel and convention center project moves forward

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Port of San Diego officials and Chula Vista city leaders met Tuesday and unanimously approved key financial terms with RIDA Development Corporation to build a resort hotel and convention center along Chula Vista's bayfront.

The project would include a 1,450-room hotel and a 275,000 square-foot convention center.

Port of San Diego Commissioner Ann Moore said project talks started in 2004 and the California Coastal Commission approved the plan in 2012.

“Right now, we have 535 acres that are pretty much sitting there doing nothing. It’s vacant land for the most part. This project will be a catalyst for development for the rest of the bayfront," said Moore.

The project is expected to cost about $970 million with the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista paying for about a third.

RIDA is the builder and Gaylord Hotels will run the resort when it opens.

Officials say the annual economic impact will be nearly $400 million while providing around 3,700 permanent jobs.

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas calls the project a "jewel" for the region.

“People have asked, ‘is it going to limit my access to the bayfront?’ No, it’s going to enhance your experience in the bayfront," said Salas.

Officials say construction could start in 2019 and finish in 2022.

The next step is a meeting between the parties to approve a definitive agreement that is expected later this year.