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SAN DIEGO — Crews started work Wednesday on the new resort and convention center that will anchor a 535-acre development on the bay in Chula Vista.

Developers consider the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center the “cornerstone” of the Chula Vista Bayfront project, a complete reimagining of a mostly industrial stretch in the South Bay.

The hotel rises 22 stories, fitting 1,600 rooms with “breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay,” according to RIDA Development, the team behind the plan. The building is unique for its slim dimensions — only 70 feet wide and over 700 feet long.

Renderings released by the Port of San Diego show lush green grounds, a modern atrium with huge glass walls and a lawn for large events.

Resort amenities include a spa, rec facilities, and a pool with a lazy river and water slide. Paths wind through a “village” at the foot of the larger buildings, with a vibe reminiscent of resorts in Hawaii.

Other elements of the Chula Vista Bayfront project include commercial and retail spaces, new coastal parks, RV resorts and parking structures. The project carries an estimated $1.35 billion price tag.

Developers expect to complete the hotel as early as 2023. Construction on the full development is expected to continue through 2025. Once it’s open, city officials say the revamped area could generate half a billion dollars for the economy each year.

The project has had to contend with inflation, supply chain issues and rising interest rates, developers said, but the Wednesday groundbreaking was a step toward making the project a reality.