Hotel proposal complicates Convention Center expansion

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SAN DIEGO — The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners will hear a presentation Tuesday on a proposed project that would result in the construction of two hotels near the San Diego Convention Center.

The proposal by Fifth Avenue Landing LLC could have a major impact on the future of an expansion project for the center, which has been held up by litigation. Plans for a contiguous expansion of the facility — one that would keep its exhibit space together as preferred by tourism leaders — could require some of Fifth Avenue Landing’s property.

The company holds a ground lease for six acres adjacent to the center, and after waiting for several years for the convention center’s expansion project to begin, told city officials last year it would have to move ahead with its hotel proposal.

Port commissioners will hear a report on Fifth Avenue Landing’s preliminary plans, which include a 44-story convention hotel of up to 850 rooms and a five-story lower-cost tourist hotel with 565 beds. The project would also include a retail development, open space plazas, a parking garage, a bridge from the hotel tower to public viewing areas of the convention center and a marina expansion.

After the presentation, port staff will ask the commissioners for authorization to continue studying the project and begin an environmental review.

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