San Diego Business Journal
By Ray Huard
01/25/21 - Project Responding to Burgeoning Downtown Redevelopment
Developers of the massive Seaport project are reorganizing elements of the project in response to the burgeoning redevelopment of downtown. The general makeup of the $2.5 billion project on the waterfront will remain the same but some of the retail and other portions of the project are being reshuffled, said Yehudi "Gaf" Gaffen, founder and CEO of Gafcon. "We're in the process of reevaluating which may lead to some shifting," Gaffen said. Gafcon created another company, 1HWY1, to redevelop 70 acres of waterfront land along the embarcadero that includes Seaport Village. "There's probably five or six major developers that were not there a few years ago that have kind of allowed us to be more outward looking verses more of an island downtown," Gaffen said. Key among them was IQHQ's plans for a $1.5 billion life science campus on more than eight acres of what had been the bulk of the Manchester Pacific Gateway project.
"Manchester's project converting to a health science campus is pretty important and beneficial to our project," Gaffen said. "The fact that there's going to be four million square feet with all the people coming in is a huge driver for Seaport." Added to that is the ongoing redevelopment of Horton Plaza from a retail shopping mall to an office and retail campus, also focusing on attracting life science tenants. "The Horton Plaza breaking ground and then repositioning toward health science is significant. We knew it was going to happen but it's become reality now," Gaffen said. Other projects affecting Seaport include the pending redevelopment of the Sports Arena, which is likely to spawn other redevelopment projects in the Midway District, and the planned development of Tailgate Park near Petco Park. "All of that is very positive and significant for Seaport San Diego," Gaffen said. Among Seaport features that he said might be rearranged on the site include entrances to the project, a hotel and restaurants and a blue campus education center tied to an aquarium. "All the uses are still going to be there. It's just how do we optimize where they're going to be to relate to each other, "Gaffen said, adding that the plan remains "pretty close to what it was." "We have seven blocks on our site. Think of it as a neighborhood," Gaffen said. "It's a little bit like a Rubik's Cube." Read More>