Harbor Revitalization Proposals Due Today
Today is a milestone day towards the future of our harbor. Today proposals are due by the private development teams vying for the contract to partner with the County of Orange on the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan. Whoever wins this contract will take on the enormous task to rebuild our harbor and operate it under a master lease for the rest of most of our lives.
A very brief history: After nearly 20 years of trying to rebuild our harbor on their own, last year the County gave up and decided to partner with a private developer to complete the Revitalization Plan. The County qualified three development teams to bid on taking over the project. One of the three teams broke up, reconstituted as two separate teams, and requalified themselves with the County. There are now four teams qualified and permitted to submit proposals by today's deadline.
It's unknown if all four will actually submit bids; there is an enormous expense and effort to compiling all the information required by the County in their proposals. We know for certain that the two reconstituted teams referenced above are submitting proposals. And we've had an opportunity to review and contribute to some of the work being submitted today. And we can say this:
There is an opportunity for a bright future for our harbor
. A future that retains the charm and character of our harbor, that remains faithful to
The 12 Guiding Principles
that have served as a guardian to what we cherish most, yet revitalizes our harbor with exciting and innovative ideas.
If the County gets this one right
After today, a confidential review panel will evaluate the proposals, including interviewing the development teams, then will make a recommendation to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Unless the review panel finds that none of the proposals can be advanced, we expect the Supervisors to consider and vote on the matter in September or October. Then after a few months of lease negotiations, we will very likely have a new harbor developer and operator by this time next year. They will be contracted to rebuild our marinas and most of the commercial core, including the hotel. They will also be awarded a 66-year master lease that will make them the landlords of nearly the entirety of our harbor for as long as we can imagine. This decision couldn't be more formative to the future of our harbor and how it will be experienced by the next two or three generations of citizens who visit it.
While we have a solid idea of what to expect with today's proposals, the proof will be in the documents submitted to the County. We'll know much more very shortly. We plan to continue to work with the teams vying for the future of our harbor, and will do our best to guide them towards producing a vision that serves us all well, especially our boaters. By the fall, we hope and plan to get behind one of these teams and urge the County to make the right choice. We will keep you in the loop as much as we can. Stay tuned...
For the Board of Directors of The Dana Point Boaters Association,
James Lenthall, Vice-President