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Imperial Beach moves forward on redevelopment projects

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The city of Imperial Beach has some exciting redevelopment projects in its pipeline that promise to give a long-time economic boost to the city. Plans to transform Imperial Beach’s oceanfront and expand its tourism potential have been set in motion with the city’s approval of an agreement with Pacifica Cos., the owner of the Seacoast Inn, an older three-story hotel at 800 Seacoast Drive. The now vacant, existing structure will be demolished to make way for a new four-story, 78-room hotel on the same location.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this visitor-enhancing project will bring to our city,” said Mayor of Imperial Beach Jim Janney. “Not only will the new and expanded hotel help showcase our beautiful beaches, but it will also add to our revenue base and bring additional jobs to our city. It’s been a long process to get to this point, but Pacifica has been a willing partner in the project and the end result will reflect their unwavering dedication to the hotel and community.”

The $28 million hotel project will include such amenities as underground parking, restaurant and cocktail lounge, meeting rooms, outdoor patio and a heated pool and spa. With 40 more rooms than the original hotel, the new hotel’s spacious rooms will provide guests with ocean views toward downtown San Diego or the Coronado islands.

Last fall, the city approved an exclusive negotiation agreement with Sudberry Properties to develop a new shopping center at the southwest corner of Ninth Street and Palm Avenue, where the existing Miracle Shopping Center currently stands. Since then, the city has been working with the developer, Caltrans and the community to assemble a project that is satisfactory for all parties.

Sudberry proposes to build approximately 45,300 square feet of single-story commercial space. The initial project plans also call for 271 parking spaces and improvements to sidewalks, curbs and streetlights. In 2008, the city purchased the 135,472-square-foot, 1960s-era shopping center and the 34,574-square-foot former North Island Credit Union property with plans to replace it with a more modern project that better serves the community.

At the Imperial Beach City Council meeting in May, officials agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with Hitzke Development Corp. regarding the demolition of the American Legion hall and its small apartment complex and development of a 21-unit affordable-housing project and new organization hall in its place.

Building plans include 18,720 square feet of new construction divided between a 15,120-square-foot housing section and the 3,600-square-foot American Legion hall. The project cost is estimated at $7.5 million and, if plans move forward, the building could be completed in fall 2012.

City officials are giving top priority to veterans for the affordable housing opportunity, but American Legion must also make the apartments available to everyone because of public funding used for the project. The new American Legion hall will be used for fundraising dinners, meetings and other gatherings.

Submitted by the city of Imperial Beach

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