Plan to redevelop downtown waterfront finally approved by Coasta - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Plan to redevelop downtown waterfront finally approved by Coastal Commission

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - After 14 years of design and development, a comprehensive plan to redevelop San Diego's waterfront was approved Wednesday by the California Coastal Commission.

The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan was passed on an 8-1 vote at a meeting in Santa Barbara. Commissioners had rejected previous versions.

"I'm thrilled that San Diegans' vision for our downtown bayfront has cleared the final regulatory hurdle and this transformation can begin," Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

"This project is the result of well over a decade of work by the Port of San Diego, Centre City Development Corp., the city and hundreds of citizens who took the time to weigh in on what they'd like to see for our waterfront," he said.

The project is due to break ground in November, according to Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents downtown.

The plan will transform several bayside blocks west of the railroad tracks, between Laurel and Market streets, essentially extending northward the esplanade in front of the USS Midway Museum and Tuna Harbor.

"This world-class project opens up the city's waterfront and creates a new front porch," Faulconer said. "Park space, walkways and trees will replace concrete and asphalt."

Officials with the city, county and Navy began discussions on redeveloping the area in 1997.

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