SAN DIEGO — It’s sitting on some of the choicest real estate in all of San Diego. Just steps from the biggest hotels in the city and sporting beautiful views of the bay and Coronado Bridge, Seaport Village is visited by millions of people each year.
The village cut its grand opening ribbon in 1980, an attempt by the city to bring tourists and locals back to the heart of downtown San Diego. While profits and foot traffic remained strong for a while, the area became plagued by empty storefronts and an outdated style that pushed visitors away.
"There was a lot of deferred maintenance when the Port took it over and it was in sort of a sad state relative to the tremendous potential that it has," said Michael Brown, VP of communications and marketing for the Port of San Diego.
Starting in 2018, the port was tasked with reimagining the valuable space. In the years since they’ve spent nearly $8 million, bringing in trendy stores and restaurants as well as updating its image with music festivals and instagrammable art on the walls.
"The past summer of 2021, sales were higher than they had ever been in the history of Seaport Village," said Brown. "Visitorship now exceeds pre-pandemic levels."
But the Port is still looking to grow on its success, releasing plans that would greatly expand the downtown Embarcadero area. New hotels, office space, retail and even an aquarium are in the plans for expansion.
While there are still many reviews and considerations that have to take place before any major redevelopment is done, it's clear that Port of San Diego is keen on once again making Seaport Village a must-visit spot for tourists and locals alike.
WATCH: Seaport Village opens in Downtown San Diego in 1980: