Boutique hotel on Harbor Island may be nearing reality

Sunroad seeking approval from Port of San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A luxury hotel with one of the best views in San Diego is in the works, but the years of planning seem to have gone under the radar.

The Port of San Diego will soon be voting on whether to approve a boutique hotel for Harbor Island on the Sunroad Resort Marina property. It would feature 175 rooms, some meeting space and surface parking.

The neighbor on the end of the roadway, Island Prime and C Level restaurants, can't wait.

"We think it'll be a plus for the island and a plus for us; very exciting to have new business down here at this end of the island and to showcase Harbor Island," said Cohn Restaurant Group partner Deborah Scott.

Scott is acknowledged as one of the finest chefs on the West Coast. She loves the view from her dining rooms -- downtown San Diego on the waterfront.

"People come down here just to stand and take pictures and bring their family down. It's just, when you come here from the airport with out-of-town guests, this is the place to show them our city and the skyline," said Scott.

Before construction of the hotel, there would likely be changes to traffic flow. The roadway may have to be re-aligned and the traffic circle removed.

Still, some questions about infrastructure will need to be answered. Sewer and water upgrades may be needed and fire protection could be an issue.

The Sunroad hotel would coincide, too, with the return of a floating barge to replace the once-popular Reuben E. Lee. It came here in 1969 and charmed San Diegans for decades, closing at the turn of the century and sinking late last year.

"It won't be called the Reuben E. Lee but it will be a floating barge as that was and it will simulate that same type of a feel of being on the water," said Scott.

The original plan was for a larger hotel, but the recession, environmental concerns and FAA height restrictions led to changes.

The Port of San Diego could consider current plans as early as next month or early next year.

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