In support of efforts to inspire residents and visitors by providing unique experiences on San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners has voted to advance the San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Performance Park Enhancement Project, proposed for the Port’s Embarcadero Marina Park South.
“The San Diego Symphony has a great track record with the Port and is a pillar of the San Diego arts community,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Board of Port Commissioners. “Their proposal to invest $45 million in improvements, including many public amenities and better performance facilities, strikes a new and wonderful chord on our dynamic waterfront, honors the water and creates a dynamic new place on our beautiful San Diego Bay for the public to enjoy.”
At its January 9, 2018 meeting, the Board approved several items to advance the proposed project, including certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report, approval of a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA), and approval of a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with the San Diego Symphony (Symphony).
“I want to express my deepest appreciation to the Port, Port staff and to everyone who has supported us through this process,” said Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony CEO. “From the very beginning, our vision has been to create a beautiful park with a state of the art stage that could become an iconic destination for San Diego and beyond. We think of this as our gift to the region.”
The Symphony proposes to construct a permanent outdoor performance and event venue in Embarcadero Marina Park South where the nonprofit organization has operated a Bayside Summer Nights (formerly Summer Pops) concert series since 2004. Each year in the park, the Symphony assembles and disassembles a music festival-style stage, bleachers, seating, ticketing booths, concession stands, food stands, portable bathrooms, a chain-link fence and other items for the summer season.
The proposed Bayside Performance Park would allow the Symphony to offer a limited number of performances and events year-round by replacing the temporary performance and event venue with a permanent stage and acoustic shell; audience seating would still be provided with temporary chairs set up as needed, based on the size of the event. In addition, the Symphony would improve the park at no public cost with new, permanent upscale public restrooms; extensive public park enhancements throughout the park; a wider promenade around the performance area; a new bay viewing deck available for public use during non-event hours; and other public amenities.
Port staff will now seek certification of the PMPA by the California Coastal Commission. In the meantime, Port staff will enter into a binding LOI with the Symphony and commence negotiations for a Real Estate Agreement.