New restaurant development coming to Coronado Ferry Landing


Port of San Diego officials Tuesday approved the construction of two restaurants next to the Coronado Ferry Landing that are expected to cost up to $6 million to build.

Restaurants have yet to be selected for the building, but it was the first step in remodeling an area near the busy spot on the San Diego Bay. Construction is not expected to begin until early 2019.

The project at 1355 First Street has been several years in the making and includes a lengthy environmental report. The developer is San Diego-based Ferry Landing Associates, made up of the same ownership group as Flagship Cruises and Events, the company that operates the Coronado Ferry and other cruises.

On the waterfront, the project would include a single-story, 7,500-square-foot building with outdoor seating. Both restaurants would share the same building and the lease for the property would run until 2037.

There is room in the building for up to 300 customers, 190 indoor and 110 outside. There will be 269 parking spots, 119 more than required.

The board of the San Diego Unified Port District unanimously approved the development on Tuesday.

Commissioner Dan Malcolm said the design was an example of a world-class design that enhanced the waterfront.

“This is a really attractive building,” he said. “From my standpoint, the architects really hit the mark here.”

Tuesday’s approval was somewhat anticlimactic because the restaurant leases have not been secured. Developer George Palermo said he hopes the subleases for the building will come before construction begins.

He said they made the decision to kick-start the project by building the restaurant space themselves instead of leasing the land to a restaurant to develop.

Palermo said he doesn’t know what type of eatery will occupy the space but he does not want an Italian restaurant because it would compete with Il Fornaio, which is adjacent to the site. He said he expected construction to be around $3 million, with additional improvements of $1 million to $3 million from the tenants who lease the space.

Construction is expected to take nine months. The site is a vacant lot of mainly dirt and grass. The 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway goes around the site and will remain in place around the restaurant after construction. Bicycle racks will be put in at the restaurant.

Plans for the building include large glass windows to maximize views, reflective roofing, sliding and retractable doors, and a vegetation wall. The outside of the building will include an observation deck, beach dune with low water-use plants and palm trees.

Hours of operations for the restaurants are expected to be 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Also at the port meeting, the board approved a 4 percent raise for CEO Randa Coniglio, bringing her yearly salary to $320,965. She also received a one-time bonus of $16,048 for exemplary performance, according to the resolution approving her raise.

Coniglio was named CEO in summer 2015 after serving as the port’s vice president of operations for 15 years.

Business (619) 293-1891 Twitter: @phillipmolnar


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