Marina Tidelands: Modernization & Re-innovation


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This report represents a semester of work by nine students of San Diego State University. Objectives included:
1. Determining the potential for non-industrial uses for portions of National City’s Marina District.
2. Identifying the most likely areas for conversion from industrial use.
3. Projecting those parcels’ best use. 4. Creating a written report and making a live presentation detailing the evidence for those conclusions.

Our hope is that this report will aid a development plan for a potential developer and the City of National City.

The course began with all students gaining background knowledge in order to see if more commercial use by the waterfront is economically viable, and if so, which kinds of commercial development suit the site area. We…
• researched the history of the San Diego Unified Port District, its goals, and its vision for the National City Marina District.
• compared that vision to objectives favored by the City of National City.
• looked at land uses in ports of similar shipping volume in other parts of the country.
• chose a line of demarcation to separate industrial from non-industrial uses.
• examined the physical site, observing it in multiple tours and with various technological platforms.
• estimated site areas for the identified parcels.
• gathered demographic data, studied planning and zoning documents, and interviewed public officials and real estate professionals about potential uses.
• surveyed people at or near Pier 32 or Pepper Park for their opinions of desired and feasible uses for the identified area.
• brainstormed names that could be used to re-brand the sterile-sounding National City Marina District.

Then four pairs of students each researched non-industrial uses and created what they believe are the optimum products for the “Preferred Alternative” area. Each pair’s report is embedded in this larger volume. Included are data and discussions of space needs, market rents, potential tenants, and rudimentary site plans for those potential uses.

Nine addenda are at the conclusion of this report: site photos, information on potential tenants, a user survey, proformas, brochures (proposed marketing packages), documen-tation regarding the upcoming National City Waterfront Adventure Center, a study of arts and entertainment in the district, an interview with a representative of the National City Chamber of Commerce, and articles referenced in this report.

Each pair of students produced a brochure (refer to Addendum E in the Appendix). Though they are reproduced in the addenda in shrunken versions, they are better viewed as full, individual PDFs, so those are provided separately. Elements of these brochures might be useful for future marketing of the area.

Throughout this process, students had an array of homework assignments and mile-stones specifically created to prepare all necessary research and gather resources for this project. Each scholar completed ten homework assignments, plus a few custom tasks. Some were intertwined and used to build on one another to get a concluding result and some were solely for finding a specific body of information. Each pair of stu-dents also met fifteen milestones, incremental assignments that led to this report.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

The Sage Project Contact Info
Kristofer Patron
Program Administrator
(619) 594-0103

University Faculty Contact
Seth Kaplowitz
General Studies

Local Government / Community Contact

City Manager

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