Much-awaited landside construction to start in Dana Point Harbor 

Feb 20 2024

Much-awaited landside construction to start in Dana Point Harbor 


The grading permits are issued and construction equipment is ready to roll on a three-level parking structure marking the first phase of the much anticipated landside renovation of the Dana Point Harbor.

Dana Point Harbor Partners won a 66-year lease in 2018 from the OC Board of Supervisors to renovate the 53-year-old county harbor, including the 120,000-square-foot area of the harbor that will house shops, restaurants, public gathering spaces and an expansive boardwalk connecting Doheny State Beach to Baby Beach.

“This is a milestone,” Bryon Ward, president of Burnham Ward Properties and the development partner heading up the commercial core overhaul, said of Wednesday’s ceremonial groundbreaking at the site where the parking structure will go. The event included community, county and city leaders and harbor merchants, and the development partners presented the timeline guiding the harbor project forward, which is projected to take five to six more years.

Work on the new 2,265-slip marina is already underway, with 772 completed. There will also be additional guest boat slips, which aren’t included in the count. Joe Ueberroth, of Bellwether Financial Group, is handling those renovations.

Bob Olson, of R.D. Olson, rounds out the development partnership and is working on entitlements through the California Coastal Commission for two new hotels.

The parking structure will be built on the left side of Golden Lantern at the entrance of Dana Point Harbor. It will be three levels, but won’t obscure a view of the new buildings or the water, the developer said.

The structure will also have boater services, including restrooms, showers, changing rooms, e-charging stations and dedicated parking for people going sportfishing and whale watching and those transiting on the Catalina Express. There will be 984 stalls, including 98 dedicated boater spaces.

“It’s not going to look like a big concrete structure,” Ward said, adding that there will be valet services and a gangway where boaters can wheel their gear down to the dock and launch pads. Mature trees will be planted to line the extension of Golden Lantern.

The construction of the structure, landscaping, and hardscapes, including the new harbor boardwalk that will be doubled in width and surrounded by a greenbelt, should be done in a year to 14 months, which completes the first two phases of the project plans, Ward said. From there, Ward said he will begin work on the new buildings near the waterfront as Phase 3 and then turn his attention to Dana Wharf.