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PARTNERSHIP CLEARS LAST HURDLE TOWARD DANA POINT REVITALISATION

The project is expected to be completed in 2026

Dana Point Harbor Partners (DPHP) in the US has received the necessary permitting from the California Coast Commission to begin a US$330m public/private mixed-use redevelopment of the 49-year-old Dana Point Harbor.

Bellwether Financial Group, lead partner in DPHP, is the parent company of Bellingham Marine which will develop and build the marina, while sister company Bellport oversees operations under a 66-year lease. The project also includes the requisite shops, restaurants and hotels.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revitalise this iconic Orange County asset and create a destination for generations to come,” said Joe Ueberroth, founder and president of Bellwether Financial Group and CEO of Bellingham Marine, according to the Dana Point Times.

The Coastal Commission required DPHP to meet 28 special conditions before allowing construction to go forward on what Ueberroth is a forward-thinking project that will set a high bar.

“Many of the boaters wanted the new marina plan to adhere to the Local Coastal Plan,” Ueberroth said. “We had to make sure we had the appropriate amount of slips. It was a challenge to meet the [Americans with Disabilities Act] regulations and meeting the demand for larger slips.”

The future marina’s average slip size will be 32ft compared to the current 30ft as a result of community input.

“The public meetings allowed for us to hear from different stakeholders, like boaters, commercial fishing groups, and others. Now, I’m pleased to say there’s a lot of diversity in the plan,” Ueberroth said.

The plan includes protection of marine life, commitment to water quality and expanding public access. The dock system innovation will eliminate all treated wood and includes technology that removes all ferrous metals, ensuring longer dock life, while ridding the environment of those toxic materials.

“One of the things we’re very proud of is the new technology for the marina that solved some of those issues,” Ueberroth said. “Where some developers may not be as familiar with those issues the Coastal Commission is fighting… we understood the importance of eel grass, being receptive to protect sea lions, having concern with clean water, being mindful of chemicals.”

With the Coastal Commission’s approval, the next step is to finalise construction plans for permitting, putting the partners in a position to potentially start construction by the end of this year.

The project – in the planning stages locally for over 20-years – is expected to be completed in 2026.

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