Ground-level view of the proposed observation tower. Image courtesy of Seaport San Diego.
A proposed observation tower at the edge of Pacific Highway is a polarizing symbol of change that could make or break the larger, $2.4 billion redevelopment effort planned for downtown’s Central Embarcadero. — San Diego Union-Tribune
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and developers 1HWY1 have proposed a 500-foot cylindrical observation tower for San Diego's waterfront Central Embarcadero as part of a massive $2.4 billion Seaport San Diego project.
The part-hotel, part-theme park development could include 385 hotel rooms, a 170,822-square-foot "vertical aquarium," and other retail, office, and leisure spaces, according to a recent report from The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The proposal, which will have to undergo extensive environmental review and be approved by the California Coastal Commission, is not without controversy, however.
Melody Lasiter, a San Diego coastal planner, told The San Diego Union-Tribune, “We have concerns about the bulk and scale of the project in general."
Lasiter added, “Our major concern is that the existing development down at Seaport Village right now is easily accessible for a wide range of incomes. There’s a lot of passive space, and anyone can go to Seaport Village and walk around. With the redevelopment, it might not be that way. Our focus is the public’s ability to recreate there at low or no cost.”