EIR: Fifth Avenue Landing to impact traffic and views, not San Diego Convention Center expansion

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San Diego Convention Center
A rendering that shows Fifth Avenue Landing and the existing San Diego Convention Center | Fifth Avenue Landing

Fifth Avenue Landing has reached a milestone with the release of an environmental impact analysis with nearly a thousand pages proving the $300-million hotel would not derail the planned expansion of San Diego Convention Center.

The report, which was completed after almost a year of study, is required to earn approvals from the California Coastal Commission and San Diego port commissioners as the proposed project will rise on the city’s tidelands.

Expansion of the convention center, states the document, will result in a shorter structure than what is reflected in the project proposal. It also involves the construction of an elevated public plaza spanning five acres and featuring five spaces connected to the Fifth Avenue Landing project site.

Meanwhile, it states that one of the proposed hotel towers will be located within the viewshed of the center’s existing plaza and grand staircase. It is estimated to “block or substantially obstruct” the “expansive and uninterrupted views of the San Diego Bay.”

The report says that although some measures could be taken, such as putting up signs that would direct visitors to the elevated public plaza, the impacts would still be “significant and unavoidable.”

Moreover, it states that traffic impacts are predicted to be modest, with congestion localized to only three intersections including 15th and F streets., 17th and G streets., and 19th and J streets.

Following the report’s release, the San Diego Unified Port District is expected to solicit the public’s response to the document, and to hold a meeting to consider Fifth Avenue Landing’s plans.

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