Harbor Department Reissues Request for Proposals for Whale’s Tail Parcel

The Ventura County Harbor Department has reissued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop a Channel Islands Harbor parcel where the popular, Whale’s Tail restaurant formerly operated.

An RFP was issued in August 2021 and yielded two applications. Neither of the applications met all the criteria of the RFP completely.

Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp said the department is anticipating an increase in interest now that the business climate is beginning to improve.

“It would be a great time for a developer to invest in the Harbor, particularly as the old Casa Sirena property is being demolished and a new waterfront hotel will be constructed in the next three years,” Director Tripp said. “The Channel Islands Harbor has a bright future, and this is a great opportunity for a new developer to join this community.”

The RFP can be downloaded here: https://www.channelislandsharbor.org/reports-publications/

The RFP for the Whale’s Tail location was issued following the Harbor Department’s “Harbor Visioning Process.”

In 2020 and 2021, the Harbor Department facilitated the public visioning process utilizing a consultant with considerable community design and public engagement experience to explore the types of uses that are preferred in the Harbor. A steering committee comprised of County of Ventura and City of Oxnard representatives, Harbor business representatives and resident met to discuss possible future development. A preliminary survey was circulated to obtain viewpoints of residents, businesses, and visitors, and subsequently a virtual public workshop was held to present ideas on future development of the Harbor.

For this parcel, the visioning process concluded that the most desired development, in ranked order, include:

  • A marine education center and aquarium
  • Mixed-used bed & breakfast/small restaurant facility
  • A restaurant

The RFPs for the Whale’s Tail parcel are due May 26, 2022. Once the RFPs are received, they will be reviewed by the Harbor Department and a Harbor Advisory Committee. It is possible that one or more proposals will be selected for follow-up, including a formal presentation or request for follow-up information. It is also possible all proposals are rejected.

Editor’s Note: this story was published on April 13, 2022.