Harbor Department to Recommend Negotiations With Developer for Fisherman’s Wharf

Ventura County Harbor Department officials announced today it will recommend to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in December 2022 to enter into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with a development group who proposes to transform Fisherman’s Wharf at the Channel Islands Harbor into Karl’s Adventure Village.

The development is proposed by Robert Dahl, a Germany-based strawberry farmer and entrepreneur. In 1992, Dahl founded the flagship Karl’s Adventure Village and has since expanded operations to 7 other locations in Germany.

Karl’s Adventure Village at the Channel Islands Harbor would refurbish existing buildings and create new structures that would include children’s toys and book shops, children and adult clothing shops, country and maritime kitchen and home good stores, an outdoor garden shop, food market, café, restaurants, a boutique hotel, playgrounds, public park areas, and children’s ride.

“We imagine that a Karl’s village at the Channel Islands Harbor would revitalize the wharf area with dining, retail, recreation, and entertainment activities for people of all ages and families of all economic backgrounds,” Dahl said. “Our goal is to create a lively space that creates value along the water.”

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp said the approval of an ERN would signify the County’s commitment to solely negotiate with Dahl to redevelop Fisherman’s Wharf. During the ERN period, the developers would begin and provide design and construction analysis, secure funding, and negotiate the terms of an initial phase and long-term agreement with the Harbor Department.

Director Tripp said a variety of factors contributed to the Harbor Department’s recommendation, which followed a Request for Proposals (RFP) period and a public meeting to seek feedback the public regarding the three developers proposing to redevelop Fisherman’s Wharf.

“Based on their track record of successfully developing properties, the reuse of several of the existing buildings, Dahl’s willingness to conform with current zoning, and the project’s goal of providing low-cost visitor-serving amenities to families of all economic backgrounds, I’m excited to recommend the ERN,” Director Tripp said. “We anticipate Karls will be an attraction that generations of families will want to visit for years to come.”

Editor’s Note: this story was published on Nov. 11, 2022.