May 2022 Director’s Message

May 2022 is looking to be a big month for the Channel Islands Harbor.

Three of the most iconic parcels in the Harbor – the Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap property, Whale’s Tail property, and the Fisherman’s Wharf property – will all have significant movement. While they are all in different stages of the process to development, important steps are being taken to address these important locations that have not delivered their full potential for far too long.

At the Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap property, construction crews have taken down each structure completely. All that remains is an empty lot with piles of debris. Large trucks drive onto the property each day to haul away old building materials, tons of concrete from the hotel foundation, and old landscape. The demolition process should be complete by mid-May, which was the target date we identified in December 2021. The Harbor Department is in the process of hiring a contractor to reconstruct the revetment around the Harbor Peninsula. We plan to have the revetment project complete by early 2023, which will open the door to construction of a new Hyatt House Hotel.

While the new hotel and restaurant project on Peninsula Road is well underway, the process to get a new tenant or developer into the Whale’s Tail property has just begun – and things are looking promising.

In April 2022 the Harbor Department reissued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop the parcel where the Whale’s Tail restaurant formerly operated. Our lease manager and planning director have received a great uptick in inquiries from investors who are eager to look at the building. Most investors who are looking at the property have been from the restaurant industry. I’m looking forward to seeing the RFP applications we receive. The deadline to receive RFPs for this property are due on May 26, 2022.

With one RFP process coming close to being finalized, the Harbor Department is planning on sending out another RFP for a long-coveted property – Fisherman’s Wharf. There’s no question redevelopment of this property is long overdue. The property is dilapidated and doesn’t meet the standard for the Harbor I’m trying to deliver to residents and visitors. Past proposals have failed to move forward because there’s been significant housing tied to revitalizing the commercial center. While housing is badly needed in Southern California, I’m hoping to see more proposals submitted that have more of a visitor-serving focus. The Harbor Department will be issuing the RFP for Fisherman’s Wharf by the end of May 2022.

I’m excited to see movement on all three of these parcels. The path to coastal development can be long, tedious, and frustrating. I’m confident that the positive momentum we are experiencing at the Harbor will bring quality developers and projects. We have a bright future ahead of us.


Michael Tripp, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this story was published on May 2, 2022.