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Casa Sirena Project Update

Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap

Last Updated 8/4/2022

The scheduled demolition of the Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap property began in December 2021 and was completed in June 2022.

Prior to the new construction of a new hotel and restaurant on the property, the Ventura County Harbor Department will replace the rock revetment around the property. The Harbor Department is currently seeking bids for the project. After a vendor is secured for the project, the rock revetment replacement project will take an estimated six months.

After the revetment is replaced, it will take an estimated 18-24 months to open the new hotel/restaurant.

The original Casa Sirena hotel, constructed in 1972, had 197 rooms with additional space for meetings. The proposed development of the site will include a new Hyatt House Hotel and a restaurant of up to 5,000 square feet, similar to, but not smaller than, the former Lobster Trap Restaurant which was located nearby.

The proposed Hyatt House will feature 210 rooms in a 55-foot structure and occupy approximately 203,000 square feet along the Channel Islands Harbor waterfront.

Fisherman's Wharf Project Update

Fisherman's Wharf

Update posted 11/9/2022
Channel Islands Harbor Fishermans Wharf

Ventura County Harbor Department officials announced today it will recommend to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in December 2022 to enter 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.”

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 from 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 Karl's will be an attraction that generations of families will want to visit for years to come.”

Fisherman’s Wharf is a 10-acre parcel located on the southwest corner of Victoria Ave. and Channel Islands Blvd. in Oxnard. It includes approximately 49,000 square feet of one- and two-story commercial buildings and 325 parking spaces. It is zoned for commercial and retail use, including restaurants.

Whale's Tail Project Update

Whale's Tail

Update posted 8/4/2022
View of the Whale's Tail from the water

The Ventura County Harbor Department issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop the parcel where the Whale’s Tail restaurant formerly operated. The RFP was issued in April 2022 and closed on May 26, 2022.

The Harbor Department received three proposals for this parcel. Two proposals were from developers seeking to build restaurants and one from a developer who is interested in building an aquarium.

The Harbor Department met with all three developers and consulted with the Harbor Advisory Committee, a group comprised of city and county officials, local businesses, and residents.

The Harbor Department may go forward to the Board of Supervisors soon and recommend entering an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with one of the developers interested in building a restaurant.

Jetty and Breakwater Project at the Channel Islands Harbor

Much Needed Repair Work Starts at Channel Islands Harbor Entrance

Update posted 5/10/21

Aged jetties and the offshore breakwater at the Channel Islands Harbor entrance will receive much needed repairs in the coming months.

The Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has funded a project to conduct repairs to two parallel entrance jetties and the protective offshore breakwater near the entrance of the Harbor. This week, Connolly Pacific mobilized equipment – a crane-equipped barge, support vessels, and a storage barge – and the project is underway.

Due to the nature of this project, the Corps, the Harbor Department, and Connolly Pacific continue to coordinate safety concerns. For public safety, measures are incorporated including posted signs and limiting access within construction site. Also, the Harbor Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard are assisting in monitoring the working zone to ensure safe navigation in the channel.

The Project

Repair work will consist of replacing approximately 30,000 tons of new armor stone and resetting armor stone as needed. Repairs will be conducted by a barge-mounted crane, barges carrying rock, and other various support vessels. The project is estimated to last until mid-September 2021, but could change depending on weather. Work will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, during the life of the project.

Why Is It Needed?

The project is needed to ensure navigational safety and to prevent further degradation of the structural integrity of the jetties and breakwater. If no work were scheduled on the jetties and breakwater, eventual Harbor closures could result, which would result in a loss to recreational and commercial operations. The last time major maintenance was completed was 1996 to address damages from the 1982-83 storm season and the 1994 Northridge earthquake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that this important project is taking place this year,” said Mark Sandoval, Ventura County Harbor Department Director. “This project is protecting and preserving the Harbor’s recreational and economic value.”

The repair project not only benefits the Channel Islands Harbor, but neighboring communities as well. The detached breakwater serves to suspend littoral transport and create sand trap up coast of the Harbor entrance channel. This material is used to nourish the eroding shoreline down coast from the Port of Hueneme, and provides protection to private, public, and Federal lands from further erosion.

Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor

Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor is Complete

Update posted 5/10/21
Dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor

Navigating the Channel Islands Harbor will continue to be safe and down coast beaches will receive an influx of much-needed sand thanks to a dredging project that is complete.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started dredging the Channel Islands Harbor in mid-October 2020. Equipment was staged at the Harbor in early October. The dredging project was completed in February 2021.

The hydraulic dredge “H.R. Morris” staged and conducted maintenance dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor entrance on a 24-hour basis. The dredging activity took place in various locations in and around the harbor entrance and sand trap area of Hollywood Beach.

The Army Corps typically dredges every two years, and has done so for decades under legislation that authorized the small craft harbor and sand trap to be built in the early 1960s. The harbor was designed to trap sand to prevent loss to the submarine canyon off of Port Hueneme and to provide dredged material for beach replenishment for downcoast beaches. The replenishment provides vital shore protection for downcoast facilities, including the Naval installations at Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, the Port of Hueneme, the City of Port Hueneme and our own Silver Strand beach.

It is estimated approximately 2 million cubic yards of sand was pumped from the harbor down to the beach at Port Hueneme, which erodes over time due to normal sand migration along the coast. The last time the harbor was dredged was December 2018 to February 2019.

Dredging Project Made Possible with Federal Funds

Congress allocated $13 million in federal funding to the Army Corps to complete the dredging project at Channel Islands Harbor. Additional matching federal funds are allocated through the Navy budget.

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said funding for the dredging projects couldn’t have been made possible without the support of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, whose district includes the Channel Islands Harbor.

“The Harbor Department would like to thank Congresswoman Brownley, who has steadfastly fought alongside local leaders to secure funding for these critical projects in Ventura County,” Director Sandoval said. “This project is vital to the beaches down coast from the Channel Islands Harbor which are subject to continual erosion, and to maintaining safe navigation in and out of the Channel Islands Harbor.”

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