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Salutations at sea? ‘Yacht Yoga’ is latest craze in Dana Point Harbor

October 18, 2019 – The ocean provides a rhythmic sound as the boat saunters through the saltwater in the calm, quaint harbor.

The sun dips behind the Dana Point headlands in the distance, leaving a vibrant, colorful glow off the water’s surface. A chill wind starts to whip, a nice relief on a recent day for yoga practitioners who have warmed their bodies in stretches and bends.

You can do yoga on land or in the sand. You can do it with a goat … and now, on a boat.

Yacht Yoga is the latest craze hitting the Dana Point Harbor, a way to do sun salutations on the salty sea, aboard a 50-foot boat that drifts on the water. Hour-long sessions offer not just a workout, but the added perk of pristine seascape views.

Read the full article here.

(Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Women Recognized for Securing Dolphin and Whale Watching Trademark

October 6, 2019 – Donna Kalez, the managing partner of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, and Gisele Anderson, the co-owner of Captain Dave’s Dolphin Safari, were recognized by city and county officials during the Tuesday, Oct. 1 Dana Point City Council meeting.

“We are here tonight to present to you ‘Dana Point: the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World’ as a registered trademark,” Kalez said. “With the variety of year-round whales, more dolphins per square foot than anywhere else in the world, pristine coastlines, calm seas, the first and longest-running annual Festival of Whales and a captivating harbor minutes away from the open ocean, Dana Point is the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World.”

Read the full article here.

Remember drive-in movies? Pop-up screening of surf film will bring wave of nostalgia to Dana Point Harbor parking lot

September 11, 2019 – It will be a surf night soaked by a blast from the past.

The younger generation may not know what it’s like to sit at a drive-in movie, but a night planned at the Dana Point Harbor on Sept. 25 will bring a wave of nostalgia for those who do and let the others in on the fun.

The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center this week announced plans to screen the iconic surf film “Five Summer Stories” in a parking lot. If the partnership with the harbor’s developers is successful, they may make watching a film from the comfort of your vehicle a regular series.

Read the full article here.

7 Best Labor Day Fishing Destinations in the US

August 16, 2019 ― Dana Point seems custom-built to make the most of the surrounding sea. The city’s set around a huge harbor, and the rest of the waterfront is either sandy beach for swimming or high cliffs for taking in the view. What’s more, it’s a short hop from both L.A. and San Diego, making it a dream spot for a Labor Day escape.

You only need to take one look at Dana Point’s Harbor to know that there’s some awesome fishing here. Early September is big game season, with monster Sharks like Threshers and Makos tearing through the deep canyons offshore. If you’re looking for a feast, Bigeye Tuna are also around, as are Yellowtail. You’d better come prepared on a deep sea fishing trip.

Read the full article here.

20-mile outrigger race draws 900 competitors to Dana Point

DANA POINT, Calif. ― August 10, 2019 ― It’s a sport that connects the islands with the mainland, a competition soaked in saltwater culture and history.

An estimated 900 competitors from around Southern California set out on the Whitey Harrison Classic on Saturday, Aug. 10, an annual 20-mile race that has taken place for nearly five decades off Dana Point’s coastline.

The nine-person teams of outrigger racers, who came from nearly 30 clubs around California, even some from Arizona, dug their paddles into the ocean water, departing throughout the morning and afternoon just outside of the Dana Point Harbor entrance and heading north to Laguna Beach, before paddling back to Capo Beach and to the finish line.

Read the full article here.

(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

23 Best Things to do in Dana Point, CA

DANA POINT, Calif.  Dana Point is a gorgeous city in Orange County, known as one of the best surfing areas in Southern California. The city is home to the lively Dana Point Harbor, one of Orange County’s few public harbors, which provides access to nearby Catalina Island via the daily Catalina Express ferry service. Area visitors can embark on a wide variety of watersporting adventures from the harbor, including parasailing excursions and whale and dolphin watching charters. Read the full article here.

(Photo By mandritoiu/

Dana Point is ‘Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World’: It’s even trademarked

DANA POINT, Calif. ― July 22, 2019 Gisele Anderson and Donna Kalez held up their cups of hot tea in a toast to friendship and collaboration on a recent day at The Brig in Dana Point Harbor.

The two women, who both own whale- and dolphin-watching charters operating out of the harbor, were celebrating a jointly created trademark declaring their city “Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World.” The year-long trademark process, finalized in April, means no other location in the world can legally make that claim.

Read the full article here.

(Photo By Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Dana Point Chamber Announces Dana Point Harbor Partners as 2019 Dana Point Turkey Trot Sponsor

DANA POINT, Calif. ― June 3, 2019  Dana Point Harbor Partners, the consortium behind the new $330 million renovation of Dana Point Harbor, has been named presenting sponsor of the 2019 Dana Point Turkey Trot, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce’s famous Thanksgiving Day charity event. The group will help provide the funds necessary to promote and stage the annual fundraising challenge and expo, which traditionally attracts more than 17,000 participants to Dana Point from throughout the United States.

Read the full article here.

Dana Point 2019 State of the City 

Dana Point Harbor’s 2 Marinas are Merged Into one as Part of Redevelopment, Slip Wait-lists are Combined

DANA POINT — The East and West marinas in Dana Point Harbor have become one. The combined Marina at Dana Point will function as one boating community, after 47 years operating separately.

“We’re excited about having one marina,” said Joe Ueberroth, of Bellwether Financial Group, one of three development groups known collectively as Dana Point Harbor Partners which on Nov. 1 took over a 66-year lease from the County of Orange to run the harbor and oversee a $300 million redevelopment project. “It always has been one harbor. It allows us to have one set of rules for the whole community.”

Read the Full Article at the Orange County Register.

(Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register/SCNG)

NBC4: New Weekends + Whale Wonders Aplenty, in Dana Point

SPLISH AND SPLASH: Dropping the word “cetacean” in everyday conversation? Sharing random facts how much a grey whale can weigh (up to 40 tons) and how those marvelous baleen plates in some whales’ mouths can efficiently filter food? All so cool, but these sorts of tidbits don’t need to be part of your daily repertoire, in order to prove that you’re a major whale maven. You can also just love the thrill of seeing a spout in the distance, and the fun of spotting a fluke off the bow of the boat, and that these peaceful giants follow ancient migratory paths not far from much of the Golden State shoreline. And to treat fans who dig the deep knowledge of whales, as well as those lovers who simply want to enjoy whale-based revelries for a day, there is the… DANA POINT FESTIVAL OF WHALES.

Read the Full Article at NBC Los Angeles.

Village Television presents the Dana Point Harbor Renovation

Gray whales, holiday lights and plans for renovation create a new buzz at Dana Point Harbor

DANA POINT — Instead of braving the malls on Black Friday, a record number of people visited Dana Point Harbor the day after Thanksgiving to see if they could catch a glimpse of gray whales starting their annual migration.

The whales didn’t disappoint. Captains with Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching and Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari spotted the magnificent behemoths just outside the harbor.

Read the Full Article at OC Register.

(Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

Dana Point boaters and merchants get a closer look at what harbor and marina will look like after $330 million overhaul

Boaters and merchants got a first look Monday, Sept. 24, at what the renovated Dana Point marina will look like after the 47-year-old Dana Point Harbor undergoes a $330 million renovation.

The presentation by developer Dana Point Harbor Partners, which included details and a construction timeline for the long-awaited project, was held at the Ocean Institute during the monthly meeting of the Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board. More than 100 people attended, including county and Dana Point city officials.

Read the Full Article at the Orange Country Register.

(Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Orange County Business Journal: County Moves Ahead with $338M Dana Harbor Redo

ABC7: Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Project Approved

The 47-year-old Dana Point Harbor is set to get a big facelift.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a $330 million agreement to revitalize the area.

“To get this thing to move forward is very momentous,” Dana Point Harbor Association President Jim Miller said. “I mean it’s a milestone and a county effort and it’s a big project.”

Read the Full Article on ABC 7.

OC Register: Newport Beach developer provides details on lease to renovate Dana Point Harbor

DANA POINT — With a focus on an accelerated construction schedule, representatives of Dana Point Harbor Partners — a Newport Beach-based group selected by the county to tackle a $330 million overhaul of the Dana Point Harbor — for the first time publicly presented concepts to merchants and boaters.

The presentation on Monday night, July 2, at the Ocean Institute was part of the regular monthly meeting of Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board, a group of harbor business leaders who formed earlier this year to have an input in the harbor renovation.

Read the Full Article Here.

(File photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

OC Register: Newport Beach developer group wins county contract and 66-year lease for $200 million Dana Point Harbor revitalization

SANTA ANA — A $200 million overhaul of Dana Point Harbor is expected to include buildings with gabled standing seam metal roofs, open plazas, unique restaurants and shops, two hotels and possibly a surf museum.

The long-awaited plan, a proposal by the Dana Point Harbor Partners LLC development group, was unanimously approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 17. It was a milestone in a harbor revitalization plan that has gone on for nearly two decades.

Dana Point Harbor Partners is made up of Burnham-Ward Properties for retail and restaurants, Bellwether Financial Group for the marinas, and R.D. Olson Development for hotels.

Read the Full Article Here.

(Renderings of the proposed Dana Point Harbor Revitalization project provided by R.D. Olson Development)

Newport Beach Development Group Wins County Contract

OC Developers Tapped for $300M Dana Point Harbor Re-Do

Three of Newport Beach real estate firm shave been tapped to head the redevelopment of Dana Point Harbor, a mixed-use project projected to cost nearly $300 million to build new restaurants,shops, hotels and other waterfront properties.

The County of Orange last week disclosed that it had selected a partnership between Burnham Ward Properties, R.D. Olson Development and Bellwether Financial Group as its preferred choice to be master developers for the massive project, where construction could begin next year.

The project, expected to be built out over seven years, would update and replace the existing facilities at the county-owned harbor in Dana Point that were largely constructed in the early 1970s and have been eyed for redevelopment for nearly 20 years.

Current facilities include about 80,000 square feet of commercial space, the 136-room Dana Point Marina Inn, 2,409 boat slips, and nearly 4,000 parking spaces, according to county records.

The just-selected development group—operating as Dana Point Harbor Partners LLC — was chosen largely due to its experience “with large-scale and complex ground-up developments and the refurbishment of existing projects,” according to county filings.

“We’re looking to build a world-class harbor,” said Bryon Ward, a partner in Burnham Ward Properties.

The commercial portion of the project, running 116,727 square feet, would be headed by Burnham Ward, which has overseen development of Costa Mesa’s South Coast Collection and OC Mix, plus Newport Beach’s Castaway Commons, among other area retail projects.

About 77,000 square feet of the commercial space would incorporate restaurants and outdoor dining space, while a market hall and food court would be another 32,000 square feet, according to county documents.

A 9,000-square-foot surfing museum, plus a small amount of office and marina-related retail would also be part of Burnham Ward’s portion, which would be on about 29 acres.

R.D. Olson, California’s most active hotel developer for several years running, would add two more hotels to its portfolio under its portion.

The hotels would be built on a 3.5-acre site on Dana Point Harbor Drive, and would replace Marina Inn.

A 130-room boutique hotel—the same number of rooms as R.D. Olson’s Lido House project under construction in Newport Beach—would be built, along with a 136-roomhotel with more affordable rooms, according to county documents.

The brands and operators for the proposed hotels—which would be the third and fourth coastal projects that R.D. Olson has taken up in Orange County the past few years—haven’t been disclosed.

Lido House falls under the Autograph Collection of Marriott International, while Huntington Beach’s Pasea Hotel & Spa—a waterfront hotel that R.D. Olson opened last year in a venture with Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality—is run independently under the latter company’s Meritage Collection.

Bellwether Financial, a Newport Beach investment group that has marina holdings in Long Beach and Marina Del Rey, among other locations, would run the renovated marina and boat storage component of the project.

That portion of the harbor would consist of 2,296 boat slips and 388 dry boat-storage spots. Those facilities are on about 20.5 acres, county documents show.

Bellwether is headed by Joe Ueberroth, who has been in the marina business for more than 20 years. He’s the son of investor and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who also organized the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984.

A 2,503-space parking structure would also be built as part of the Dana Point Harbor Partners’ project, which along with existing spaces that would remain, would boost the harbor’s total parking to 4,880 spaces.
The development group has proposed that the county help subsidize $20 million in costs for building the parking structure at the harbor, records show.

Dana Point Harbor Partners estimates its project should bring in about $47 million in rent payments to the county in the first 10 years of the 50-year lease the county and the partnership would sign before work begins.

By the 20-year mark of the lease, those payments are estimated to rise to $117 million, and by the end of the lease, $508 million in project payments have been forecast by the development group.

Oct. 17 Vote The three Newport Beach firms bested a group consisting of San Jose-based DJM Capital Partners, Pacific Marina Development in Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo-based Pacifica Hotels to get the county’s nod for the project.

The Board of Supervisors will take up county staff’s recommendation to select the Dana Point Harbor Partners group as the master developers on Oct. 17.
Ward declined to discuss specific aspects of his venture’s project, since the supervisors have yet to comment or vote on the final sel ection of the development group.

“We want to honor and respect the process,” he said.

Assuming the hearing goes smoothly, Dana Point Harbor Partners will have three months to negotiate with the county over financial terms of the master lease.

The group has indicated that it has “internal capacity to fund the project without using institutional equity sources and the ability to secure construction financing for all project components from one lender,” according to county documents.

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