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Frequently Asked Questions

General Revitalization FAQ:

Who are Dana Point Harbor Partners (DPHP)?

Dana Point Harbor Partners, LLC (DPHP), a collaboration created to operate and redevelop Dana Point Harbor in a partnership with the County of Orange.  It is a made up of three “best in class” real estate development firms, each specializing in a unique product type. Burnham Ward Properties is responsible for stewarding the harbor’s Commercial Core activities featuring the retail, restaurants, offices and other landside buildings, as well as all parkscape areas. Bellwether Financial Group guides the marina operations and redevelopment including the boat slips, boater facilities, dry boat storage, day-boat parking and launch ramp areas. R.D. Olson Development leads the hotel redevelopment and hospitality components of the harbor.

The partnership will connect the harbor’s landside and waterside to become a singular cohesive waterfront experience.

DPHP are united by a love of the water and are dedicated to preserving Dana Point Harbor’s historical significance. This will ensure every element of the harbor is thoughtfully designed, redeveloped and managed to be reimagined into a world-class destination with historic roots and local charm.

Why is the Harbor being revitalized?

Dana Point Harbor is almost 50 years old. Construction of the Harbor began in the 60s, and it was officially dedicated on July 31, 1971. Due to the close proximity to the ocean air, being a highly trafficked area, and deferred maintenance, the Harbor’s buildings and docks are beyond repair.

Since singing the lease in October 2018, DPHP have made cosmetic improvements to the Harbor such as painting all building, new signage, and addressing various safety issues. While these improvements make the buildings seem fine, professional engineering surveys have concluded that most of the buildings within the Harbor are unfortunately unsalvageable.

What is a P-3?

A P-3, shorthand for a public-private-partnership, is a legally binding agreement between public and private-sector organizations. In the case of Dana Point Harbor, the County of Orange (owner), a public entity, have selected Dana Point Harbor Partners (DPHP), a private entity, to revitalize and manage the Harbor.  Under this agreement, the County of Orange retains ownership of the Harbor, and DPHP have a 66-year ground lease with the County, which commenced October of 2018. In a P-3, the private party invests its own capital (no taxpayer dollars are spent) to design, develop, and maintain the property for the full duration of the lease.

Public-private partnerships help fill the void between typical annual government accounting and capital budgeting. Simply, it allows for private entities to invest their own dollars, freeing up funding for government entities to utilize on more critical issues. In a recent report by Deloitte titled, “Closing America’s Infrastructure Gap: The Role of Public-Private Partnerships,” it succinctly outlines benefits to utilizing P-3s as follows:

  1. P-3s have a solid track record of on-time, on-budget delivery.
  2. P-3s transfer certain risks to the private sector and provide incentives for assets to be properly maintained.
  3. P-3s can lower the cost of infrastructure to the public entity by reducing both construction costs and overall life-cycle costs.
  4. Since satisfaction metrics can be built into the contract, P-3s encourage a strong customer service orientation.

Why is a P-3 beneficial?

In the case of Dana Point Harbor, a P-3 is beneficial as the County does not need to fund the needed improvements and revitalization of the Harbor. This frees up tax-payer dollars to be spent in other needed areas within The County of Orange. The County collects rent from DPHP which is put towards funding and improvements in all areas of The County.

Scope of revitalization:

DPHP manage the area from Puerto Place near Doheny State Beach, to the start of the Sailing and Events Center at Baby Beach. DPHP also manage the fishing pier at Baby Beach.

Who is funding the revitalization?

The revitalization is privately funded by DPHP. No taxpayer dollars are being spent.

What is the cost of the revitalization?

The revitalization is anticipated to cost nearly $600 million.

What is the timeline of the revitalization?

DPHP commenced construction on the new docks and boat slips in November of 2022. The waterside improvements will be done in phases (15 total) over an approx. 5-year period. The purpose of replacing the docks in phases is to allow for minimal disruption to the boaters and public during replacement. Phase 4 is near completion and is expected to be open for occupancy in the coming weeks. Phase 5 demolition is soon to begin and is anticipated to be complete and ready for occupancy in June 2024. Once Phase 5 is complete, the entire west basin cove will be 100% revitalized.

DPHP commenced construction on the Commercial Core revitalization on February 7, 2024. The Commercial Core features approx. 120,000 SF of restaurants and shops and a 3-level 984-stall parking structure. Just as with the Dock revitalization, the Commercial Core construction will occur in phases (5 total) beginning with the parking structure and total duration for construction is estimated to be approximately 3 years. The purpose of developing in phases is to maintain access to the waterfront for boaters and the public as well as to allow existing businesses to remain open to the public during construction. 

The hotel component is awaiting approval from the California Coastal Commission.

How is the County of Orange involved?

DPHP have a 66 year ground lease with the County of Orange to manage and revitalize Dana Point Harbor. As of October 2018, DPHP have been responsible for the day to day management and expenses of the Harbor. The County of Orange owns Dana Point Harbor.

I have additional questions or comments, who should I contact?

DPHP have hosted many community workshops to gather feedback on the functionality, aesthetic, and community priorities for Dana Point Harbor. If you have additional inquiries, please contact: info@danapointharbor.com

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