What to Know About the Fisherman's Wharf Project Proposal

What to Know About the Fisherman's Wharf Project Proposal

  • 03/21/23

West of Los Angeles, California, in Ventura County, lies the city of Oxnard. This seaside city is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura, CA, Metropolitan Statistical Area. Oxnard continues to expand and revitalize as its population grows, including projects such as the Fisherman’s Wharf Project.

Oxnard's Fisherman's Wharf is a historic fishing port with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals. Fisherman's Wharf offers a variety of seafood restaurants, souvenir shops, and fishing boats that bring in the daily catch. The Wharf is a hub for whale-watching tours and watersports such as kayaking and fishing while also providing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.

Background on the Fisherman’s Wharf Proposal

Fisherman's Wharf's entire property spans 10 acres with 325 parking spaces and about 49,000 square feet of one- and two-story commercial buildings. The Wharf is zoned for commercial and retail use, including restaurants. The Fisherman's Wharf Project aims to bring new life from its current state, primarily as it has not been adequately maintained. Fisherman's Wharf has been a hot topic in Oxnard due to the need for the area to be cared for, but there have been differing opinions on how to do so, raised alongside concerns from residents about traffic and the cost of development and maintenance.

Channel Islands Harbor Properties, LLC (CIHP) submitted a proposal between 2019-2020 for a mixed-use, harbor-oriented village with a waterfront promenade around the border featuring various retail and restaurants, all leading to a new one-acre harbor-themed park with views down the Harbor's east channel. Alongside new restaurants and retail spaces, the proposal included an overwater dining deck, a boardwalk spanning 1,000 feet, office space, and a total of 390 apartments with excellent views and numerous amenities.

Eventually, this proposal was rejected, and the Fisherman's Wharf proposal went cold. In 2022, however, four new bids were submitted for consideration, which were then narrowed down to three projects to be presented to the public.

Public workshop presentation in September 2022

After the three proposals were chosen, a public workshop presentation was arranged to allow residents to hear more about the proposals and to have a voice in the Wharf's future. Initially, the presentation was to be held at the Channel Islands Boating Center until being moved to the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club. However, an announcement was made the previous week about moving the presentation to the performing arts center due to public interest.

On September 19th, the workshop was held, and each contracting company presented its ideas. Once the presentations were finished, each contractor had a table where residents could visit to ask questions and raise concerns. The three proposals were submitted by Karl’s Adventure Village, Pacific Heritage Communities (Mandalay Village Marketplace and Pacific Collection), and the Kibo Group. Karl's Adventure Village's proposal was a Strawberry Village, a staple of the German company, with seven other locations in operation. Pacific Heritage Communities and Kibo group proposed upscale boutique shopping and dining areas with public spaces like an outdoor amphitheater and playgrounds.

Announcing a chosen proposal in November 2022

In a project update from the beginning of November last year, Channel Harbor Island announced that the Ventura County Harbor Department recommended starting an Exclusive Right to Negotiate between the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and Karl's Adventure Village.

The proposal was presented by Robert Dahl, a German strawberry farmer and the founder of Karl's Adventure Village. Karl's Adventure village proposes establishing a Strawberry Village, which ties in with Dahl's background as a strawberry farmer and Oxnard's reputation as the strawberry capital of the world. Currently, there are seven other strawberry villages established in Germany. Dahl emphasizes the uniqueness of each village, as he incorporates public feedback and makes necessary adjustments to fit the community's character.

Dahl proposes transforming Fisherman's Wharf into a visitor-serving adventure village accessible to anyone, from families to retirees. The plan for the concept is to refurbish existing areas treasured by the community and create new retail and dining options. The proposed retail businesses include children's toys and book shops, clothing shops, home goods stores, and a garden shop located outdoors. Possible dining options are a country and maritime kitchen, a food market, a café, and various sit-down restaurants. Other amenities include playgrounds, public park areas, children's rides, and a boutique hotel.

Project update as of January 2023

On the Channel Harbor Island blog, a message from the Ventura County Harbor Department director, Michael Tripp, was shared at the beginning of January 2023. Along with reiterating the announcement from the end of 2022, he discussed meetings with concerned residents to delay the project. Residents asked for another in-person meeting with Robert Dahl and his development team. No specific meeting date has been announced at this time, aside from possibly happening in February 2023.

Following the director’s message, Robert Dahl posted a guest column on Channel Islands Harbor’s blog to address concerns and questions from residents.

Living in Oxnard

Aside from the history of Fisherman's Wharf and Oxnard being the world's strawberry capital, there are countless reasons to live in this coastal community. Sports fanatics can appreciate events such as the Dallas Cowboys pre-season training, along with being the hometown of nine Major League Baseball players, five championship boxers, and eight National Football League players. Another fun place to visit is Oxnard's downtown area, known as Heritage Square.

Contact Eric Swartz today if you are at the beginning of your home-buying journey and researching homes for sale in Oxnard, California. Swartz has eight years of real estate experience in Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme and is active in the local yacht racing and boating community. Eric will help you navigate the entire process, whether you are listing luxury homes for sale in Oxnard or listing your home on the Port Hueneme real estate market.

Work With Eric

There are a lot of nuances to be aware of when buying or selling a home and I take pride in being well versed in the finer points of CC&Rs, sewer line liability, mello roos, seawall maintenance, short term rentals laws, and more. Contact me today to discuss all your real estate needs!

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