Orange County supervisors Tuesday selected a developer to revitalize Dana Point Harbor with new stores, restaurants, a surfing museum and two hotels.

The supervisors unanimously agreed to have county officials negotiate with Dana Point Harbor Partners, which has plans for 77,178 square feet of restaurants and outdoor dining, 31,949 square feet of retail space and a 9,000- square-foot surfing museum.

The plans also call for 2,296 marina slips, 388 spaces for dry-stack boat storage and valet boater slips between the stores and a 130-room boutique hotel and lower-priced 136-room hotel.

Work is expected to begin in December of next year.

“This has been in the works literally for 20 years,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. “It’s been a real labor of love for me.”

Bartlett said she worked on the project while on the Dana Point City Council.

“I’ve been a resident of Dana Point for 28 years and eight years on the City Council,” she said, calling the project a “substantial and much-needed investment for our county.”

Dana Point Mayor Debra Lewis told the supervisors, “We have been waiting 20 years for revitalization.”

Lewis said she found the developer’s plans “exciting.”

Chef Noah Blom, owner of ARC restaurant in Costa Mesa, praised Burnham Ward Properties, which will manage the eateries in the harbor.

“They took a chance on me before anyone else was willing to,” Blom told the board. “And since that point, we have received numerous accolades and have been able to grow our business in Orange County.”

Blom said Burnham Ward “are rock stars to us,” adding, “Burnham Ward would be my choice for this project. We love working with them.”

–City News Service

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