close
close

Dana House and Surf Lodge hotels approved for development in Dana Point Harbor renovation – Orange County Register

Views of planned hotels in Dana Point Harbor. There will be two new hotels: the Dana House and the Surf Lodge. Both were approved for development by RD Olson Development by the California Coastal Commission. The hotels can break through next year if all permits are issued. (Photos courtesy of Bob Olson)

The final part of the planned $550 million renovation of Dana Point Harbor is almost complete: the California Coastal Commission has given the green light to build two new hotels at the 53-year-old harbor.

Located on the harbor promenade, the Dana House will be a boutique-style hothouse

el and the Surf Lodge a more affordably priced option aimed at watermen, says developer Bob Olson, president of Newport Beach-based RD Olson Development.

Olson has been working with the California Coastal Commission for four years to obtain the necessary permits to develop the two new hotels that will replace the 167-room Dana Point Marina Inn and which, if all goes as expected, would be demolished next June could be.

“We are happy to move forward; we now have all our permits for the commercial core,” Olson said, adding that work on a three-level parking garage is moving forward.

“It will take a year before we can start construction and two years to build the hotels,” he said, adding that the final permits are still pending.

Olson is one of three developers who make up Dana Point Harbor Partners, which was awarded a 66-year lease by the OC Board of Supervisors in 2018 to renovate the harbor, including a new 120,000-square-foot commercial core that will house shops, restaurants and public gathering spaces and an expansive boardwalk connecting Doheny State Beach to Baby Beach.

Another partner, Joe Ueberroth of Bellwether Financial Group, has already built about a third of the new 2,265-slip marina.

And in February, work began on the three-level parking garage, marking the start of construction of the landside commercial core. That development is led by Bryon Ward, president of Burnham Ward Properties.

The parking garage with 984 parking spaces will be built on the left side of Golden Lantern at the entrance to the port. There will be boat services, including restrooms, showers, changing rooms, e-charging stations and dedicated parking for people going sport fishing, whale watching and connecting on the Catalina Express.

“They went like gangbusters,” said Donna Kalez, who operates Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching and is monitoring the progress of the renovation. “We are so excited to have enough parking for our customers that we just can’t wait.”

“The new hotels will provide affordable options for my customers, many of whom travel long distances to go fishing and whale watching,” Kalez said, adding that connecting the commercial core with hotels is something “we have done for 53 years.” missed. ”

Olson described the Dana House, which will have three stories and a roof deck, similar to the Lido House in Newport Beach.

“It will be an updated version, but with more of a beach house style,” he said. “The interior will be timeless and feel modern with white wooden paneling and white wooden beams. It will be a boutique beachfront hotel with a Nantucket flair.”

The 130-room hotel will have a rooftop lounge and restaurant with “beautiful water views,” he said.

Four two-story townhouse-style units can accommodate families or larger groups. They all have their own outdoor space with barbecues, TVs and fire pits.

Olson said he expects room rates to range from $300 to $500 per night.

The Surf Lodge, where nights start at $125 and go up to $250, will also have a rooftop lounge and a large yard with space to store surfboards, paddleboards and other smaller watercraft, Olson said.

“It will really be for the active traveler,” he said.

While the Dana House will have a historical nod to Richard Henry Dana, the founder and author of “Two Years Before the Mast,” Olson said the lodge will represent the surfing heritage of Dana Point — the city identifies as the birthplace of the surfing industry — with an homage to Killer Dana, a popular wave off the rocky shoreline of Dana Cove that never broke after the province began construction of the harbor’s breakwater in 1966.

The Surf Lodge will “reflect the culture of Dana Point in a fun and light-hearted way,” Olson said.

As part of the Coastal Commission approval process, Olson agreed to a number of provisions that benefited the greater Orange County community. Included are programs to benefit disadvantaged youth and the disabled, who can learn about water safety and participate in swimming and sailing lessons in the harbour, internships to promote indigenous land management and exercise classes for seniors on fixed incomes.

The hotels will also help fund programs at the Sailing and Events Center, something Olson said Fifth District Orange County Supervisor Kristina Foley spearheaded.

“Over the past 18 months, our office has spent countless hours negotiating with the City, the Coastal Commission and the Dana Point Harbor Partners to ensure that this project supports and enhances social and nonprofit programs in Dana Point Harbor through a comprehensive package of community benefits,” Foley said in a statement.

Olson said he’s excited to get started and said the two hotels are already taking shape “in my mind.”

“Now it’s just putting it together,” he said.

“Our community will love these hotels,” he added. “These will be the crown jewels of a Dana Point stay.”