OCEANSIDE — With construction of the new Oceanside Beachfront Resort on the horizon, residents gathered at the Oceanside Public Library on Jan. 10 to ask questions and voice their concerns about road closures, truck traffic and a moratorium on large-scale events at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre, which are expected with construction.
Representatives from DPR Construction, the company hired in December 2017 by developer S.D. Malkin Properties to build the resort, met with residents during a public meeting to present details about the project.
The resort will be located on two adjacent, full-block oceanfront parcels facing Pacific Street with Mission Avenue separating the two blocks.
The resort will include a 226-key hotel and a 161-key boutique hotel with below-grade parking, a conference center, restaurants, retail and a spa.
Additionally, the project will include the complete rehabilitation of the historic Graves “Top Gun” House beach cottage. The cottage will be moved from its original location on the south block to Lot #26 near the resort site, where it will be rehabilitated and then moved to the north block.
In its new location, the Graves House will be converted into an ice cream shop, S.D. Malkin Properties Director Jeremy Cohen previously told The Coast News.
According to DPR Construction, construction of the resort will take approximately 20 months to complete.
“It’s an aggressive and fast construction project we’re trying to get done and out of the way,” said David Mayo, DPR Construction’s project manager.
One of the first changes to impact Oceanside residents during the construction period is the closure of the westernmost part of Mission Avenue.
“Mission has to close for us to produce those two buildings,” Mayo said. “While we’re undertaking the project you will not be able to access Mission going down to the beach.”
A sign warning residents of Mission’s closure will be set up a week prior to when it officially closes.
Mayo also noted there will be two tower cranes positioned on the blocks sometime later into the project that will be “very noticeable” throughout the city and from Interstate Highway 5.
The first part of construction will be excavation of the site, which will take between two and three months to complete.
Full-time inspectors and monitors will be on-site during all excavations, according to DPR Construction.
Approximately 93,000 cubic yards of excavated material — the equivalent of 28 Olympic swimming pools — will be exported. Most of that material will go to other nearby construction projects and will not go to landfill, according to DPR Construction officials.
F.J. Willert Contracting Company will be providing excavation and trucking services for the project. Exporting material from the site will require between 105 and 285 truckloads being hauled away each day.
The 105 number represents the amount of truckloads if there is only one crew working on the site’s excavation, Mayo explained, while the 285 number represents two crews.
Having two crews would mean the excavation period would be completed in about half the estimated time, he said, but it would mean double the amount of trucks driving through Oceanside during that period.
Hauling will take place Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. with the occasional Saturday workday. The haul route will bring trucks south on Coast Highway until they turn right onto Mission Avenue to get to the site.
The trucks will be staged on-site so as to prevent them from blocking businesses along the haul route.
When the trucks leave, they will head back down Mission, turn right onto South Cleveland Street, turn left onto Seagaze Drive, then turn left onto Clementine Street and finally turn right back onto Mission Avenue. A flagger will be stationed at Mission Avenue and Myers Street.
According to Jim Picard, lead superintendent for DPR Construction, the left turn lane on Cleveland Street going north to Mission will be temporarily closed during trucking hours because of the wide right turn the trucks will make going onto Cleveland.
If any public roads are damaged, Picard said they would be repaired to pre-construction condition. He also said there won’t be any hauling of material if it rains so as to avoid tracking mud out onto the streets, and added that a street sweeper will continuously operate during export operations.
“If somebody says, ‘The street’s dirty in front of my business,’ call us,” he said. “We want to be good neighbors.”
DPR Construction will also have full-time dust control using a water meter and fire hose during the project.
The project will also prevent parking around the site.
The hauling route purposely uses Clementine Street to avoid Oceanside High School. Beth Barnard, a parent of a student at Oceanside High, noted many students including her child park down as far as Coast Highway because of a lack of parking at the school.
Oceanside High Principal Teresa Collis, who attended the meeting, said she will be closely monitoring the situation to see how it impacts students arrival and departure times from school and if it produces a “hazardous situation” for students.
A second parent pointed out another big concern for Oceanside High School students and parents is the cancellation of the spring graduation ceremony at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater, also known as the Oceanside Bandshell, located next to the beach at the foot of the pier.
Graduation at the amphitheater has been a decades-long tradition for Oceanside High’s graduating seniors. Because of the resort’s construction, the city of Oceanside has placed a large-scale event moratorium on the amphitheater until it’s completed.
The city’s Special Events division is currently evaluating every event at the amphitheater and is in the process of contacting all event organizers affected by the moratorium.
On Jan. 16, the City of Oceanside announced graduation would proceed at the amphitheater.
“The City of Oceanside, Oceanside High School (OHS), and the Oceanside Unified School District have worked together to identify compromises that would allow the OHS graduation to take place at the pier amphitheater,” the announcement states. “Through these collaborative efforts and in light of an updated construction schedule, the city will be able to accommodate the ceremony.”
Residents who attended the meeting had mixed feelings on the resort’s construction.
“Many of you are very excited about the project, (you’ve) been waiting a long time,” Mayo said. “But we know that many of you are not.”
One Oceanside resident told construction officials that they were not welcome in the city, while another resident told officials they were welcome.
“This is a project that in my opinion will benefit Oceanside and I’m glad you guys are here and willing to have these meetings,” said Robert Botkin, board president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside.
DPR Construction officials hope to get excavation started in January but noted they are looking at excavating during the months of February, March and April.
Residents can visit howdoyouoside.com to follow construction updates.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son