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Quentin Batalillon

General News 2024

RD Olson wins Coastal Commission OK for Dana Point Hotels

RD Olson Development has received a nod from the California Coastal Commission to build two hotels in Dana Point Harbor, which are now undergoing a $600 million renovation.

The Newport Beach-based developer led by Bob Olson can now move forward with plans to build the Dana House and Surf Lodge on 9.5 acres at 24800 Dana Point Harbor Drive, DPTimes and the Orange County Register report.

They would replace the 136-room Dana Point Marina Inn, built after the port was founded in 1971.

The 130-room Dana House would be a boutique hotel “with a Nantucket flair,” according to the developer. The more affordable Surf Lodge, with an unspecified number of rooms, would target sailors and a younger crowd. Their estimated cost was $150 million.

Both hotels will have a rooftop lounge, pool and fitness center, Olson said.

The three-story Dana House will feature four townhouse-style, two-story units for families or larger groups. Olson said he expects room rates to range from $300 to $500 per night.

Centered around surfing culture, the Surf Lodge will be a “more affordable, accessible” waterfront hotel, Olson said. Projected rates for the hotel were not disclosed.

“The Surf Lodge will be more geared towards a younger crowd, a fun, hipper experience, but welcoming,” Olson told the DPTimes. “Sometimes hip hotels can be excluded; This will not be the case at all: a very inclusive hotel where people feel welcome and wanted.”

RD Olson is one of three developers from Dana Point Harbor Partners, which in 2018 secured a 66-year lease from the OC Board of Supervisors to renovate the harbor. The renovation will include a 120,000-square-foot “commercial core” with waterfront retail, restaurants and a boardwalk connecting Doheny State Beach and Baby Beach.

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

With the California Coastal Commission approval behind it, Dana Point Harbor Partners will now seek final approval from the city of Dana Point, Olson said. A game-changing step for the hotels could happen within the next twelve months.

Construction of the harbor parking lot is already underway and is expected to be completed early next year.

RD Olson Development, founded by Bob Olson in 1997, has built more than $1 billion worth of hotels in California, Hawaii and Arizona since 2000, including Lido House in Newport Beach, according to its website.

– Dana Bartholomew

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