Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla, flanked by members of the current and previous administration, inaugurated Tuesday the second phase of the Bahía Urbana redevelopment project in Old San Juan, between Piers 7 and 8, at a cost of $40 million. The new facilities will create 100 direct and indirect jobs.
“Today is a great day when we proudly show what we can achieve when we come together and work with great effort on behalf of the island,” said García-Padilla, accompanied by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, former Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock — who represented former Gov. Luis Fortuño — Tourism Company Executive Director Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort and Ports Authority Executive Director Víctor Suárez.
The redevelopment of the San Juan pier and ports area has been overseen and redesigned by six administrations, including the current one.
The first conceptualization of a plan to develop the entire San Juan waterfront area was done in the 80s under the leadership of then Gov. Rafael Hernández-Colón, which later became known as “Paseo Portuario.” Subsequently, former Gov. Pedro Rossello expanded the initiative by establishing what he called the “Golden Triangle,” while his sucessor Sila María Calderón continued moving the concept forward by opening the Convention Center, building the bridges connecting the islet of San Juan and building the first facilities of the Muelle Panamericano in Miramar.
Under former Gov. Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá, the so-called San Juan Waterfront project was establishes that included, among other things, developing open areas, planting vegetation and installing urban art. Then, the Fortuño administration proposed the Bahía Urbana project connecting Piers 7 and 8 and installing world-class facilities.
Attractions includes cultural, sports and artistic events. Among the attractions scheduled to inaugurate Bahía Urbana is Café 8, an outdoor restaurant overlooking the Bay where visitors can enjoy light snacks and dishes such as salads, sandwiches, seafood as well as grilled options, all with a Puerto Rican flair.
Other attractions are Urban Beach, a water park, a state of the art trapeze school, water taxis, sea planes, mooring for boats and yachts, a central urban market area, and an open air amphitheater. Bahía Urbana will open daily to the public from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., including holidays.