Thrills and excitement are on the horizon for San Diego’s skyline. San Diego Port Authority Commission recently approved the addition of a 480-foot-tall observation tower on prime waterfront land in the Port of San Diego. The site near San Diego International Airport (SAN) will be turned into SkySpire Tower, an iconic architectural feature with access to retail, dining and entertainment in the Marina and Gaslamp District.

The $1.2 billion project will have rotating gondolas that spiral around the tower, transporting guests to the top for an interactive observation experience while enjoying unobstructed 360-degree views of San Diego Bay and Coronado Island. Each gondola is expected to hold up to 20 visitors in a ski lift-style boarding process. SkySpire is a vertical alternative to the Ferris wheel, boasting a one-of-a-kind restaurant at the very top.

The observation tower will be erected by ThrillCorp, a developer of vertical entertainment experiences including retail centers and free-standing roller coasters. It is part of an extensive redevelopment along 70 acres of Downtown San Diego’s waterfront, including Seaport Village. Protea Waterfront Development is spearheading the redesign and area expansion to include new recreational spaces, an esplanade, parks, an aquarium and a pier.

“I believe this site is unquestionably one of the best waterfront sites in the United States that when completed will redefine experiential, urban mixed-use development and make San Diego a truly world-class city,” said Yehudi Gaffen, spokesperson for Protea Waterfront Development.