The principals of Protea Waterfront Development (PWD) are longtime San Diego residents and recognized professionals in their respective fields. Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, Jeff Jacobs and Jeffrey Essakow bring expertise in construction management, biotech, marketing, hospitality, unique mixed-use retail development, fitness and philanthropy. Together, they have close to 100 years of experience and a shared commitment to creating a legacy project to be enjoyed for generations to come.
Gaf is a downtown resident and has lived and worked in San Diego since 1979. He and his wife founded Gafcon, Inc. in 1987, a nationally respected construction and program management firm. Gafcon has been behind the success of many local public and private projects, including the original North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, the reconstruction of the San Diego Community College and Unified School districts, numerous downtown high-rise residential projects, Coronado’s police facility and public services yard, and the San Diego County Hall of Justice. Gaf’s passion lies in assisting owners in executing complex projects that power vibrant communities. View full bio
JJ has been a San Diego resident since 1966. He began his professional life as Qualcomm’s 32nd employee. During his 22-year career there, Qualcomm grew from a small privately held company to one of the top 50 most highly valued companies in the world, while JJ rose to be an executive officer and the company's chief marketing officer. Since leaving Qualcomm, JJ has focused on high visibility lifestyle investment projects, including the acclaimed Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa and the new state-of-the-art stadium and practice facility for the Sacramento Kings. View full bio
As one of the three partners, Jeff provides the leadership and direction for the retail and financial strategies of the project.
Since 1983, when Jeff became a resident of San Diego, he has been instrumental in the success of a number of entrepreneurial ventures. He cofounded an athletic apparel company, which was acquired by Reebok in 1992. In 1996 he joined forces with Gaf to found Protea Holdings and currently manages all day-to-day operations of the company. Protea Holdings has developed over $300 million of commercial projects. Jeff is also a founder and board chairman of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Since 1997, CAF has raised more than $70 million to help athletes with disabilities lead active lifestyles. View full bio
PWD is a single-focused entity established with the sole purpose of developing this project. Its “parent,” Protea Holdings, has been developing noteworthy mixed-use projects like Flower Hill Promenade in San Diego since 1993. The principals are longtime San Diego residents and recognized professionals in their respective fields. Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, Jeff Jacobs and Jeffrey Essakow bring expertise in development, construction management, biotech, marketing, hospitality, unique mixed-use retail development, fitness and philanthropy. The PWD team shares a commitment to creating a legacy project that is accessible to residents and visitors alike that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
OdySea is a premier entertainment company that develops live nature attractions as well as retail and restaurant centers that cater to experiential shopping and dining. Its diversified portfolio includes a number of different nature-centered experiences from aquariums to butterfly pavilions, as well as mirror and laser mazes and commercial real estate. Select experience includes the Newport Aquarium located in Newport, Kentucky; OdySea Aquarium: An Oceanic Adventure as well as Butterfly Wonderland: A Rainforest Experience, both in Scottsdale, Arizona; and The OdySea Experience at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. More information is available at www.odyseaaquarium.com.
ThrillCorp (USTR) specializes in rides designed to show off the surrounding area, such as iconic spires and sky-view gondolas. Their manufacturing review standards, precision designs and rigorous safety processes have been developed and refined over their 20-year history. For more information visit www.usthrillrides.com.
The RCI Group and its affiliated companies are direct advisors for the development of the marina. This team is responsible for overseeing and advising on the construction of marina-related building and the overall layout of the marina.
The RCI Group has experience developing marinas mainly on the East Coast of the United States. These developments include the Miami Beach Marina and Boston Yacht Haven. Also, they are currently developing Steelpointe Harbor in New England. Most recently, they have been awarded large waterfront developments in Cuba. They consistently meet the highest standards of service, profitability and performance. Throughout their 40 years of operation, the RCI Group boasts a long and rich history of developing and managing residential, commercial and marine properties. More information is available at www.rciair.com.