NEWPORT BEACH — The long awaited ground breaking for Marina Park has been set for Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. near 18th Street and Balboa Boulevard. Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill will speak at the event that commemorates 12- years of planning.
Designed by Rabbe/Herman, along with Bundy-Finkel Architects, the project has been at the top of the city’s to-do list
“Marina Park is a great use for that property,” said Duncan McIntosh, chairman of the Newport Beach Harbor Commission. “It’s the first new marina in Newport since I can remember; it’ll have some great new facilities.”
Mayor Hill will be joined at the podium by Nancy Nygren, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Orange County, and Julie Miller-Phipps, chair of the Girl Scouts of Orange County. A prospect Girl Scout is also scheduled to provide remarks at the ground breaking.
“I think it’s an excellent project that will be of tremendous long term benefit to the city of Newport Beach,” said Newport Beach Councilman Michael Henn. “I’m very supportive of the project and can’t wait for it to be completed.”
The project is set for construction on a 10.5 acre site that will include a public park, a 24,000 square-foot community and sailing center building; a 23-slip marina with 21 slips for boats up to 40 feet in length and two slips for boats up to 57 feet in length. A 200-foot side-tie area is planned to be used as a public transient vessel dock, accommodating recreational vessels and sailing center boats.
A reconstructed 19th Street restroom building, a freestanding faux lighthouse, an outdoor fitness circuit, a themed playground and parking lots and frontage street improvements are also included in the project. The buildings in the project are designed to meet LEED Silver rating requirements, said Laura Detweiler, Newport Beach Director of Recreation and Senior Services Department.
The first phase of the project began earlier this month, with the removal of 58 city-owned mobile homes and the preliminary grading of the site.
“The components of the project and the beautification of the area will be positive changes for our city,” Councilman Henn said.
Although there are periodic beach closures in and around the site, the beach area near West Bay Avenue will be available to the public throughout the summer months. Additionally, residents will have access to the adjoining existing tennis courts and playground along West Balboa Boulevard which will remain open through a portion of this year.
“We are grateful to the community members who championed the park, the regulatory agencies that saw what we’re trying to do and granted the project permits, the Girls Scouts, and past and present city council and staff members who had and maintained the vision of what a special place those 10 waterfront acres could be,” said City of Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill.
Once completed, Marina Park will be home to the new 6,100 square-foot Girl Scouts Leadership Center, which is being funded entirely by the Girl Scouts of Orange County.
The cost is estimated at $21 million to $24 million. Construction is anticipated to take about 2.5 years with Marina Park scheduled for completion in spring 2016.