Byline: Taylor Hill
REDONDO BEACH — Three options for the future of 15 acres of waterfront real estate along the Redondo Beach Pier and King Harbor Marina were presented to Redondo Beach City Council members and the public Sept. 13 during a five-hour meeting at the Redondo Beach Central Library.
Launched in December 2011, the $100 million-plus Redondo Beach Waterfront Revitalization Plan is projected to take several years to complete, generate hundreds of jobs and result in an improved waterfront destination for the Redondo community, according to planners.
Over the past year, council members have narrowed the developer field to three candidates: CenterCal Properties from El Segundo, Pacifica Companies from San Diego, and Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises with the Ruth Group.
All three companies gave their presentations at the meeting, with Redondo Beach’s mayor and city council to possibly decide the finalist at the council’s Oct. 30 meeting.
Central Properties kicked off the presentations, with CEO Fred Burning saying that the Redondo Beach waterfront proposal would focus on retail aspects, adding a boutique hotel, a high-end movie theater and, potentially, a European-style marketplace featuring local seafood. Burning added it would be important to get input on the plan from local boaters.
Pacifica Companies’ presentation followed, with director of planning Allison Rolfe presenting for the company that specializes in beachfront properties. It is currently working on the Chula Vista Bayfront redevelopment. During the presentation, Rolfe stressed the importance of including the community in the development.
Pacifica’s plan calls for an enclosed multilevel marketplace with restaurant and shops that could include national chains, such as P.F. Chang, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and more. Two smaller-size hotels were included in the plan, and Pacifica Co. is planning to survey the community about where and when a boat launch ramp should be built in the area.
The final presenter at the meeting was Lowe Enterprises and the Ruth Group executive vice president Matt Walker. He discussed the company’s history of projects that included the development of the Terrenea Resort and Spa in Palos Verdes, and Walker focused on the tourism potential for Redondo Beach’s waterfront.
Lowe Enterprises’ presentation showed plans for a marketplace, a boardwalk and a waterfront resort that would include a beach club area, a hotel and a conference center.
All three projects were aimed at redeveloping Redondo Beach’s aging waterfront pier and marina area. The U-shaped pier was originally constructed in the 1920s, and has been in need of significant upgrades for the past few decades. The promenade is dotted with small shops, seafood restaurants and some marine-related office space.
Throughout the meeting, city council members stressed that the developer chosen is expected to work with the existing businesses in the redevelopment process, citing the business owners’ loyalty to the pier and marina over the years.
With the three teams making their case, the Redondo Beach City Council is expected to make a decision at its Oct. 30 meeting, moving forward with the plan to revitalize the area. The Redondo Beach Waterfront Revitalization Plan was approved by residents by a vote in 2010, with the city spending more than $10 million buying back leases from pierside businesses.
The project already has California Coastal Commission approval to create 447,000 square feet of new development. The city wants to get the plans finalized in the near future and get the environmental review process under way, with a goal to begin construction in 2014.