Environmental Impact Report begins for proposed development on Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile

MX3 Ventures – MSM Global’s proposal for a mixed-use development project in the Mariners Mile corridor has not moved forward without opposition.

NEWPORT BEACH—A proposed mixed-use development in Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile – a 1.3-mile stretch known as the nautical heart of Newport Beach – has resurfaced.

In November, the city began the process for conducting an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Newport Village project. The proposed private development project by MX3 Ventures – MSM Global involves approximately 9.4 acres on the north and south sides of West Coast Highway in the 2000 and 2200 blocks. The north parcel is situated between the Holiday Inn and Novamar Insurance and the south parcel is between a multi-commercial development and the Boy Scout’s Newport Sea Base.

The proposal involves building 108 apartment units, 14 for-sale condominiums, a car showroom, a boat showroom, office and retail space, 827 parking spots and a new publicly accessible waterfront promenade. All the structures except A’maree’s and an office/vehicle sales building at 2244 West Coast Highway would be demolished and remodeled.

Design plans also include changes to the marina, including adding headwalk sections and a new gangway.

A mix of retail, marine-related commercial, boat rental, service uses, office, and surface parking lots currently sit on the site. Sun County Marine Group, Silver Seas Yachts and Duffy Electric Boat Sales and Rentals are all current tenants and would have the option to stay, according to project developer and CEO of MX3 Ventures Manouch Moshayedi.

“Our goal was to keep all of our tenants once the project is done,” Moshayedi said.

Bob Hunt, president of Duffy Electric Boat Sales and Rentals, said they have signed long-term leases with Moshayedi and would be part of Newport Village, should it come to fruition.

“We don’t feel we will be harmed,” Hunt said.

Mariners Mile has been in the city’s sights for revitalization for some time but has not come without opposition. In 2011, the City Council designated it as one of six “revitalization areas” in Newport Beach. According to previous reporting in The Log, in 2014, the city hired a consulting firm and held public workshops on revitalizing the area only to have the plans quashed several months later.

Newport Beach, in 2016-2017, funded a “Mariner’s Mile Revitalization” planning effort, but it was ultimately scrapped due to opposition from stakeholders and residents.

Moshayedi, meanwhile, said he started purchasing property in the area in 2010. In 2017, he submitted an application for a mixed-use development at the site and revised plans were submitted a year later in 2018, according to city records. Moshayedi said the original plans of a 600,000 square-foot development met all zoning requirements but was scaled back after a year of meetings with the community. He said the current project proposal is half the size, 300,000 square feet, of his original plans.

Moshayedi said with California’s growing housing shortage, almost every city is looking at ways to add more places to live. He also said the area currently does not provide any accessible public space.

“It doesn’t make sense to keep this valuable piece of property the way it is,” Moshayedi said. “It should be made into something everybody can use.”

City staff said they are still in the early stages of reviewing the proposal and one of the first steps includes the EIR process.

“We are still developing our analysis of the project,” Newport Beach Senior Planner Makana Nova said. “We don’t have a specific opinion or recommendation on the project.”

As part of the EIR process, the city held a public scoping meeting on Nov. 20. Many residents and community members attending the meeting voiced concerns about an increase in traffic and noise, the development obstructing views of the bay and the ability for the area to support public services, such as schools, to an influx of people. Nova said all of those things will be studied in the EIR.

“The scope and appearance of the project is not consistent with a small beach town community,” said Peggy Palmer, who is part of the Coalition to Protect Mariner’s Mile.

Palmer said the coalition has about 2,000 members concerned about the development.

Another related concern voiced by the community, one that is not part of the project plans but the city’s, is the widening of West Coast Highway to six lanes. The expansion of West Coast Highway has been part of the city’s General Plan, which is currently undergoing review. The widening of West Coast Highway has faced strong opposition from residents and businesses in the area.

Nova said at the Nov. 20 scooping meeting, the EIR is factoring the city’s intention of widening West Coast Highway.

A draft of the EIR is expected to be available for public review in summer of 2020. There will then be a 45-day public review period before a public hearing before the Newport Beach Planning Commission.

The project would still have other hoops to jump through before it could begin construction, including getting a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission.

 


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6 thoughts on “Environmental Impact Report begins for proposed development on Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:43 pm
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    Peggy Palmer’s description of Newport Beach as a “small beach town community” is laughable with Hoag Hospital looming over PCH, restaurants similar to The Winery and Rusty Pelican or shops like A’maree’s that are each large self contained buildings in addition to the huge auto and yacht showrooms give short shrift to that idea! It’s always amazes me what some of these supposedly “community members” groups can come up with as arguments. I’m not one for unnecessary or over development but much of the “miracle mile” is old and grungy maybe a new look would improve the area and bring more visitors to the area. Apartments are a great idea for Newport Beach but alas they likely will be extremely overpriced and unapproachable for most people.

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    • January 3, 2020 at 7:44 pm
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      First of all Hoag Hospital is not in close proximate to Newport Height Elementary Horace Ensign and Newport Harbor. It is not close to the two preschools, Chalk and Nobis and not to mention the three sailing schools along Mariner’s Mile that are a host to preschoolers and young sailors year round. Perhaps, we shouldn’t discuss the 1,500 junior life guards traveling from Newport Heights to the beach every summer. Maybe we should address the issue of PCH being widened, because the project is immense. Furthermore to suggest that this project is compatible with the abutting community is ridiculous. The community wants a walkable, family friendly village and that is simply not obtainable with a 60 mph race car corridor running thru the middle. It will be a “miracle” for Mariner’s Mile, IF yet another needless tragedy or death occurs. Fast traffic hurts business…, so how does one create Newport Village?
      Perhaps, the proposed site is good, as it is close to Hoag.

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  • January 4, 2020 at 12:27 pm
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    The residents of Newport Beach are for responsible growth and development and we recognize the need to revitalize Mariner’s Mile as a pedestrian and bicyclist friendly walkable village. The proposed Newport Village project in its current state would automatically push for the expansion of Pacific Coast Highway. The project should have requirements, as listed in the 2006 General Plan Update to add to the community’s charm and to do no harm. This proposed expansion is in direct conflict of with the goal of recreating Mariner’s Mile into a village experience. Furthermore, implementing a “high-speed” corridor in which 4,300 children travel to and from school illustrate reckless disregard by the City and the Developer; this does not consider the 1,500 Junior LifeGuards, the OCC Sailing Schools, The Boy Scouts and Chalk Preschool children and teens using this stretch along Mariner’s Mile.

    The proposed Newport Village project currently would permanently obstruct public views from from public parks that are enjoyed by tourist and locals alike during the annual boat parade, summer celebrations and would create a “block-wall” that would eliminate the view corridor forever. Newport Village will be the largest single development since the Balboa Bay Club was erected in 1963-1964. We have a responsibly to protect our harbor, our land and scenic vista for future generations to come.

    The California Coast has been able to achieve these goals in the past, from Long Beach to San Diego have mostly two lanes in each direction that have achieved a scenic highway, maintain view corridors and preserve historic and cultural resources and public events.

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  • January 5, 2020 at 3:55 pm
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    This proposed development is far too dense for this area and will occlude views.

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  • January 5, 2020 at 6:19 pm
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    Kevin obviously does not live in Newport Heights and does not have a view of the bay from his home nor the knowledge of contaminants in this area. The proposed 3 story structures would eliminate a significant portion of homeowner views, ones they paid dearly for. The community would most likely welcome development of Mariners Mile into two-story structures and structures that will not further destroy our local air contaminants (ie increased methane contaminants from apartments/condominium/hotel structures). Lastly, mostly all of PCH on Mariners Mile is already six lanes. The only thing keeping it from being six lanes, in all honesty, is parking spaces. What they really want is to spend millions (maybe billions of dollars) increasing PCH by 9 feet to allow for the current parking spaces as well as bicycle lanes on each side. Is that really what we want our taxes to go for? PCH is already a very dangerous driveway, especially in the late hours. We don’t need MORE ambulances racing down PCH to Hoag!!!

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  • January 6, 2020 at 11:25 am
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    Newport Heights would have been better off if that property would have been developed years ago. As time goes on, the allowed building envelope will only increase due to new state laws that override local building codes. We are playing with fire.

    Reply

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