Lessee for Catalina Yacht Anchorage in Marina del Rey seeks to transfer lease to new owner

Parcel 41, commonly known as Catalina Yacht Anchorage, is a marine-commercial zoned property located on the north side on Bali Way.

MARINA DEL REY—The current lessee of Parcel 41 in Marina del Rey has sought Los Angeles County’s approval to assign the lease over to a new lessee.

Commonly known as Catalina Yacht Anchorage, Parcel 41 includes two one-story buildings totaling 2,085 square feet and 148 boat slips on 2.35 acres of land and 3.18 acres of water.

The current lessee, Wesco Sales Corp., was granted a 60-year lease for the site in 1962. The lease is set to expire on May 31, 2022. Wesco Sales Corp. has sought approval to transfer the lease to CAH Marina I, LLC, and for approval for a five-year lease extension. The proposed lease extension would push the lease to May 31, 2027. Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors (DHB) staff said this would allow the proposed assignee time to learn about the community as it considers a longer-term proposal that more comprehensively outlines the plans to operate the property.

Caruso Management Company would serve as the proposed assignee’s property management company. Caruso Management Company manages and operates several Los Angeles area upscale properties, such as The Americana at Brand, The Grove, and Waterside, Marina del Rey.

Under the terms of the lease, the lessee is required to obtain the county’s consent to the proposed assignment of the lease. DHB said staff and county counsel have reviewed the lease amendment and proposed assignment and have determined that the county has no reasonable basis on which to withhold its consent. Prior to going before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for approval, it was discussed at the DHB Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting on Jan. 13.

Bryce Ross, Senior Vice President of Development & Acquisitions for Caruso, told the commissioners at the Jan. 13 meeting they will maintain the area as marine-serving and will engage the boating community in any planning.

“We have no immediate plans, our plan is to get to know the community and learn what’s important to the boaters here,” Ross said at the Jan. 13 meeting.

Commissioner David Lumian expressed he wanted to make sure they would continue to serve the boating community and that marine use businesses would not be pushed out.

“I’m very concerned about the fate of this parcel, it is one of the few marine commercial parcels in Marina del Rey,” Lumian said at the Jan. 13 meeting. “It is very important to the boating community, in particular the businesses that support the boating community.”

Ross assured the Commission their focus would be serving the tenants at the property, the boaters at the property and the boating community.

“In terms of the long-term marina and anchorage uses at the property, we’re committed to that, that goes without saying there will be continued anchorage and marina uses here on the property,” Ross said.

The commissioners also raised concerns that Caruso Management Company has never operated a marina before. Ross said they have hired experts from Catalina Yacht Anchorage and other marina experts to assist.

“We’re in the hospitality business and that’s how we view this, we’re going to add the experts that are needed specially for marina uses but serving the boating community is our number one objective,” Ross said.

The Commission ultimately voted to provide their support to the assignment of the lease to CAH Marina I, LLC. The matter will now go before the LA County Board of Supervisors, which will have the final say.

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