Port of L.A. breaks ground on Wilmington Waterfront

The $70.8 million project will soon be under construction. The port district expects the visitor-serving destination to be completed by 2023.

LOS ANGELES—Ground has officially been broken on the much-anticipated Wilmington Waterfront Promenade, a $70.8 million project city and port district officials hope will make the Los Angeles Harbor area a visitor-serving destination.

A groundbreaking ceremony was officially held on Oct. 29 at the planned site of the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade. Los Angeles City Council member Joe Buscaino and Port of Los Angeles officials were among those who took shovels and conducted the ceremonial groundbreaking. Buscaino represents Wilmington and San Pedro on the City Council.

The Wilmington Waterfront Promenade is part of the larger L.A. Waterfront redevelopment, which plans to revitalize the Los Angeles Harbor area as a visitor-serving destination, similar to Downtown Santa Monica, Newport Beach Harbor and the Port of San Francisco.

“We have worked diligently over the years to create more open spaces and recreational areas for the residents of Wilmington,” Buscaino said. “It is most important that we are constantly creating buffers between the Wilmington community and heavy industry. This project will deliver a new waterfront that will be a game changer for Wilmington and the L.A. Waterfront.”

Sasaki Associates Inc., an engineering firm, designed the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade. The project, once completed, would realign Water Street and make various street improvements, such as new utilities, grading, striping, lighting and landscaping. The waterfront park area would feature a promenade, public pier and dock, public restroom, playground, and parking lots.

Plans also call for a community park to be built next to Banning’s Landing Community Center, irrigation improvements and new signage. Public seating, bicycle racks and drinking fountains would also be built.

Wilmington Waterfront Promenade would ultimate occupy nine acres.

L.A. Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares said the new Wilmington Waterfront would improve “direct public access” to the harbor area.

“Providing more direct public access to Wilmington’s historic waterfront has been a long-time vision for the Port of Los Angeles, but also for me personally,” Moreno-Linares said. “As a Wilmington resident for more than 50 years, I am grateful to all who have played a role in keeping this project moving forward.”

Port of L.A. Executive Director Gene Seroka, meanwhile, said the development of a “public-serving waterfront” has always been a priority for the port district and local community.

“The Port’s ongoing commitment to financially support public-serving waterfront development is made possible through our Public Access Investment Plan,” Seroka said. “The process makes sure that our communities participate in prioritizing projects that our most important to them.”

Wilmington Waterfront Promenade is expected to be online and open at some point in 2023. Sully-Miller Contracting Co, which is based in Brea, California, was awarded the construction contract.

Funding for the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade was made possible by the port district’s Public Access Investment Plan, which was implemented in 2015. Ten percent of the port district’s annual operating income has been allocated to infrastructure projects since the investment plan was put in place. This is in addition to the money the port district already spends on the waterfront area, in general.

“The port [district] spends approximately $20 million per year maintaining, operating and programming the LA Waterfront,” according to port district staff. “The port [district] has invested more than $600 million in public access projects since 2005, with an additional $400 million committed through 2025.”

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