Port of L.A. increases rent for Catalina Express
Shuttle service out of San Pedro will now pay $512,951 per year, up from $322,446.
LOS ANGELES—Catalina Express will have to pay significantly more money to continue operating at its San Pedro location. The Port of Los Angeles’s Board of Harbor Commissioners, in a teleconference meeting held on April 2, voted to increase Catalina Express’s annual rent payments by 59 percent.
The annual rent payment jumped from $322,446 ($26,870 per month) to $512,851 – which translates to a monthly payment of $42,738. Catalina Express will make the new rent payment for a five-year term, which ends on July 24, 2024. The five-year term retroactively began on July 25, 2019.
Port of Los Angeles staff, in a report to commissioners, stated Catalina Express was granted a permit to use 276,264 square feet of L.A. Harbor Department property. The permit specifically allows Catalina Express to operate and maintain a public passenger facility offering shuttle service to and from Catalina Island.
The shuttle terminal site also includes an office, call center and warehouse facility for freight services. The Catalina Express operation provides 141 jobs in San Pedro, according to port district staff.
“This is the first compensation reset due under [the Catalina Express permit] and applies to fix minimum rent only,” port district staff stated. “Pursuant to the terms of [the Catalina Express permit], percentage rent payments and Consumer Price Index … increases for all parcels will commence in 2023.”
Catalina Express began operating out of San Pedro in 1981 and currently offers boat service from L.A. Harbor to Avalon and Two Harbors. The shuttle service company, in 2012, agreed to make building improvements, worth $5 million.
The permit governing Catalina Express’s operation at the Port of Los Angeles went into effect on March 30, 2012 and expires March 29, 2037.
The Catalina Express use is divided into three portions: 110,571 square feet of land; 113,094 square feet of submerged land; and, a 52,599-square-foot easement land located at Berth 95. Catalina Express operates out of Berth 96.
The approved rent payment applies to seven of Catalina Express’s 13 parcels. Two of the six remaining parcels are assessed a monthly rent of $12,865.95; Catalina Express pays $4,897.35 for the other four parcels.
Commissioners approved the annual fixed rent amount as part of its consent calendar. The commission met via teleconference on April 2 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.