San Pedro Public Market begins testing berth area

L.A. Harbor Commission allows development permit to move forward; permit will allow developer to test soil conditions.

LOS ANGELES—Progress is not always measured by major events – sometimes a tiny action, one flying under the radar, is worth noting as a step in the right direction. The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners allowed a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the San Pedro Public Market to move forward on Dec. 11, 2019. Eugene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, approved the CDP prior to the commission’s December 2019 meeting.

The development team behind San Pedro Public Market – which is the anchor project of the new L.A. Waterfront plan at the Port of Los Angeles – seeks to install four concrete piles and eight reactionary piles near Berth 76. These test piles, according to Port of Los Angeles staff, will “verify the soil conditions for structural calculations.”

Each pile will measure 18 inches in diameter and will be placed at depths between 88 and 97 feet.

San Pedro Public Market will spend $250,000 on the test piles, according to Port of L.A. staff.

Results of the testing would give the development team and port district staff the information they need to execute plans for the new San Pedro Public Market, which is expected to come online in the next two to three years. San Pedro Public Market is planned to be a visitor-serving destination, one that attracts local residents, regional visitors and working professionals to the L.A. Harbor area. The planned redevelopment would replace a series of dining establishments which were torn down, such as Acapulco and Ports O’ Call Restaurant.

Seroka has the authority to approved Level I CDPs, but the permits do not become effective until they are presented to the Board of Harbor Commissioners. No action on the CDP approval is necessary, unless at least two commissioners seek to have the permit reviewed. The review would take place at an upcoming board meeting, where commissioners would vote for approval or denial. Four commissioners were present at the Dec. 11, 2019 meeting, and none of them objected to Seroka’s approval of the CDP.

The city of Los Angeles has been angling to revitalize San Pedro and Wilmington for a few years now, as part of the L.A. Waterfront project. San Pedro Public Market is one of five elements of the L.A. Waterfront; the other four elements are a public promenade along the harbor’s main channel, AltaSea’s 35-acre campus for marine education, Wilmington’s waterfront and pedestrian plaza and the Avalon gateway project.

Los Angeles city staff and council members hope to establish San Pedro as a family-friendly visitor-serving destination, similar to Santa Monica or Newport Beach. The L.A. Harbor area is a mix of recreational boating marinas, sportfishing and commercial shipping. There are also several hotels, restaurants and businesses in the area.

A marina at Ports O’ Call was shut down to make room for the San Pedro Public Market.

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