Wilmington Waterfront projects, a decade in the making, may see construction in 2020

Staff updated L.A. Board of Port Commissioners on progress after reaching negotiations with Department of Water and Power in February.

WILMINGTON—Longshoremen were not too happy about the Los Angeles Board of Port Commissioners’ decision to automate the Port of L.A. (a source of discontent over the past weeks), but a major project on the horizon, Wilmington Waterfront Promenade, looks to be inching closer to completion. Due to complications concerning relocation of the eastern tank, Los Angeles Department and Water and Power (DWP) and the city have had difficulties getting the project off the ground. However, permits to transfer 7.4 acres of property to Port of Los Angeles in February cleared the way to bring open spaces, parks, waterfront recreational areas and eventually commercial property to Wilmington’s waterfront.

Michael Galvin, Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate, gave a presentation at the L.A. Board of Port Commissioners meeting on June 6, stating a few impediments to the project had been resolved. During the presentation, Galvin gave updates on the yet-to-be-named Wilmington Waterfront Promenade and Avalon Promenade & Gateway.

Galvin stated, “We’ve made a lot of progress in the last couple of years, especially in the last 12 months regarding clearing land to make it available with negotiations to the DWP.”

Approximately 9 acres of land will be open for development with a half-mile along Wilmington’s waterfront (called the “window to the waterfront” in the presentation) for plazas, event space, playgrounds, and pier and public landings. The estimated cost for Avalon Promenade & Gateway is $25.3 million.

Galvin continued that other waterfront elements are hopefully to “mesh well with existing Banning’s Landing” infrastructure. Wilmington Youth Sailing Center, for instance, will be able to offer sailing programs year-round instead of just during the summer. Galvin also said there are hopes to link LA Waterfront’s harbor tours in San Pedro with those in Wilmington.

Commissioner Diane Middleton was concerned about the price tag of the projects. She mentioned Avalon Promenade & Gateway appeared to be a lot of open spaces, so she was concerned how a concept such as this one could equate to $25 million. Galvin stated in later meetings a breakdown of the costs would be provided.

City staff will begin receiving bids on the project in August. Construction is slated to begin in 2020. The deadline to receive community input for Wilmington Waterfront Promenade is July 31 and approval for the project will be received by the commissioners in fall.

For more information about this project and those scheduled for the future, visit lawaterfront.org/invest/future-port-projects.

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