The project to revert the power plant’s acreage to wetlands/parklands is estimated at a value of $265 million; city council approves forming a financial plan.
REDONDO BEACH—Redondo Beach’s AES power plant site has been a source of frustration for the last few years. What would the community do with it and what’s going to happen to the site in the future? However, it appears that Redondo Beach City Council has at long last signed off on that decision.
Council members, at a May 7 Redondo Beach City Council meeting, voted on the consent calendar item to establish an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) to finance construction to revert the power plant’s land into a wetlands sanctuary and parklands.
In the staff report, it stated: “The city has a unique opportunity to create a coastal park, including wetlands restoration, on a portion of 50-acre Redondo AES power plant site. Portions of the site were acquired by a private party buyer in October 2018 with the balance of the site estimated to close by June 2019.”
Within the Resolution of Intent, outlining how the city will accomplish its goals to form an EIFD, the staff report says the purpose of the project would be to enable the improvement of the property to include: open spaces, coastal access, a wetlands remediation and park lands among other environmental benefits to the area.
Under the Fiscal Impact section of the staff report, it continues, “Based on a total new development value of approximately $265 Million, if the city contributes 100 percent of its share of property tax increment (average 15.8 cents on the dollar) within the EIFD revenues would total or $71 million over 50 years.”
After 50 years, the EIFD will be terminated and the tax revenue allocated would be returned to the city’s general fund.
Multiple news outlets have followed the saga of the power plant, but the environmental turn is an intriguing use of the once industrial land. The Log’s Parimal M. Rohit once penned a Standing Watch column discussing how Southern California’s infrastructure does not incorporate green spaces as readily as other states. New parkland in Southern California would be a welcome use of land that historically was not as considerate to the environment.
SEA Lab to shut down
Sadly, the non-profit SEA Lab, an environmental organization that educated students about ocean animals and was home to more than 1,000 fish/marine species, will be closing, according to reports by local Redondo Beach sources The Beach Reader and The Daily Breeze. SEA Lab released approximately 20,000 white sea bass back into the ocean annually. Without SEA Lab, the species could be in peril. Mayor Bill Brand told The Beach Reporter he was disappointed that SEA Lab will be closing, but hopes to find a place for them after the harbor is out of litigation with waterfront developers CenterCal and the harbor is redeveloped.
The full details in the staff report can be read online at redondo.org.