Alyssa Morin

Waterfront development in Redondo Beach: a timeline

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1889: The first wharf of the Pier was built where the pier stands now at Emerald Street. It was built to facilitate the massive lumber trade, to move lumber from ships to trains to transport it to the Pacific Northwest.

1890: Hotel Redondo built.

1895: A second wharf was built next to the train tracks to meet the demands of lumber ships coming into the port. It would be damaged by a storm in 1919 and condemned in 1925.

1903: A third pier was added. It was later demolished when the lumber industry petered out.

1905: Redondo Beach High School established. Oldest in South Bay

1907: Hawaiian-Irish surfer George Freeth aka “The Man Who Could Walk on Water” comes to Redondo and teaches locals how to surf.

1909: Henry Huntington built the Redondo Beach Plunge, the world’s largest indoor saltwater heated pool.

1913: Lightning Racer roller coaster opened.

1915: Roller coaster severely damaged by storm and demolished.

1925: Hotel Redondo demolished.

1931: Hollywood Riviera Beach Club established by Clifford Reid.

1938: Redondo Beach becomes a charter city. Breakwater built to stop surge from then-Strand.

1956: Work on King Harbor begins.

1970: The “Sportfishing Pier” was built at Portofino Way.

1988: A storm created 20′ waves that damaged waterfront buildings and boats. Waves nearly destroyed the harbor breakwater retaining wall and completely washed away the Blue Moon Saloon Restaurant, a famous Redondo Beach landmark.

On May 27, an electrical fire set the Horseshoe pier ablaze and destroyed 34,000 square feet of the pier, including 15 businesses, and causing $7 million worth of damage.

2002 : The City of Redondo proposed a massive billion dollar development in the harbor area of Redondo Beach called the Heart of the City

City’s planning commission unanimously passed the Heart of the City plan. Many spoke against it but it passed unanimously. Went on to pass unanimously in Council.

Council rescinded plan after major opposition from residents, led largely by Chris Cagle.

2003 – 2005; Council started a new waterfront “visioning” porcess that resulted in two options: Heart Park and Village Plan (hotel and residential units). In a citywide advisory vote, Heart Park wins.

2007: City retained Larry Kosmont, real estate consultant, to create a Pier and Harbor Asset Management Plan studying the economic prospects for the pier and harbor area.

December 2007: The council received the plan, known as “the Kosmont Report.” The report suggested that while “significant portions of the Harbor Area are functionally obsolete” it is possible to achieve a “dramatic revitalization” if certain key properties are redeveloped and high quality new businesses are attracted to the area. It compare the project to the Grove in Los Angeles.

November 2008: Measure DD (sponsored by BBR), a local initiative measure overwhelmingly passed by the Redondo Beach voters and took effect on December 16, 2008. It requires major land use changes and zoning to be ratified or rejected by the city’s voters.

November 2010: After a City Council decision to rezone the waterfront led to a successful lawsuit by BBR claiming that this violated Measure DD, the City put Measure G on the ballot, asking the public for approval of rezoning the waterfront. Measure G passed by a tight margin, 52.5% to 47.5%. The language of Measure G was notoriously complicated, requiring 180 pages of explanation to be distributed to the public before the election.

March 2012: Kosmont Realty represented the City in purchasing Pier Plaza property from the private owner. Kosmont structured and closed $8.3 Million in lease-Leaseback financing for City’s acquisition.

May 2012: Kosmont Realty represented the City in purchasing International Boardwalk from the private owner. Kosmont structured and closed Lease-leaseback financing of $2.7 Million.

January 2013: The council unanimously entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with CenterCal Properties for the impending $200 million redesign.

March 2013: CenterCal Properties presented Council with preliminary design concept with city officials and got unanimous approval to move ahead with planning.

Spring 2013: CenterCal held eight public forums to hear community feedback.

June 2013: CenterCal met with City officials in Closed Session to discuss real estate plans.

July 2013: The City began the redevelopment process by redevelopment process by signing of a formal memorandum of understanding between the city and CenterCal. Bill Brand and Steve Sammarco voted against it, claiming that the revised plan calls for a “mega-mall.”

November 2013: City Council voted 4-1 (with Bill Brand dissenting) to take another step forward in the redevelopment process, amending the MOU and hiring CDM Smith, Inc. to embark on an 18-month process of reviewing the project’s environmental impact.

May 2014: Escrow closed between the city and Decron for the purchase of the Redondo Beach Marina, which the city purchased for $12 million with the help of Kosmont Realty.

Looking ahead through early 2015 – the lengthy review of the project’s environmental impact has begun. During this time, CenterCal is expected to obtain a formal ground lease and the city is expected to sign an infrastructure agreement outlining its own commitments to support the project with the infrastructure it will require.

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