Now that the toxic harbor is on the road to a pricey clean-up, Marina del Rey can focus on improving the area around the marina. The LA County Board of Supes is considering a huge makeover plan that would rejigger traffic flow and make room for 200,000 square feet of retail space and 940 new hotel rooms, reports the Argonaut. The changes would consolidate certain activities into "districts" (for visitors, boaters, residents, etc.)—the public boat launch would move to become the center of Boater's Way, while the old boat launch would become Visitor's Row, a retail and entertainment area. New "low- to mid-rise hotels" would go up behind Mother's Beach (also called Marina Beach) and create public spaces along the water. The plan would also try to reduce traffic by creating "hubs" where visitors can connect to bike infrastructure, water taxis, and public shuttle buses to reduce the driving-around-forever-looking-for-parking experience that is so integral to visiting the marina now.
All of this would happen on land the county already owns, so nothing new has to be purchased to move forward with the marina plan, but the plans are decidedly long-term and could take years to see through. Advocates say that it's time to take advantage of the marina's amenities, upgrade the hotels, and make navigating easier. Opponents worry that the marina could lose some of its quaint and quirky charm. (There were similar criticisms of a fakey makeover for Fisherman's Village.) There will be two public meetings before the board votes on the project at the end of the year.
· County unveils plan to reshape Marina del Rey [Argonaut]
· Envision Marina Del Rey [LA County Department of Regional Planning]