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Redondo Beach Waterfront Could Get a Huge Makeover

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The $300 million project would bring new restaurants, retail, and a public market to the area

Redondo Beach waterfront rendering Via The Waterfront EIR

Plans for a massive overhaul of Redondo Beach's funky old pier and waterfront are picking up steam. An environmental impact report, nearly three years in the making, was released last week by the city’s planning department. It details plans for a 36-acre waterfront village to be developed by CenterCal.

The area proposed for redevelopment includes the Redondo Beach Pier and Seaside Lagoon. Excepting Kincaid’s restaurant and a few public restrooms, the project would demolish all existing properties in the Seaside Lagoon, along with a large parking structure adjacent to the pier.

via the City of Redondo Beach

More than 500,000 square feet of new development would replace those older structures with retail and restaurants, a public market, boutique hotel, creative office space, and a "specialty cinema" (we’re assuming that’s more likely to be "specialty" in the Laemmle sense rather than the Tiki Theatre variety).

The Daily Breeze says a pedestrian drawbridge would connect the pier to the public market, so local institutions Naja’s Place and Quality Seafood would have to be relocated.

Residents are divided in their opinions about the project. The Los Angeles Times has quoted one longtime resident as saying, "The Grove is my worst nightmare...We had a vision of something wonderful and special and magical here, but we don’t see it in this plan," and another who says, "We need to regain pride in an area that used to be a bright and shining star and is now a crumbling, ugly kind of mess."

The big makeover will also enhance public space around the waterfront area, including walking and bike paths—no longer will riders on the Marvin Braude Trail have to awkwardly navigate through a parking garage to access the pier and King Harbor Marina.
Redondo Beach waterfront rendering Via The Waterfront EIR

On Monday, the city’s Harbor Commission elected to hold off on a vote until then after hours of public comment on the project. At issue is a proposed boat launch with 32 parking spaces for trailers and other large vehicles, with an additional 45 spots for smaller cars and trucks.

Many argue that won’t be enough to accommodate the boating groups that make use of the beach. Officials say that an alternative location for the boat launch won’t work because the city would need to spend millions of dollars acquiring leaseholds surrounding the site.

Boosters of the project have released a sleek video (below) that offers an impressive virtual tour of the redesigned waterfront. (You’ll have to watch about five minutes of inspirational quotes and magic hour interviews with project leaders to get to it.)