A major redevelopment of the Marina Waterside Shopping Center by Caruso Affiliates won approval last week from the County Marina del Rey Design Control Board at its meeting in Burton Chace Park Community Building Thursday, July 15th.

The Caruso firm is headed by Rick Caruso, who developed The Grove, adjacent to the Farmers Market in Los Angeles.

Caruso plans to upgrade the Marina shopping center, bounded by Lincoln Boulevard, Admiralty Way, Fiji Way and Mindanao Way.

The County Regional Planning Department has already approved the Caruso project.

Plans call for widening the Admiralty Way sidewalk adjacent to the shopping center between Fiji and Mindanao Ways to eight feet and the Mindanao Way sidewalk between Admiralty Way and Lincoln Boulevard to six feet.

There is no proposed change for the Fiji Way sidewalk, but Fiji Way will be reconfigured for parking entry to the shopping center, the board was told.

Commission chair Susan Cloke and commissioner Katie Spitz voiced concerns about the difference in softer lighting proposed near the shops and pedestrian promenade and brighter lighting planned in the parking lots.

Caruso Affiliates spokesman David Williams said the company is willing to put trees next to all the light poles to diffuse the bright light.

Williams said the renovation is geared toward “a pedestrian experience” for patrons, with “nice landscaping and the ability to move about between shops.”

Spitz said that as long as there is no net gain of light poles and no net loss of trees in the plan, she would agree to the proposal.

Cloke said she was happy with the offer, and the project was approved with an amendment to include architectural details to be prepared by staff.

Ralphs market plans to expand its space in the center and turn the market into an upscale Food Fresh concept.

Ralphs signage was also approved, with the provision that signage would have attractive graphics relating to the “Fresh Fare” concept.

OTHER PROJECTS — The Design Control Board also approved six other projects, some with modifications, at the July 15th meeting:

n At Fisherman’s Village on Fiji Way, the board approved a bait sign and frame.

n At Shanghai Red’s Restaurant on Fiji Way, a new porte-cochère, signage, landscaping and promenade improvements, with the provision:

that waste receptacles and benches be anchored to the ground;

that a new corrugated roof be anodized to be rust-free;

that a plan for removal of existing landscaping of trees, shrubs and other foliage be given to the Planning Department for review prior to permit issue, demonstrating intended clarity for new landscaping; and

a stipulation that the time frame for the renovation would be approximately 12 to 14 weeks.

A request for a hanging sign was denied.

n At Kingswood Village, the board approved a final site plan, a final architectural plan, final landscape plans and final lighting design.

Also approved were monument entry signage, one leasing office sign, and a lighting plan.

A lighting timer plan must be presented to the design board’s staff for review.

Two requested smaller signs were denied.

n At Pier 44, the board approved a paint scheme for a building called The Cove, but Cloke asked the applicants to return with a landscaping plan in 30 days, and to reduce the size of signage.

The applicant replied the building lease is for only 20 months.

County Beaches and Harbors Department director Stan Wisniewski said the building would be demolished immediately after the lease expires and the area would then be cleaned up.

n At the Chart House Restaurant on Panay Way, the board approved internally lighted monument signage — there is no current signage on the restaurant — and paint for the exterior.

The applicant said all Chart House Restaurants have been acquired by Landry’s Restaurants of Houston and the new corporate colors are black, white and gold.

n At the Marina Beach Shopping Center on Washington Boulevard, the board approved the signage color that had earlier been requested by the board, a soft green.

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