The Marina del Rey Design Control Board continued discussion on the proposed renovation of Fisherman’s Village and recommended approval of signage for Blue Pacific Boating at its meeting Wednesday, Jan. 19.
Jules Doyle, owner of Café al Fresco at Fisherman’s Village, told the board that Fisherman’s Village doesn’t offer tourist attractions and busloads of tourists arrive there with no place to go. He added that since the planned renovation of Fisherman’s Village seemed to be at a standstill, no opportunity has been given to potential retail tenants to occupy the empty storefronts.
Doyle said he knows several individuals who would be more than happy to rent space, even if it was for two years or less, until the renovation gets underway. He also said that the “kiddie rides” had been dismantled and removed, and families visiting the restaurant continue to ask why they’ve been removed.
“People like me would rent these spots, but management doesn’t seem interested in renting them out,” Doyle claimed.
Peter Phinney, chair of the Design Control Board, asked county staff about the progress of the development proposal made several years ago by the Fisherman’s Village lessee.
Gary Jones, deputy director of Asset Management and Planning for the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, said the county has been meeting with a representative of the lessee (Gold Coast Village, LLC, managed by Pacific Ocean Management) to address concerns such as the lack of activity at the existing operation. He said the development plan does not seem realistic due to the current economy, primarily costs of constructing underground parking, and that it’s a “work in progress.”
Phinney questioned if the board could exercise any leverage at this point, asking if writing a letter would be helpful. Jones replied that a letter addressing the issues had been sent to the lessee six months ago.
Santos Kreimann, director of Beaches and Harbors, told Phinney that a letter wasn’t really needed, but that Phinney was welcome to send one. He told the board that the county had stepped up inspections of the premises, and tried to attract additional lessees. The lessee has not requested a formal withdrawal of his development proposal, Kreimann added.
If there is a major redesign or new proposal, the lessee would have to start over, and an environmental review would also need to be performed by the lessee, the director noted.
Phinney was told that the current lease expires in 2026, and an option to extend the lease by 39 years would have to be renegotiated.
Phinney asked county staff for a report on Fisherman’s Village in 60 days, for the Design Control Board’s March meeting.