Local development overview presented to Marina Affairs Committee
By Helga Gendell
The Marina Affairs Committee heard presentations from the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau and Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors at its Jan. 16 meeting at the Marina del Rey Hotel.
Beverly Moore, executive director of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau, discussed the number of high-tech businesses moving into the local area, such as Google, Facebook, TMZ, Vimeo, and YouTube, and the impact these companies will have on feeding corporate business into local hotels.
The Runway project at Playa Vista will encompass approximately 200,000 square feet, Moore noted, and will include a 3D theater with 72-foot ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall 3D film capacity. Other companies slated to move into the shopping and office complex include Whole Foods in 2014.
The Marina Marketplace is being revitalized with the new mixed-use/ 244-unit residential project, Stella, the new AMC dine-in theater, and the Equinox fitness center, appealing to some community needs of the future, said Moore. Planned new restaurants include The Yard House, Paiche Restaurant, Pain Quotidien and Tender Greens.
Moore pointed out that there are 4,800 restaurant seats in the Marina that need to be filled at least two times per day. The large commercial charter yacht companies also offer dining, with approximately 1,400 seats to fill, for a total of 6,100 seats in all. These restaurants are at one end of the Marina, and a cluster of hotels is at the other end.
An open passageway between the hotels and restaurants existed between 1980 and 2000, and then something happened, she said. There is now a 42-inch-wide path remaining that people can use to get to the restaurants. That pathway has been closed off at night, forcing pedestrians to use Admiralty Way as an alternate to get back to hotels or homes, but it has no pedestrian lighting.
“This seven-mile waterfront is unique and needs a walkable, useable pathway for visitors and locals,” Moore said.
The Marina City Club docks will be rebuilt at some time, and improvements include widening the pathway, new paving and lighting. Some residents have been concerned about security and want some distance between their residences and passersby. Moore said that a fire lane between the pathway and the residences should provide enough of a safety clearance, and that she understands the concerns of Marina City Club residents. The Department of Beaches and Harbors has the authority to withhold permits, said Moore, until the commitments made by the developer regarding improvements are honored.
Tere Stamoulis of the Convention and Visitors Bureau told the committee that off-season destination branding has been very successful, capturing 2.3 million impressions, and utilizing cable, print and online advertisements. She said that the Starline double-decker motor coaches – the “Hop-on, Hop-off” theme will be launching two new routes. The orange route will pick-up guests at Los Angeles International Airport and take them to Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica. The green route will begin at Fisherman’s Village and offer six stops, covering some local filming locations for movies and TV.
Debbie Talbot, recently named the head of the new boating section for Beaches and Harbors, presented boating section objectives that include creating a “boater-friendly” Marina del Rey through communications, the environment and facilities management.
Talbot informed the Marina Affairs Committee that the new Progressive L.A. Boat Show is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 10. The show will be in-water at the Marina, and there will be transportation to the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown to view other boats and display booths.
Objectives of Talbot’s division include: a roadmap plan for the boating community with consensus on directions and actions; a shared recreational boating vision of success with greater access to the water; promoting recreational boating as a family-friendly activity; interfacing with all segments of the boating community (recreational – power and sail, personal water craft, kayaks, sculls, wave runners, stand-up paddle boarders, outrigger canoes, charter operators, yacht clubs, and boating organizations); marine special event coordination such as the Holiday Boat Parade, Marina Fest, yacht races and the Halibut Derby.
Communications objectives include coordination and communication with public safety agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Marina Station, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department/Lifeguard Division.
Other objectives include addressing “illegal” charter operators affecting legitimate charter operators; and handling and advising on boater-related inquiries during redevelopment of anchorages including phasing during construction.
In the environmental component, objectives include adding more pump-out stations around the Marina, including Burton Chace Park; expanding the “Clean Marina” program throughout Marina del Rey; establishing clean water boater programs for clean water practices; and increasing oil recycling and hazardous waste disposal sites.
Facilities management objectives include: Anchorage 47 at Chace Park; Parcel 77 adjacent to the park; mast-up storage; dry-stack storage; dinghy and kayak storage; expansion of “dock and dine” locations; installation of dinghy docks at leaseholds; new boating facilities for instruction and rentals; new WaterBus boarding locations; additional docking areas for charter operations; non-motorized boating facilities at Chace Park and Marina “Mothers” Beach; new public docks in Basins B, G and H; modernized anchorages with state-of-the-art electrical capacity, amenities and boater parking.
Charlotte Miyamoto, division chief for the county Planning Division, presented “Beaches and Harbors Achievements in 2012, and Focus in 2013,” which included final approval of the Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment; the first master waterside CDP lessee-obtained building permits; harbor dredging project completion; construction/refurbishment on view piers, tide gates and the Boathouse at Chace Park; and the Venice Beach parking lot reconstruction completion.
The department’s focus in 2013 includes project implementation, internal effectiveness, environmental stewardship, service excellence, and visioning for third generation development. The visioning process includes Marina del Rey lease expirations over the next 20 years, broken down to leases expiring in 10 to 20 years; expiring in 10 years or less; and no current lease; and an option for a current lease granted.
Leasehold project renovations include: Parcel 7 – Tahiti Marina: construction underway; Parcel 8 – Bay Club: construction underway; Parcels 42/43 – Marina del Rey Hotel: construction begins in February; Parcel 64 – Archstone Breakwater (formerly Villa Venetia): construction underway; Parcel 145 – Marina International Hotel: construction underway; Parcels 10/FF – Neptune Marina; construction begins in June; Parcel 21 – Holiday Harbor Courts: construction begins February; Parcels 52/GG – Marina West Shopping Center: construction begins late 2014; Parcels 100/101 – The Shores: construction underway; and Parcel 125: dock construction underway.
Marina del Rey public projects include: Admiralty Way settlement repair: construction underway; Admiralty Way street improvement: construction begins May; Fiji Way and Via Marina street improvement: construction begins end of 2014; mole road repairs: underway; 18-inch waterline replacement (three phases): construction underway; Boathouse refurbishment: construction underway; Chace Park transient dock replacement: construction underway; south jetty view piers: construction underway; and boat launch ramp entrance widening: construction begins mid-2013.
Water quality public improvements include: manhole lining: construction underway; parking lots 5 and 7 bio-retention devices: construction begins end of 2013; Oxford Basin multi-use enhancement: construction begins April 2014.
Marina del Rey dredging project results include: 783,500 cubic yards dredged from eight areas in the Marina; 476,000 cubic yards of contaminated material barged to the fill site at the Port of Long Beach; 150,000 cubic yards placed near shore at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey; 82,000 cubic yards placed offshore at Redondo Beach; and 75,000 cubic yards placed onshore at Redondo Beach.
Information for the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.visitmarinadelrey.com.
Information for Beaches and Harbors, http://marinadelrey.lacounty.gov.