By Gary Walker
For several years, residents of Playa del Rey have seen plans for three developments near their downtown area that some think have the potential to revitalize their community, while others feel they will transform it into an extension of the South Bay’s beach cities.
But a revelation by the Legado Co., the development company seeking to develop in what is known as “Lower Playa,” might change some of the existing sentiments.
After the prospect of the three potential developments was raised, the developer’s representatives now say they are planning only to build on the parcel known as Jake’s Lot at 138 Culver Blvd. The comments followed a passionate testimony from the public about the development company’s plans July 16.
Pressed by committee member Cheryl Burnett, Legado Co. Vice President Heather Lee said her company has no immediate plans for two other parcels that they own at 230 Culver Blvd., which would include developing near Outlaws restaurant, and at Toes Beach.
“I have not seen any plans for any other parcel (other than Jake’s Lot),” Lee told the committee.
That revelation came as a surprise to members of the committee, many of whom have seen plans for and attended community meetings where both sites have been discussed and renderings of the projects have been shown.
Last year, former Legado executive Derek Jones displayed plans for 138 Culver Blvd. as well as 230 Culver Blvd. at meetings where Burnett was present.
The latter development, according to previous plans, was slated to be a mixed-use project with 63 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail.
Burnett, who lives blocks away from Toes Beach on Pacific Avenue, said it was “a complete shock” to hear that Legado has no immediate plans to develop the two additional sites.
“It was especially shocking given that we have heard specific plans for their two other projects for five years now,” she added.
The other committee members appeared as equally surprised and questioned Lee why renderings of the Outlaws property had been previously presented.
Legado representatives insisted that they only had plans for the Jake’s Lot parcel.
“Unfortunately, there has been some misinformation in the past,” said Benjamin Reznik, a Legado spokesman. “There are no applications pending for the other sites.”
Reznik said market factors would determine if his client would choose to develop the two other properties in the future.
Burnett said it seemed as though all of the previous community meetings had been for naught. “I feel like they haven’t been listening to the community for the last five years,” she said.