The Small Craft Harbor Commission began its year with approval of a concept for a 36-acre parcel at Tahiti way and Via Marina which will include a $10 million hotel and office building complex, with related restaurant, commercial, recreational and yacht brokerage facilities. Real property Management, developers of the parcel, have indicated they plan to break ground in March or April on the 300 plus room high rise hotel.

Also in January, the county learned the Helms family was donating its “Helmsman” statue to the Marina. The statue has stood for years in front of the Venice Boulevard Helms Bakery. The statue has since been moved to temporary quarters on the water side of the county’s administrative building on Fiji Way. “The Helmsman” will be eventually moved to a permanent site on the proposed park on Mindanao Way.

Getting into full swing at the start of 1971 was the Marina International Shopping Center fronting on Washington Street and featuring a wide variety of retail shops.