King Harbor - Redondo Pier Revitalization

While we believe that the area in general, and the city of Redondo Beach will benefit both from a quality of life and revenue basis from a broad revitalization of King Harbor and Redondo Pier, there has been staunch opposition to a number of initiatives presented over the past few years.

One of the latest stumbling blocks related to the plans to develop more than 40% of the area has been the emergence of the group known as "Building a Better Redondo." This group,which opposes recent actions by the planning commission to add 400,000 sq ft of development, has recently hired a lawyer and is planning to sue the city if the council proceeds as planned.

This is the background.

In 2008, the council voted to rezone the harbor to allow development. Measure DD was passed a few months later. Measure DD for those who do not recall is a growth limitation amendment to the city charter. It states that major zoning changes be put on the ballot prior to being implemented.

Separately, the California Coastal Commission turned down the zoning change. It was sent back to the planning commission with 17 minor changes which were later voted on and ratified.

This then becomes a political hot potato wherein the opposing parties can be simultaneously right and wrong at the same time.

We don't believe that even the staunchest opponent to any revitalization plans believes that the area should be left as it is without any improvement. Bill Brand, a councilman who co-authored DD has commented that "Everyone wants to see sone sort of revitalization." Unfortunately, revitalization is is the eys of the beholder.

A consistent argument against further development in this area has been that additional shops, stores, housing, etc would place untenable traffic pressure on the surface streets and lead to gridlock. Truthfully, throughout most of the day traffic flows fairly quickly through the area but even now what we have at morning and evening commute time is not quite gridlock, but bumper to bumper on PCH. To be fair, this situation exists north all the way through Hermosa and Manhattan Beach to El Segundo.

Which brings us to El Segundo Plaza at the intersection of Rosecrans and Sepulveda. This was another project that opponents claimed would add to excessive additional traffic in an area that is less populated but often more congested with existing office and retail space.

Not only has the development added to the tax base of El Segundo, we believe it improves the quality of life in the area and is an improvement over the empty acreage there previous. As an additional retail destination, we believe it also adds to the value of homes in El Segundo: the proximity of Border's book store, Whole Foods, Best Buy as well as restuarants such as Salt Creek Grill is a plus. The traffic issues appear to have been adequately addressed by enhancing the flow at the intersection sans stop light.

Everyone may not agree that another Shade Hotel is their top priority, but a plan by the leaseholder of many of the properties on the Pier to spend $2M to refurbish the eateries has to be welcomed (hopefully they do something with the parking garage).

There is also a plan afoot to embark on a $100M plus project to develop restaurants, stores, and an amphitheater in the area. As we believe this will enhance the amenities available to South Redondo residents and ultimately their property values as well, our position is - can't wait for the groundbreaking!