The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has unanimously approved the San Pedro Waterfront Project. The 400-acre waterfront infrastructure and revitalization initiative will extend from the Port's inner harbor cruise facilities to Cabrillo Beach in the outer harbor and create a world-class waterfront for the nation's largest container port.
The $1.2 billion project, expected to take a decade or more to complete, will include the expansion of cruise ship operations with a new outer harbor terminal that will provide more berth space and accommodate the largest ships that will call at the port in the coming decades.
"A world-class waterfront for our city will generate thousands of jobs, more private investment in the harbor area, and more tourism through the creation of waterfront promenades, downtown-adjacent harbors, new commercial and retail opportunities," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "The San Pedro Waterfront Project will achieve all this and more while re-connecting people with our world-renowned port and uniquely diverse harbor community."
The Port anticipated funding approximately $900 million, largely for public infrastructure, and anticipates an additional $300 million will be raised through private investment through the board's entitlement of up to 300,000 square feet of commercial-retail redevelopment and an additional 75,000 square feet of conference center space. The project will create an estimated 5,000 permanent jobs serving cruise operations, waterfront related operations and new waterfront businesses; and provide more than 13,700 one-year-equivalent jobs (direct and indirect) during Project design and construction.
By certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and project entitlements, the Harbor Commission's action moves forward the largest community-serving waterfront redevelopment initiative in the Port's history.
"I commend the public for coming out, participating in the conversation and sharing their perspectives," said Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski. "While there were some areas of debate, the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward with a project that most everyone agrees will be a benefit to the community."
"We heard the community and we acted accordingly," added Harbor Commission Vice President Jerilyn LÃ³pez Mendoza at the conclusion of the seven-and-a-half-hour meeting.
"After more than a decade of discussion and nearly eight years of formal public scoping and analysis, it's exciting to move forward on this historic project," said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. "The Port is committed to creating a world-class "˜L.A. Waterfront' that befits Los Angeles, and this project approval sets the wheels in motion for turning this planning effort into a reality."
The board conditioned its approval on the construction of cruise ship berth facilities in the Outer Harbor being performed on the east side of Kaiser Point (Berths 49-50) instead of the west side (Berths 45-47), which faces Inner Cabrillo Beach. In another condition of project approval, the board directed staff to respond within 30 days with an implementation strategy that includes project phasing and recommendations for project input from the public.
The 400-acre San Pedro Waterfront Project is focused on connecting the San Pedro community with the waterfront, enhancing community- and visitor-serving commercial opportunities in and around the Port, and maintaining the Port's position as a premier source of economic vitality for the region. The San Pedro Waterfront Draft EIS/EIR was released in September 2008. Since that time, the Port has received nearly 300 public comments on the report.