Harbor Commission to Consider Project at Sept. 29th Meeting

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — SEPT. 16, 2009 The San Pedro Waterfront Project Final Environmental Statement/Final Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR) is now available on the Port’s website. The Final Proposed Project Summary is also available online.

The documents will be available in hard copy at public libraries in San Pedro and Wilmington as well as the main library in downtown Los Angeles and at the Port’s Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will consider the FEIS/FEIR at a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29 in the Liberty Hill Plaza building located at 100 W. Fifth Street, San Pedro (Harbor Blvd. and Fifth Street). The location is known to many as a Boys & Girls Club facility.

“After years of study, discussion and reaching out to stakeholders, the resounding message we’ve heard is that it’s now time to move forward,” said Port Executive Director Dr. Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “This is a terrific and exciting project that will create a world-class waterfront on par with other world-renowned waterfront cities.”

About the San Pedro Waterfront Project

The 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.

Through its proposed Project, the Port would complete eight miles of waterfront promenade, build three new harbors, and create acres of public open space with plazas, parks, and landscape and hardscape areas.  As the community has voiced in many forums over recent years, pedestrian and bicycle access to the San Pedro Waterfront is an important element, so non-vehicular access principles were incorporated into the project and project alternatives.  As a result, the project offers a variety of pedestrian and bicycle access over the bluffs above Ports O’Call and from downtown to the waterfront, including a continuous bike path, trail connections, clearly identified pedestrian crossings, and elimination of barriers to the waterfront, such as fences for freight rail operations.

Main components of the proposed Project include:

Waterfront Promenade

The proposed Project would feature a continuous 8-mile long and up to 30-foot wide promenade extending throughout the entire proposed project area and would serve as a spur of the California Coastal Trail along the waterfront.

Creation of Three New Harbors and a Public Pier at 7th Street

The proposed project would create an active public waterfront, more berthing space for harbor craft and day-trip boaters, and a closer waterfront connection with downtown San Pedro. The three new proposed harbors are: the North Harbor, Downtown Harbor and 7th Street Harbor. The Downtown Harbor would include a 1.5-acre cut to accommodate the Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Program vessels, Port vessels and other visiting ships. The 7th Street Harbor would feature the 7th Street Pier, a public dock for short-term berthing of visiting vessels. The North Harbor cut, a 5.0 acre water cut located at Berths 87-90 that would bring the water to the edge of the existing Harbor Boulevard promenade, would be constructed at the end of the overall project construction period.

Open Spaces and Parks

The Town Square, a public plaza located in front of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum at the foot of 6th Street, would accommodate approximately 170 people for formal seating arrangements.  The Town Square would include the Downtown Civic Fountain, a water feature designed to complement the civic setting of the nearby San Pedro City Hall Building.  Approximately 27 acres of new parks would also be integrated throughout the project including the Fishermen’s Park in Ports O’Call; San Pedro Park, an 18-acre “central park” designed to include an informal amphitheatre for harbor viewing, waterfront events, and concerts with lawn seating for approximately 3,000 people, and Outer Harbor Park, a 6-acre park providing great views of the Angel’s Gate lighthouse from Kaiser Point. 

The proposed Project would include new development and/or redevelopment opportunities for commercial- and maritime-related visitor-serving uses, development of new cultural attractions, relocation and/or renewing of existing tenant leases,  expansion of the cruise ship facilities and provision of associated parking facilities.

Outer Harbor Cruise Facilities

The Proposed Project calls for construction of a cruise berth and terminal in the Outer Harbor in the near term. A second Outer Harbor berth and terminal would be entitled in the Proposed Project but construction would only commence if and when economic market conditions dictate. Parking to serve cruise passengers would be concentrated in the Inner Harbor parking area, where it is possible to accommodate parking for two Inner Harbor berths and one Outer Harbor berth with just surface parking. At full build-out, structured parking will be needed in the Inner Harbor to serve all cruise passengers.

Revitalizing Ports O’ Call

The Proposed Project would provide opportunities for upgrading the existing Ports O’Call through redevelopment and new commercial development including a conference center.  The Port intends to partner with a master developer to create a cohesive design throughout the Ports O’Call redevelopment.

Currently containing 150,000 square feet of under-utilized property comprising commercial, retail, and restaurant uses, Ports O’Call could increase up to a total of 300,000 square feet of development, with an additional 75,000 square foot conference center. The ultimate build-out size of Ports O’ Call will depend on market demand and recommendations from the master developer.

Repurposing of Port Lands

Some land uses are proposed for demolition in order to better serve the needs of the community and visitors to the waterfront.  These include demolition of the Southern Pacific Railyard and Westway Terminal Facilities and decommissioning of the Jankovich & Son fueling station.  A new fueling station is proposed at Berth 240 on Terminal Island.

The proposed Project would involve a series of transportation improvements, including expansion of existing roadways; intersection, landscape, and parking improvements; extension of the Waterfront Red Car Line; and water taxi berthing opportunities.  Key transportation elements assessed in the project FEIR/FEIS include:

Expansion and Realignment of Sampson Way

Sampson Way would be expanded to two lanes in each direction and curve near the Municipal Fish Market to meet with 22nd Street in its westward alignment east of Minor Street.

7th Street/Sampson Way Intersection Improvements

Sampson Way would be accessed by an enhanced four-way intersection at 7th Street.  Access to Sampson Way from Harbor Boulevard via 6th Street would be eliminated to accommodate the proposed Town Square.

Harbor Boulevard

Harbor Boulevard would remain in place at its current capacity with two lanes in each direction. Proposed enhancements are consistent with design standards for the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Pacific Corridor and the City of Los Angeles Planning Department Community Design Overlay. Recommendations under consideration include consistency in street lighting design, pedestrian crossing pavement treatments, landscaping, signage, and sidewalks.

Waterfront Red Car Realignment and Extension

The Waterfront Red Car Line would be extended to Cabrillo Beach, the Outer Harbor, and City Dock No. 1.

Water Taxi Connection Opportunities

Access to the proposed Project area from other waterfront areas within the harbor could be facilitated by a number for opportunity sites for water taxi service, providing another transportation option that complements the mobility provided by the Waterfront Red Car line.

Sustainable Design Features

The proposed project incorporates many design features which are consistent with the Harbor Department’s sustainability program and policies. The Waterfront project calls for reclaimed water to maintain landscaping, water features and flushing toilets in new buildings; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification (minimum Silver) would be required for all new development over 7,500 square feet; drought-tolerant plants, natives and shade trees; permeable paving to reduce storm water run-off; solar power to maximum extent feasible; and numerous pedestrian, bicycle and Waterfront Red Car Line connections integrated into the project design.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves.  As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.