December 8, 2008, Is Deadline For Receiving Public Comments On “The San Pedro Waterfront Project” Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (DEIR/DEIS)

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — November 6, 2008 — One month remains in the public comment period for the San Pedro Waterfront Project proposed by the Port of Los Angeles. The 400-acre, five- to seven-year infrastructure and public access improvement project proposes new downtown-adjacent harbors; entitlements for up to 375,000 square feet of future commercial and conference center development in the Ports O’ Call area; expanded Pacific Electric Red Car line service to Cabrillo Beach and other points along the waterfront; and new cruise terminal facilities at Kaiser Point, in the Outer Harbor. 

The addition of a cruise terminal at existing berths in the Outer Harbor (for decades a super-tanker facility) would allow the Port to accommodate larger cruise vessels as they are introduced into service by the cruise industry over the next two decades and also serve the anticipated continued growth in demand for cruises. Existing cruise berths in the Inner Harbor at the Port would continue to serve smaller cruise ships.

Cruise Tourism Economic Benefits

Cruise operations at the Port facilitate more than 2,500 jobs and generate about $87.5 million a year in regional wages, $281.9 million in business revenues and $11.2 million in state and local taxes. The Port wants to retain its position in the West Coast cruise market and continue to cater to this growing segment of tourism by constructing a second cruise terminal facility at Kaiser Point, in the Port’s Outer Harbor (Berths 47-50). 

Based on economic modeling, expanded cruise operations and increased commercial development along the San Pedro Waterfront, as proposed by the Port, would create a variety of economic benefits that include but are not limited to: 

  • 1,083 new jobs (in addition to roughly 2,512 cruise-related jobs and 300 retail/restaurant jobs identified in 2006). These include 645 new cruise-related jobs, 300 new retail/restaurant-related jobs and 138 Red Car Line-related jobs, bringing the total number of jobs in these three areas to 3,895.
  • $37.9 million in new wages (in addition to $99.6 million in job income identified in 2006). These include additional wages for direct and indirect jobs related to cruise and port tenant businesses (based on an estimate of $35,000 per job, as per the 2006 Martin study), bringing total wage income generated from cruise and waterfront to $137.5 million.
  • $30.8 million in passenger spending (in addition to $33.6 million in 2006), based on $57 spent per passenger and 541,000 more passengers than today, bringing overall passenger spending to $64.4 million. (NOTE: These figures exclude crew member spending, which is $107 per call on average and generated more than $10 million in 2006.)

These economic benefits are based on modeling developed during a larger report, Economic Impacts of the Port of Los Angeles (August 2007), performed by Martin Associates.  For a copy of the original report in its entirety, visit www.portoflosangeles.org.

Public Comment Instructions

The entire San Pedro Waterfront Project Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement is posted at www.portoflosangeles.org. A Readers Guide to the project is also available on the Port’s website. The document is also 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 located at 425 S. Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro.

Public comments from community, civic and industry stakeholders can be submitted via e-mail at ceqacomments@portla.org. Emails must reference “San Pedro Waterfront Project” in their subject line and must include a valid mailing address from the person(s) submitting the comment.

Comments can also be submitted in writing to both the Port and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the following addresses: 

Dr. Spencer D. MacNeil
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
Regulatory Division, Ventura Field Office
2151 Alessandro Drive, Suite 110
Ventura, California 93001

Dr. Ralph G. Appy, Director of Environmental Management
Port of Los Angeles
425 South Palos Verdes Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

For additional information, please contact the Corps’ Public Affairs Office at (213) 452-3920, or Jan Green Rebstock at the Port of Los Angeles at (310) 732-3675.

About the San Pedro Waterfront Project

The San Pedro Waterfront Project is a proposed seven-year project 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 source of economic vitality for the region. A proposed Project and seven alternatives were co-equally analyzed in the environmental review, and any one of the alternatives could be approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Through its proposed Project, the Port would complete eight miles of waterfront promenade, build three new harbors, and create acres of public open space through 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, including a continuous bike path, trail connections, clearly identified pedestrian crossings, and elimination of barriers such as fences for freight rail operations. Main components of the proposed Project include:

Waterfront Promenade – The proposed Project would feature a continuous eight-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.

New Harbor Water Cuts and 7th Street Pier – Three new harbors are proposed: the North Harbor, Downtown Harbor, and 7th Street Harbor. The North Harbor would include a 5.0-acre water cut located at Berths 87–90 to accommodate the Crowley and Millennium tugboats and the historic S.S. Lane Victory naval ship. The Downtown Harbor would include a 1.5-acre water cut to accommodate the Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Program vessels, Port vessels, and other visiting ships. The 7th Street Harbor would include a 0.32-acre water cut for visiting public vessels near the Los Angeles Maritime Museum including tall ships. The 7th Street Harbor would also feature the 7th Street Pier, a public dock for short-term berthing of visiting vessels.

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 and 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. 

Adjacent to proposed new cruise terminals in the Outer Harbor is the Outer Harbor Park. The approximately six-acre park would be designed to maximize harbor views (such as of Angel's Gate lighthouse), facilitate public access to the water's edge, encourage special events, and segregate park visitors from secure areas of the cruise terminals in compliance with the future security plan for the terminals.

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

Anticipated Growth in Cruise Operations – Cruise operations are projected to increase over time as cruise ships become larger and a higher demand for cruise vacations in the future is anticipated.

Berths and Terminal Facilities – In addition, two new Outer Harbor Cruise Terminals, both 2-story terminals totaling up to 200,000 square feet, would be constructed in the Outer Harbor. The Outer Harbor Cruise Terminals would incorporate green building principals designed to attain LEED-Gold status. Ships would be required to use cleaner fuels and plug in to shore-side electric power to substantially reduce smokestack emissions while the ships are at berth. Security measures would also be implemented as approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Parking for Cruise Ships – Additional structured parking would be developed on both sides of Harbor Boulevard to accommodate cruise passenger parking for both the Inner and Outer Harbor cruise terminals. Electric or CNG shuttle buses would transport passengers from the parking structures to the Outer Harbor.

Revitalizing Ports O’ Call Village – 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 is proposed to increase by a total of 375,000 square feet of development including a 75,000 square foot conference center. 

Parking would be provided at a number of locations within the Port and near Ports O’ Call. Parking would include approximately 986 surface spaces and 1,652 spaces in four 4-level structures along the bluffs at the existing Southern Pacific Railyard. The height of the structures would be at or near the top of the bluffs with vehicular access to the top parking levels from Harbor Boulevard.

Deindustrialization 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 EIR/EIS 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. Access to the proposed outer harbor cruise terminal berths would be internal to the project south of 7th Street.

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 from its existing terminus 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 of opportunity sites for water taxi service, providing another transportation option other than automobiles.

About the Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. 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.