With ribbon cuttings on Friday and Saturday for the new Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol building and the remodeled Redondo Landing, Redondo Beach marked the beginning of a new era on its waterfront.
City officials kicked off the and King Harbor "makeover" last December at a news conference. At that point, work on the newly christened Redondo Landing had begun and signaled the start of the $50-million project's first phase.
At Saturday's Redondo Landing ribbon cutting, Mayor Mike Gin called the leasehold's remodel a "dream come true."
"There's a lot of great things that are happening at this time in our history," Gin said.
Robert Resnick, who owns the Redondo Landing leasehold, told the assembled of hundreds of people that it took 20 years of "pier pressure" (pun intended) to launch the revitalization of the waterfront.
"Our goals were very simple and straightforward—to create the most remarkable and memorable pier … in the state of California," Resnick said. "When anybody in Redondo Beach thinks of going out for the evening, this is where they ought to be coming."
The day before the Redondo Landing grand opening, the city held a smaller ribbon cutting next to Moonstone Park on Mole B for a brand-new harbor patrol building.
The building, which has four bedrooms and cost nearly $2 million to construct, will house two members of the harbor patrol at any given time, according to Fire Chief Dan Madrigal. Two Los Angeles County lifeguards will also stay at the building during daylight hours.
More than 75 people—including city officials and current firefighters—attended the grand opening.
"It's only taken me almost 18 years to get here, so it's great to see it done," said Redondo Beach city Councilman Pat Aust, a former fire chief. "We had the vision, and then we had the ability to do it."
"It's been stressful, but it's been fun and sometimes just draining, but everybody kept working at it," Madrigal said. "I couldn't be happier. It far exceeded my expectations."
The grand opening came less than a week after the Redondo Beach City Council approved a multimillion-dollar deal with Chevron to lease a portion of Mole B to help the company transport six large coke drums—about 20 feet in diameter and 40 feet tall—from a barge to its refinery in El Segundo.
Chevron will begin unloading the coke drums in January, and work will be finished by Memorial Day 2013, according to Chevron Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager Rod Spackman.
The $2.4 million Chevron will pay the city will be used to implement the Mole B Master Plan, which the council approved last year.
The remodel of the Redondo Landing and the implementation of the Mole B Master Plan only mark the beginning of the revitalization. The city has narrowed down the list of companies to develop the rest of the pier and the International Boardwalk, and construction is expected to start on a brand new Shade Hotel this fall.