Waterfront Developers Present Visions

Developers CenterCal Properties, Pacifica Companies and Lowe Enterprises tell the Redondo Beach City Council their visions for the city's waterfront and pier.

Over four-and-a-half hours on Thursday, a packed room listened as three developers told the Redondo Beach City Council what they would do with the Redondo Beach Pier and the Redondo Beach Marina if given the opportunity.

CenterCal Properties, Pacifica Companies and Lowe Enterprises were the top three developers for the waterfront, in the opinion of city staff, based on their responses to the city's initial request for qualifications.

During Thursday's workshop, the three developers each tried to convince the council that they would be the best team for the job of revitalizing the 15-acre waterfront parcel. All three emphasized the importance of working with the community to perfect the vision. (For more details on each of the developers' visions, check out the attached .pdf files.)

The city council will make its final decision on which developer it will negotiate with for the waterfront's future on Oct. 30.

For a more complete recap of Thursday's meeting, read our live blog below. Entries are in chronological order; please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors!

1:43 p.m.: Pete Carmichael, the director of harbor and business, is going over the history. Councilman Pat Aust interrupts to remind people of public participation on non-agenda items. City Manager Bill Workman says let's do the presentations first.

"It's been a long process to get here, a lot of hard work from everybody in the community," says Carmichael. He adds this wouldn't have been possible without the passage of Measure G.

Scope is 15 acres from Torrance Boulevard to the Redondo Beach Marina.

1:46 p.m.: Carmichael says that of the five who answered the request for qualifications, three—CenterCal Properties, Pacifica Companies and Lowe Enterprises—will be presenting today.

1:48 p.m.: This afternoon, they're looking at land use themes and tenant types, inspirational projects, strengths and weaknesses, public engagement, and financing and long-term strategy, among other criteria.

Next step—developers must submit a letter of intent. In late October, the city will select the actual developer.

"Tonight is very much about the developers' resumes, their capabilities, their ... fit with the project," Carmichael says. Once the developer is chosen, then they'll go into more detail.

1:51 p.m.: Councilman Bill Brand wants to know when the council will actually decide who the new developer is. Carmichael says Oct. 30, and Workman adds that Oct. 30 is the next date for public participation, too.

1:52 p.m.: Councilman Matt Kilroy says there will be more opportunities to talk about the developers—people can ask the council during the discussion on non-agenda items during the next couple council meetings. "Three other council meetings; three other opportunities," he says.

1:55 p.m.: Nadine Meisner is the first to speak. She thanks the council for giving the public the opportunity

She has four areas of concern: 1. Being a good neighbor with open spaces and traffic. None of the developers appear to have looked at how their visions will affect the people who live nearby, she says.

2. Building heights. The current maximum heights were established after a long community discussion.

3. Open space. She wants view corridors.

4. Traffic—how will the new projects affect traffic?

"A developer who acts as a good neighbor and works toward an open ... beach community will be appreciated," she says.

She also notes that she likes the Lowe organization's ideas.

1:57 p.m.: Next is Al Meisner. He's a 20-plus-year resident. He cautions people not to rush to any ideas. "Be cautious because we'd love to come down there and partake ... but if it's to raise more funds and compare ourselves to Pike's Market ... I think a little more pie in the sky is not going to fit this community," he says. "Please, be a little realistic on some of your choices."

2 p.m.: I did not catch the next speaker's name, but he's submitting a letter he wrote to the Beach Reporter. He notes that the city needs to make sure that whatever vision is submitted "has to survive through these hard economic times."

The next speaker introduces himself quickly and says that a lot of people are very excited about the revitalization.

2:03 p.m.: Bob Resnick, who owns RDR Properties and the recently re-opened Redondo Landing, says would like to welcome the new developers. "The reason that you're hear today ... is because we have a city council, a city mgr ... who truly envision and support this community moving forward and doing something significant with its greatest asset," he says.

The harbor and pier are "vital and central" to this community. "Ultimately the success of the pier and harbor ... comes from the degree to which your project gains local support of residents."

He's sharing the goals he had for the Redondo Landing:

1. Engage the locals and bring families down to the pier.

2. Do something that would have lasting cultural significance.

3. Cultural opportunities.

2:05 p.m.: Theresa is unhappy about the time and scheduling of the meeting. "I question why this is being railroaded through without public opportunity to actually consider it, let alone comment on it," she says.

She also mentions the power plant. If this is supposed to be a plan for the next 50 years, it needs to include the power plant "so that Redondo can develop into the place it should be," she says.

2:10 p.m.: Steve Schumaker, a master leaseholder in the harbor and a resident of the Village, says he's very much in favor of the harbor. He's also wearing a shirt with what I'm pretty sure is the Pokemon Jigglypuff on it.

Mark Hansen with the King Harbor Boaters Advisory Panel is up.

"We've been working in earnest on the public boat launch ramp for the past 12 years," he says. He wants to make sure the boat ramp is there.

He says Pacifica barely mentioned the boat ramp, the marina or boating. CenterCal didn't specifically mention the boat ramp; Lowe is the only one who mentioned it and a location.

2:11 p.m.: Victoria Corradi says, "We're very much in support of this and excited about it." She does want to know about the impact on residents.

Time for presentations again.

Carmichael says he wants to emphasize next steps, including a full environmental impact report. CenterCal will present first, then Pacifica and Lowe.

2:13 p.m.: CenterCal representative says he would be honored to work in Redondo Beach. "one of the things I've learned about California ... there's 10s of millions of buildings in the state of California, but there's very few remarkable places," he says.

He's trying to put together a sense of place with his developments—but it has to be "organic," from within the community.  "Whatever's done on this 15 acres really has to be a part of the community."

2:16 p.m.: Goals for the project:

1. Learn more about the land and the community. "We see this as part of a v. long dialogue that we will engage in with great vigor to determine the right mix of uses," he says. He calls the area "almost a very sacred piece of land."

"We promise, if we are selected, to be a very good listener," he says.

He sees "retail as sort of being the glue that holds everything else together." People should come to Redondo, not go out to Del Amo or Culver City. "We hope to set the stage for those future developments (e.g. the power plant) to proceed very well."

2:19 p.m.: Inspirational projects—well, they're inspired by some of their own. Still, Redondo needs its own experience. "The end of the day, our goal would be to take the best of those projects, see where they fit in the fabric of Redondo Beach ... don't try to add something that won't" fit in Redondo, though. It has to mesh.

He says that his company has survived because the projects give the community what they want. "I think it's because we build projects that resonate with our communities," he said.

2:24 p.m.: He's going through the projects. You can find the . He says they have people already interested in moving to Redondo; however, they need to make sure there is a good balance of type of tenants.

Apparently, he doesn't think any stores want to be up in Palos Verdes.

He does want to keep existing tenants, it sounds like.

Offices and hospitality are other uses they're going to look at, but community uses are very important. They are NOT recommending light rail access. This draws a few chuckles.

They haven't figured out where the boat ramp should be, he says. "We need to work with the community, work with the experts."

2:27 p.m.: "Connectivity is going to be an important part of the eventual answer to this program," he says. YES! It's a pain in the rear to get from the Redondo Beach Marina to the pier where the Voyager used to dock.

CenterCal is continuing to emphasize how it wants to work with the community and the city.

2:31 p.m.: He's going into details on debt and the team. You can check out the vision statement for that. I'll upload it to this article in a bit.

2:32 p.m.: He's showing a video about one of their developments with lots of lights and colors and water fountains.

2:40 p.m.: "We'd be honored if we were chosen," he closes with. Now it's time for questions.

Councilman Matt Kilroy says he's had issues with financing. CenterCal representative says financing isn't as much of an issue because they have experience with ground leases and they have a lot of equity in their projects. Also, they're backed by the California State Teacher's Retirement System.

Kilroy: "We've finally reached a point where we're seeing some real, substantial progress ... as opposed to visions on paper." He wants to know what the timeline is to make physical changes to the harbor and pier, especially with all the public input.

CenterCal: "We feel we can work within what's been done." They can work with density, height restrictions, etc.

Kilroy: "There's been a lot of pent up excitement ... in regards to the harbor and the pier area." He adds, "We've been wined and dined before, so to speak, and we've ended up with a leaseholder who doesn't come and do anything." He wants a timeline with specific milestones.

He also brings up Seaside Lagoon—how does CenterCal envision incorporating their development with the public amenity? CenterCal calls the Seaside Lagoon one of the "gems" of the project, and they would do more public events and spruce it up a bit.

2:44 p.m.: It's Councilman Steve Diels' turn. He wants to know how CenterCal's development will integrate with the actual ocean and environment. CenterCal says that's why they meet with the local experts—fishermen, divers, boaters, etc. He wants to know how they can enhance those experiences.

He thinks adding more bike and pedestrian opportunities will get more people to come.

Diels says commercial ocean activities are not on CenterCal's bubble diagram. "There's a working harbor there," he says.

CenterCal says that will fall under the historical/existing uses bubble—but they need to know more from the experts.

2:47 p.m.: Steve Aspel is "very concerned about the current tenants there." How will CenterCal keep them?

"We don't have a plan, per se, but at this point we would love to talk to them," CenterCal's representative says.

Aspel wants any developer chosen to give longterm tenants special consideration. CenterCal says it's a high priority. "The local businesses are the first people we want to talk to, along with the community and the residents."

Aspel: Are most of the developments on level ground? Because this one is downhill.

2:56 p.m.: It's time for Councilman Bill Brand, who represents the district. He asks if CenterCal looked at the other proposals, then asks about the pedestrian bridge.

"We almost envisioned a place where people would walk up there and take pictures on their wedding day," the CenterCal representative says. It would be an iconic piece that would frame the harbor entrance and improve connectivity.

Brand is happy to hear that they'll work within the existing zoning regulations and with the community.

CenterCal notes that they're going to try to centralize parking and encourage people to fan out and walk.

Brand wants to know how they came to estimate 200 rooms at the potential hotel.

"I don't think finding tenants is going to be a problem," the CenterCal representative says.

"How do you see the city interacting with CenterCal to do these types of public-private partnerships?" Brand asks.

CenterCal says they don't want more than the project needs—they don't normally rely on public subsidies. They should be for truly public benefits, not just for the developer, he says.

"We have a big decision to make up here in the next 6 weeks," Brand says.

3:04 p.m.: Pat Aust, who is serving as mayor pro tem because Mayor Mike Gin is absent, looks at the public walkway bridge. He brings up Heart of the City. There's some back-and-forth; the boat ramp is a must-have, Aust says.

CenterCal representative says there will be at least five or six opportunities for the public to get together and talk about the projects. "It's all valuable input," he says, but adds that you still have to stick with the timeline. He reiterates that the company's doors in El Segundo are always open.

Aust wants to know if the antique car show at Ruby's on Fridays will be accommodated. CenterCal representative says you plan for it.

Time for the next group—but first, a break.

3:15 p.m.: Break's over! Time for Pacifica's presentation. Chairman Ash Israni is speaking.

Pacifica is based in San Diego. There will be four people doing the presentation.

"We are very excited about this project," says Israni.

3:19 p.m.: Israni is talking about current projects, including beachfront projects, that Pacifica is working on. "We want to bring a project forward that is well-integrated," he says.

"This is an amazing site," he says. "The potential is so huge. It could be a world-class mixed-use project."

He introduces Allison Rolfe and Colby Young.

Young is the project manager. Rolfe is the director of planning. Rolfe is explaining a similar project in Chula Vista and other projects she's managing.

She turns the mic over to Gordon Carrier, a principal at Carrier-Johnson, the architect.

3:24 p.m.: "I wanted to really start today by saying these are thoughts, not designs," says Carrier. "It's a lot easier for us to think than it is to draw a conclusion on a subject we haven't discussed with you yet."

"Public interface is really the only way to get to a tangible, likeable ... solution," he says. He calls public participation a "must." He says they intend to start with public feedback; the concepts shown today will show how the company thinks.

3:32 p.m.: Vehicular circulation is one of the challenges of this site—so is the pier parking garage.

"Is there something that could be done with it and free up the land (to) open up ... the waterfront?" he asks. He wants the parking lot moved to near the entrances; people can walk or bike around the site.

Carrier says there are several existing levels in the area. The stairs are "understated" in terms of ceremony or attraction; the site should be opened up again, he says. "People and water are really what this is about at the end of the day. And, of course, the commerce that goes with it is the attraction."

He calls the Lagoon "one of the most amazing assets I've ever seen, to be honest." It's one of the greatest assets, he says. He says the Lagoon will remain its own place. "Authenticity, in my mind, sometimes means not messing up the best of what you have," he says. "I should just improve it sufficiently to make it more accessible and more lively."

The pier is also a "huge strength," but a bridge could isolate the International Boardwalk.

3:35 p.m.: Carrier continues to go through the slides. His inspirational projects—like Pike Place Market in Seattle and Pier 39 in San Francisco—are authentic for their areas.

The Pacifica plans also include a fish market. Carrier says parking is along the street on the upland side of the project.

He wants the area to be one for daytime and nighttime with energy. He's also interested in kiosk retail locations, and a public market that's a neighborhood attraction—sort of like a year-round farmer's market.

3:47 p.m.: Young is looking at possible tenant types. I notice that none of the tenants in the list are current tenants. Kincaid's isn't even included among the chains.

"Pacifica takes great pride in engaging with the public," says Rolfe. She has a video to show us from the Coastal Commission hearing last month for the Chula Vista project.

The video shows lots of happy people. The Coastal Commission seemed to really like Pacifica.

Young talks about the development sequence. Phase one would be the Decron Leasehold/Redondo Beach Marina and possibly the International Boardwalk or the octogon building. The latter two might be part of phase two. Phase three might involve demolishing the parking structure three for the marketplace and a hotel. He says the approach is flexible.

Once again, Rolfe is talking about past projects and their timelines.

3:53 p.m.: Time for questions! Councilman Steve Aspel in regards to the video: "We could use that kind of love in Redondo Beach right now."

"The octogon building has always been a real conversation piece," so it should be moved to Phase 1, says Aspel. Redondo uses M&Ms instead of clipboards for public opinion, by the way. He says in Redondo Beach that if people don't agree with you, they'll think you're not listening. He thinks incorporating Czuleger Park into the development would be very difficult.

In response to a question about parking, Carrier says it's still onsite, so there will be no need for shuttles.

Israni and Carrier say that the project will fall within the zoning regulations of Measure G.

3:57 p.m.: Bill Brand's turn. He asks them about the power plant in Chula Vista and when it's demolished. Brand said he wants to go to the demolition. This elicits laughter.

"Chula Vista's remaking their waterfront without a power plant, and I'm hoping that someday we do the exact same thing," says Brand.

He asks if two hotels are critical, since there are four hotels there already. Israni says they don't have hard numbers yet; this is just a vision.

"You probably made history here calling Seaside Lagoon an 'amazing asset,'" says Brand. He talks about the issues with the state Water Resources Control Board.

4:04 p.m.: "180 degrees to the west are fish and they don't shop." How viable is the retail? Brand asks.

Israni is confident that it will do great.

Next step if selected? "We'll go home now," says Israni. They would have multiple public meetings, including visioning meetings.

"That has to be an open process," says Rolfe. "We don't have a cookie cutter approach to our public input."

Brand wants to know how Pacifica brought the community together for the Chula Vista Bayfront project. "Be careful because I'll start talking about love," says Rolfe, referring to the earlier video.

Israni's willingness to "do something innovative," like a land swap with his property adjacent to the wildlife refuge for a brownfield. "We're not opposed to growth; we just want it done well," says Rolfe, who used to be a community environmentalist.

4:10 p.m.: Diels' turn. He wants to know how this developer will open up to ocean uses.

Carrier says there were two plans, including a water-based one, but it wasn't shown today.

Diels wants the waterfront to lead to the ocean like Czuleger Park would lead to the development.

He calls Heart of the City the plan to get rid of the power plant, and he compares it to the Chula Vista Bayfront project. "You can prevent sprawl by increasing density, but unfortunately we have height limits that don't allow that," Diels says.

He likes the strength of the engagement. "Seaside Lagoon is something worth fighting for. We fought very, very hard for it," he says.

4:19 p.m.: Kilroy wants to establish that none of the developers have spoken with the city council until this afternoon. "Kilroy Center Del Mar—that's not me. I wish it was. I wish it were my relatives—somebody I knew," he says with a laugh.

He calls the Chula Vista project great and notes that the lease expired for the power plant.

Rolfe agrees. She says the Chula Vista Bayfront coalition actually lobbied the California Independent Systems Operators to remove the "must-run" designation on that facility.

Kilroy wants to know what kind of city subsidies Pacifica has used. Israni says the city subsidy wasn't the right way to do it.

The boat ramp must be done "sooner rather than later," Kilroy says. He notes that the diagrams didn't show any space for a boat ramp.

"As far as the boat launch, I hear it loud and clear," says Israni.

4:25 p.m.: Pat Aust started working in the city 44 years ago and has witnessed "a lot of the natural and man-made disasters that hit it," including urban renewal in the '60s and the '70s. "We lost our whole downtown when they built all those condos," he says. "We were going to be the Miami Beach west... that never happened, and I'm thankful for that."

He goes through the history of the pier; notes that he was the incident commander during the big fire in '88. Nineteen business were lost, and the octogon building. "Of those buildings that have gone or were lost, only two of them ever came back," he says. May 27 will be the 25th anniversary of the pier fire. "If we do this right now, we will move forward and it will be a good, progressive thing. ... I don't think we're doing a sudden rush."

They talk, but my Internet connection goes wonky.

It's Brand's turn again.

4:28 p.m.: Brand asks about the power plant again. He says we're engaged in community effort right now.

Aust asks if there are any other questions about this project.

Brand wonders where the parking is for Czuleger Park.

Time for another break!

4:49 p.m.: We're back!

Matt Walker of Lowe Enterprises is also "thrilled" to have this "tremendous" opportunity.

"We think we are the right time to do it," Walker says.

He starts talking about the value that Lowe and the Ruth Group will bring to the project, then talk about the vision and implementation.

"We have deep hospitality, retail and mixed-use experience," Walker says. He drops references to Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes. "Our team that completed the Terranea development is poised and ready to go!"

"We don't believe in cookie-cutter projects, he says.

He introduces Rob Lowe, who has lived in the "North Bay" (Santa Monica) his entire life. He says Lowe Enterprises, which was started by his father in 1972, just celebrated its 40th birthday. He emphasizes the need to work with the community for a type of project the community will use.

4:55 p.m.: More talk about how Lowe goes about doing its projects and what projects it's done recently.

And now they're talking about the Ruth Group and Gensler Architects, who would assist them with this project.

5:06 p.m.: Back to Walker. He notes, again, that this vision is preliminary.

"We think we've got a pretty good vision, but it's going to take a lot of involvement from you all and the community," he says. He notes that they intend to adhere to the local coastal plan (set by Measure G). "The fact that this is a working marina and pier—this is great."

A working pier "creates a vitality" that's going on 365 days per year, and he notes that there are already "a lot of great restaurants" on the pier. Walker emphasizes that he plans to work with existing tenants.

Back to Bob to discuss the project more. It will be broken up into three areas: marketplace ("Fisherman's Walk," select service hotel, local marketplace retail area), boardwalk (restaurant square, expanded Czuleger Park), and Resort/Beach Club (resort hotel and conference center, beach club, boathouse and pier, and the boat ramp).

The small hotel will serve as a buffer between the marketplace and the surrounding community.

He says one of the biggest challenges is traffic flow, especially with the garage.

The boardwalk for pedestrians would have planks with an iconic theme bridge. The restaurant square would have open-air seating.

The Lagoon itself would become a resort and beach club for the community that's adjacent to a hotel. "It can be program space, it can be community space, but it really takes it up to the next level," he says. He also wants to add a boating element for the day boaters or those who want to rent a boat. He wants to bring the waterfront into the project. (Does this mean Diels will have to ask his question about the waterfront?)

This presentation focuses on boating much more than the others.

5:14 p.m.: The bike path will go along the back so the bikes don't get in the way, Lowe says. He shows some concepts and ideas, but notes, "We've got a long way to go."

I think I have some named confused—Rob vs. Bob. The last one was Bob.

Rob now talks about the inspirations.

5:14 p.m.: It's another Rob or Bob. He's reiterating why people should choose Lowe and the Ruth group.

"I guess our vision is, eat, play and stay!"

5:22 p.m.: Diels is first to talk. He thanks them for the presentation. "It seems like you all want to do something positive," he says.

Diels also notes that his presentation had the most connectivity to the water, to laughter. "The 180-degree waterfront issue is an aspect that I'm consistently asking about," he says. He likes the "arrive by boat" part.

In regards to public engagement, Diels refers again to the Heart of the City. "In my experience, people had participated ... It disappeared for awhile," and it came back unrecognizable, and people thought the developers hadn't listened.

Todd Major says they bridge the issue to make sure people know they're listening was to use a narrative. "It allows you to get an element of buy-in from the community. Public input is more than just ideas," he says.

5:27 p.m.: Re: Terranea. "My hat's off to you, frankly, for surviving (through the rough economy)," Diels says. He wants to know if the project would be coupled or competing with Terranea.

"We actually think more properties in one market is a really great thing," a representative says. Each property has a different theme and caters to different people and groups. "I think there are clear differences between the hotel guest that wants to come to Terranea and the hotel guest that wants to come to Redondo Beach."

5:33 p.m.: "I'm kind of in awe to have the caliber of developers come into the community," says Brand. He asks about parking; a representative says there will be parking on both sides of the site.

"I was impressed with your emphasis on the bike path," says Brand, noting that it's a pain to ride a bike through the pier. "I was impressed that you focus your attention on the locals."

"The reason Pike Place works is that you've got real people buying real fish," says the representative.

Brand also notes that he was happy to see that existing tenants were in the spotlight. "Locals do not want to lose those types of tenants to be replaced by PF Changs, for example." CenterCal said it was looking to bring in a chain like PF Changs.

The representatives note that they single-handedly supported Old Tony's during some Coastal Commission meetings. They also mention Nelsons being a favorite of the community in Rancho Palos Verdes. (It is! Love the sweet potato fries.)

Brand also notes that he admires how Lowe will change its plans, if necessary.

"It really isn't about our vision," a representative says. "It's really about bringing a community's vision to fruition."

5:35 p.m.: Apparently the process of making a movie is similar to the process of making a hotel. Who knew? The Lowe representative is saying that they see themselves like the editor. "What goes up on the screen needs to be edited right," he says.

5:40 p.m.: Steve Aspel's turn. He emphasizes the importance of the existing businesses. "You gotta work with them. We don't want to throw them out after they've been loyal."

He also likes the Czuleger Park idea. "That park is an underutilized park because a lot of people that live there think it's a private park," he says.

"The (Redondo Beach) locals proudly take their guests to Manhattan Beach... and that pisses me off," says Aspel. He wants people to bring their guests to the Redondo Beach Pier.

Aspel jokingly points out Terranea's high price point. He emphasizes again engagement with the locals. "Just have meetings and understand their concerns."

5:44 p.m.: "What struck me (about the vision) was how detailed it was," Kilroy says. "I thought you were also very candid with respect to the strengths and weaknesses, especially the weaknesses ... We know what they are. We've dealt with some of those issues throughout the years." He notes that he was on the Public Works Commission when they examined the bike path. Crossing Torrance Boulevard is the big issue.

He calls the bike path issue a microcosm of the project as a whole. "I think you put some great ideas out there," Kilroy says. Terranea is a plus. He's interested in the financing, though—he wants details on the "financing mechanisms."

Lowe representative says there could be some bond measures.

"Redevelopment's dead," Kilroy adds.

More talk about financing, then Kilroy wants to know where they would start on the project.

"I think we're ready to put a shovel in the ground to do a boat ramp tomorrow," a representative says. The audience laughs.

5:53 p.m.: And last but not least is Aust. He likes the analogies, he likes the focus on the locals and that it would be close to Terranea. He also wants to know how big the hotels would be. The representative gives him some estimates.

Aust has grabbed onto the movie analogy. "That's what we're doing now, we're writing the script," he says. He notes that he was the fire chief during the Heart of the City and that only 211 people went to the meetings about that project.

A representative says they reach out to the community groups instead of just holding hearings to get a broader spectrum of the community.

"I totally agree with that process because you've got to get out there and find out," says Aust.

He's done.

5:57 p.m.: Brand notes that two hotels, with the addition of the Shade Hotel, would mean there are seven in the area. (The hotels I can think of are the Crowne Plaza, the Portofino and the Best Western—what's the fourth?)

The new hotels would draw a different type of customer than the current ones, says a representative. They'll also provide a "crucial critical mass" to make the retail work. "What people didn't really understand when it came to Terranea was the access to LAX." Redondo will use the same concept.

Aspel notes he hangs out in Riviera Village. "It's swarming with the people from Terranea because there's nothing to do up there," he says. True, unless you're a nature buff. Riviera Village might actually be closer to Terranea than the Promenade. Not much closer, but certainly a prettier drive.

Aspel wants to know about possible tax breaks;

Aspel says he had to Google the word "charette"—I didn't know what it is, either. "I thought it was a hairpiece or something."

5:59 p.m.: Back to Pete Carmichael. He's recapping the schedule again. Larry Cosmont, who worked a lot on the project, will speak after that, and then they'll do public comment. People have already started lining up to speak.

6:02 p.m.: Cosmont recaps the meeting, too. He notes that it's still very early in the process, so some of the questions might not have good answers.

Next step is the letter of intent, which will be sent in early October. The request for qualifications submittal, the request for vision submittal, and the letter of intent will be the basis of selection in late October.

6:07 p.m.: Brand has a question for Larry about financing. This is more technical. Now that there's no redevelopment agency, the city doesn't get as much property tax revenue.

6:10 p.m.: PUBLIC COMMENT. Don Szerlip is first. He compliments the council and the city staff for the process. "I was doubtful that we would be able to attract a quality developer, and I think what I've seen here today are three" more than qualified organizations, he says.

He warns that there was a lot of pushback after Heart of the City because that developer wasn't local. "I'm glad to see that the majority of these people are also local and have local knowledge," he says. He notes that the waterfront is about attracting residents and tourists.

Next is Scott Fellows.

6:12 p.m.: Fellows' concern is about how the project could go forward without "the necessity of massive hotel space." He doesn't want tons of hotel rooms, because parking is a huge problem. "Parking at Terranea is a mess ... It's not an easy in and an easy out."

"Parking and the necessity of less hotel and room space," he emphasizes again. He says his mother-in-law got lost for a day and a half inside the current parking structure."

6:15 p.m.: Tony Trutanich from Old Tony's calls the presentation "impressive." He wants to know if they can incorporate a contest with the Daily Breeze or the Easy Reader.

He wants to know if the Redondo Beach Marina area in front of the International Boardwalk will be cleaned up. He notes that demolishing the parking will hurt businesses on the pier, and he's wondering what

The development should also be "eco-friendly," Trutanich says.

6:17 p.m.: Steve Schumaker says he wants to stay local. He "strongly suggests" that "you take the phrase 'Heart of the City' and bury it with the project that got buried." Amen!

"I think you should get rid of the phrase. Otherwise, it's a fabulous, fabulous concept," he notes.

6:19 p.m.: George is back up. He's difficult to hear. He thinks that the council will select from the "who" rather than the "what," and that's unfortunate, in his opinion. He says nothing is properly integrated with the outside world.

6:20 p.m.: Paul Moses says, "I hope one of (the visions) all happens before we all die." He asks about institutional use.

6:23 p.m.: Linda Akyuz says she was at work. She helps developers comply with CEQA. She says having the plan before you do the EIR, it's putting the cart before the horse. "In an EIR, if things are mitigated, they're not really mitigated," she says.

6:23 p.m.: And we're done! Check back later (much later) for a summary.

Nicole Mooradian September 14, 2012 at 07:31 PM
All three developers said they would respect the zoning regulations set forth in Measure G, including view corridors and height limits. So hopefully... yes?
Alexander Starr September 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Thanks Nicole. Unfortunately view corridors under measure G are minimal.
Chris September 15, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Always wondered about that as the smaller marina near the boardwalk seems to be perfect for transient slips but is occupied with fishing vessels and a bunch of forgotten sailboats instead. As for Czuleger Park, if it could be more family friendly (and less of a transient lounge area) we'd be thrilled. :) One thing that is needed is a clear/easy way for bicycles to turn into the park and maybe a dedicated bike path leading to the corner of harbor/pacific. I hate complaining about such a short distance but with bikes and pedestrians crammed in the same spot there is always someone jumping out of the way.
Jim Light September 15, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Yes, there is only one fuzzy view corridor requirement to see the ocean from Czueleger Park.
Jill Morales September 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I recently had lunch with my daughter in a restaurant in Chula Vista Marina. The place was empty! It's very spread out, clean and plenty of parking but no customers. Then again, Chula Vista is next to the border and very far from San Diego. Not a destination.


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