San Pedro's rotting tourist waterfront is now poised for a $1.2 billion makeover that, according to the L.A. Business Journal, includes "construction of an eight-mile promenade to downtown San Pedro, bike paths, parks, a pier and extension of the port's popular streetcar service." The L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to fund the 10-year plan, which had been mired for just as many years in disagreements and bureaucratic inertia.
One of the main projects will be to completely redesign the Ports O' Call Village, a 1970s-style shoreline mall that had become a nautical ghost town populated mostly by a couple of so-so restaurants and shops selling candy and glass figurines.
According to the L.A. Times, the village will be replaced "with up to 300,000 square feet of new restaurants and shops and a 75,000-square-foot conference center." One sticking point had been a proposal to put a cruise terminal on the west side of Kaiser Point that would encroach upon Cabrillo Beach; the Business Journal reports that objections to that plan were solved after a marathon session by requiring any new terminal to be built on the point's east side.
San Pedro is somewhat of an anomaly in Los Angeles -- it's a part of
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the city yet very much a provincial small town where the same close-knit families have
lived for generations. It has suffered from past urban renewal misfires
but now hopes the new waterfront will do for it what the Old Town
redevelopment did for downtown Pasadena's revival.