The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a development permit Thursday for the first phase of the planned San Pedro Public Market, which will include 170,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and maritime-related businesses.
“This is what the community has been waiting for, for a long time, so it’s going to bring many back to our waterfront,” said Michael Keenan, the Port of Los Angeles’ director of planning and strategy.
The first phase is expected to be completed in 2021. Other phases of the project are going through environmental and port review.
Port officials noted they may have to address the threat of rising sea levels in the future as development continues. Keenan said the operators of the San Pedro Public Market were made aware of those risks.
“When we update the Port Master Plan, there will be sea-level rise adaptation policies as part of the document,” he said. “The (market) project itself is not in any jeopardy, but there is an extreme … case, which could potentially have an impact much further out into the future, because this lease extends (66 years), we felt it was important to inform the developers of that potential risk.”
Keenan said the Coastal Commission addresses sea-level rise in its application process, and the developer would be liable for any damages caused by sea-level rise, not the port.
Keenan also said there were concerns about water quality, and efforts are being made to ensure trash and sewage from the project doesn’t end up in the ocean.
Mike Galvin, the port’s director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate, said in November there has been significant preparation work at the site, such as soil remediation and demolition of old buildings. Galvin acknowledged there have been some delays in the project, but they’re optimistic with it going forward.
Last summer, a bidding process was conducted for a town square, but bidding companies were either disqualified on technicalities or over budget, delaying the start of construction until March. Construction was initially set to begin in September 2019.
The commission in November awarded a $33 million contract to Griffith Company to construct a 1.9-acre, 30-foot-wide public promenade, with a four-acre town square and restroom facility as part of the market project.
Osprey Investors LLC has a maximum of 80% ownership interest in the market’s lease terms, and in 2019 the company put $30 million in equity financing into the $150 million project, joining developers The Ratkovich Company and Jerico Development.
A 6,000-seat outdoor amphitheater is also part of the development plan.
The developers will also be responsible for costs associated with the preparation of an environmental assessment to determine any changes in environmental impacts associated with the development of a concert venue at the SPPM.