San Pedro’s waterfront, now a new hotspot set to open in 2023, is a short walk from the city’s historic shopping and dining area.
But many visitors never make the connection.
It’s only a short walk from local sites like the historic Point Fermin Lighthouse, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the still-developing Altasie, and the Korean Friendship Bell.
So in an effort to connect the dots for visitors, the Port of Los Angeles has partnered with the community to create a plan that will lay the groundwork for getting people from one place to another – and to let them know. See if there is something else in town.
The port has agreed to spend $500,000 to bid on a third-party proposal to conduct the study, which is expected to take about a year. The funding came from the port’s Onshore Access Fund announcement in August, a list of projects undertaken after extensive community meetings.
The connectivity study, said Alice Swanson, CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, “was a consensus among the chamber of neighborhood councils.”
Outreach by Port began about two years ago, said Ann Carpenter, CEO and cofounder of Brad Theory, operating out of Altasi.
“The connectivity plan was a common thread when it came to all these ideas and projects,” Carpenter said.
Pieces of the puzzle can include way-finder signage, people-mover style transportation, and even some physical connectors between points of interest.
The issue is not new in San Pedro, where cruise lines were once known to direct passengers to head to Long Beach if they were looking for restaurants and things to do.
Since then there have been some significant improvements that keep tourists local, including the arrival of the Battleship Iowa tourist attraction within walking distance of the cruise terminal.
And a new waterfront attraction is in the works and expected to open in 2023, expected to attract crowds.
But what about the restaurants and bars near downtown San Pedro? Or the area’s museums and AltaSea, the Marine Research Complex and other points of interest within a short distance?
The Connector plan speaks to the belief among community leaders that there should be a way to better move people from one place to another – and to let them know that other places exist as well.
Michael Galvin, director of waterfront and commercial real estate for the Port of Los Angeles, said areas of focus would include non-motorized transportation and public transportation, including water taxis, which help move people from one place to another. will do; providing better access points; making some roads more pedestrian-friendly; more signage and public art and open spaces that offer activities; and Crosswalk and other physical connector enhancements.
A park along Harbor Boulevard on the waterfront that will be easily accessible to residents of One San Pedro, Rancho San Pedro’s replacement development, is already in the works and will blend with the overall objectives.
Requests for proposals are expected to go out to the port by the end of this month, Galvin said, with a plan possibly by the end of 2022. The process would involve pubic input and the plan itself would be flexible as parts of it are implemented. and thought for future development.
“It was a project that stood out as a top priority,” Galvin said of the many community meetings that have taken place over the past two years. “We are looking to build a network of very well connected, multi-use properties.”