Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Waterfront?
The Waterfront is a unique reimagining of Redondo Beach’s coastal area, designed to provide community resources and world-class amenities to Redondo. It would invest more than $100 million to restore the waterfront’s failing infrastructure, bringing families and friends together for relaxation and fun.
- Park space and gathering areas for art exhibitions, concerts, recreation and events
- Revitalized Seaside Lagoon opened to tidal flow, available 365 days a year
- Public Market featuring legacy waterfront tenants
- Boutique oceanfront hotel
- Street retail and unique restaurants set in lushly landscaped promenades
- Spacious public boardwalk along the coast
- Improved access to the coastline for bikes and pedestrians
- A unique, specialty dine-in theater with intimate seating
- 100 percent accessible to the coast
Why is acting now to revitalize the Redondo Beach coastline so important?
Revitalizing the Redondo Beach coastline is a crucial, immediate need for the community. Although the area’s natural beauty is breathtaking, the current infrastructure at the waterfront, based on a recent study released by the Redondo Beach City Council, is failing and in critical need of repair. According to the study, the cost of fixing this infrastructure could be more than $100 million. The City cannot afford to wait any longer to make these repairs, but the City also does not have the money to make them. This juncture in Redondo Beach’s history presents an ideal opportunity for a comprehensive coastal revitalization and reinvestment in the community.
Why does the waterfront need to be the size that it is?
The Waterfront needs to be of sufficient size to support the cost of a substantial infrastructure investment. The size proposed provides the ability to incorporate a range of uses including restaurants, boutiques, a market hall hotel and offices. Uses like the market hall comprise a large proportion of the project and create a home for many local tenants. The synergy between the uses and the recreational activity create the atmosphere that will bring the resident back for varied and numerous reasons.
Where are we in the process?
On August 9, 2016, the Redondo Beach Harbor Commission voted to certify the Final EIR and approve The Waterfront with minor modifications. On October 19, 2016, the Redondo Beach City Council voted to deny an appeal and sustain the decision of the Redondo Beach Harbor Commission to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report and other approvals related to The Waterfront.
The Waterfront will be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission for conformance with the approved Local Coastal Plan. The Commissioners are strong advocates of increased access and open space along the California coast, and we look forward to sharing those exciting elements of The Waterfront as well as the rest of the project with them.
What kind of planning and public process has taken place for ensuring that The Waterfront is the right project for the Redondo community?
With the passage of Measure G in 2010, the voters of Redondo Beach approved a set of strict standards for development along the coastline. Measure G included explicit standards about the kind of development voters wanted for their coastal area, specifically regarding development density and building height restrictions. Measure G set a limit of 400,000 net new square feet of development. The Waterfront’s density is only 73% of this limit.
An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was conducted and contained a wide variety of details on the project, as well as information about traffic impacts and other important issues. There was a 60 day public comment period after the release of the Draft EIR and three public workshops for resident testimonies. The EIR was approved by the Harbor Commission last August.
Throughout the planning process, The Waterfront has received significant input from local residents, businesses, community and civic leaders, environmental experts, and the City. From the inclusion of the public market and pedestrian draw bridge in the original design to the recent modifications to the parking structure and addition of the sport fishing pier, this project has always been reflective of what the community wants.
What are the conclusions of the Environmental Impact Report?
The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) concluded that while the project would result in significant and unavoidable construction impacts, only two long-term impacts would result from the project. One of these impacts is potential tsunami risk, which is a risk to most waterfront projects. The second is operational noise resulting from increased use of the waterfront area.
As required by the California Environmental Quality Act, CenterCal will implement a number of mitigation measures to reduce potential impacts from the project.
The release of the city’s EIR – an independent analysis by a team of qualified experts – confirms that for a coastline project of this complexity, there are a remarkably low number of potentially significant impacts.
To see the Environmental Impact Report, visit our PROJECT APPLICATION AND EIR page.
What would be The Waterfront’s impact on traffic?
The Environmental Impact Report concludes that once traffic mitigations are put in place there will be no significant impacts. CenterCal will pay its share for street improvements required to accommodate all operational traffic impacts, including improvement of five intersections along PCH. The project is designed for walking, cycling, and other modes of travel with enhanced walkways, bike paths and bicycle parking facilities.
It is true that the proposed project will increase traffic over today’s levels. This is because the Waterfront will be more accessible, more pleasant, and more fun for our community, and people will want to come and enjoy the views! This is traffic that will create jobs, tax revenue, recreational opportunities, and will make the Waterfront a place people want to be. However, as set forth in the Environmental Impact Report, with the implementation of the required traffic mitigation measures, the increased level of traffic will not result in traffic congestion.
What does The Waterfront mean for existing local businesses at the site?
The Waterfront is intended, first and foremost, to benefit the surrounding community, including its local businesses. We are in active discussions with many of the existing tenants about being a part of The Waterfront. We don’t want The Waterfront to just include local businesses – we want it to celebrate these businesses and what they mean to Redondo. It just wouldn't be The Waterfront without this unique personality.
How will The Waterfront improve coastal access?
The Waterfront has been envisioned to pay homage to our awe-inspiring coastal environment. The current layout of the pier and harbor area allows access to only about 84% of the coastline. The Waterfront’s design makes the coast 100% accessible, and provides nearly 4,500 feet of accessible shoreline for strolling amid community gathering places, activity centers, rest areas, water features, public art and child play areas.
Does CenterCal have control over the location of the boat ramp?
No. Adding a boat ramp is required by the California Coastal Commission and the City is responsible for determining a suitable location for the boat ramp. The EIR reviewed a number of potential sites in the harbor and on Monday, October 10 the Harbor Commission voted to approve Mole B as the location of the boat ramp.
How can I provide input and get involved with The Waterfront?
All members of the Redondo Beach and South Bay communities have a strong voice in the ongoing dialogue on this project. The Waterfront always has been, and will continue to be, a collaborative effort with local stakeholders. Your involvement is critical, playing an important role in determining the ultimate direction of the project.
You can sign up to receive regular email updates at TheWaterfrontRedondo.com or contact us any time with questions or concerns by calling or emailing .
Where can I view The Waterfront 3D model?
The Waterfront 3-D model is now housed at The Waterfront Information Center located at Redondo Beach, CA 90277.
Please click here to view our center hours calendar.
Where can I see the full project application?
On March 7, 2016, the Land Use package was submitted to the Harbor Commission and the City of Redondo Beach for review. While the plans and elevations were first received and reviewed by these agencies, making them available to everyone interested in the future of The Waterfront is important.
The plans align in every way with the overall goal of creating a world-class vision for The Waterfront that is consistent with Measure G, and the guidance received from the City Council and input from the community. Please follow the link below to see the plans and feel free to offer comments via the Contact Us section above.
HarborCommissionDesignReview.pdf (145 MB)
Myths vs. Facts
The Waterfront Redondo would revitalize Redondo Beach’s harbor and pier area. The project would make much-needed improvements to the area’s public infrastructure and create a true gathering place for the community with a public market, acres of parks and open space, new restaurants and activities for all ages with no residential development.
MYTH: The project is a “mall by the sea.” FACT: The Waterfront is proposed to be less than one-quarter retail, and is defined by its accessibility, public recreation, and activities for all ages.
Using input from Redondo residents, and following a comprehensive public visioning process, the Waterfront was designed to celebrate the pier’s history as a place everyone can enjoy. Key elements include 11 acres of open space for relaxing and community events, accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians, a new Seaside Lagoon that opens into the harbor, a Public Market, a boutique hotel, restaurants, and specialty shops – including many of the area’s Legacy Tenants, which CenterCal is envisioning to be a focal point of the retail component.
MYTH: The project would create traffic congestion. FACT: The city’s environmental impact report – an exhaustive review by an independent team of traffic engineers – concluded that the project would not have a significant impact on traffic.
The Environmental Impact Report concludes that once traffic mitigations are put in place there will be no significant impacts. CenterCal will pay its share for street improvements required to accommodate all operational traffic impacts, including improvement of five intersections along PCH.
The project is designed for walking, cycling, and other modes of travel with enhanced walkways, bike paths and bicycle parking facilities. It is true that the proposed project will increase traffic over today’s levels. This is because the Waterfront will be more accessible, more pleasant, and more fun for our community, and people will want to come and enjoy the views! This is traffic that will create jobs, tax revenue, recreational opportunities, and will make the Waterfront a place people want to be. However, as set forth in the Environmental Impact Report, with the implementation of the required traffic mitigation measures, the increased level of traffic will not result in traffic congestion.
MYTH: The project is too big and its size violates measure G. FACT: The Waterfront proposes just 73 percent of the net new square footage allowed by measure G.
The Waterfront will add 290,000 square feet of net new development to the 230,000 square feet of existing development at the pier for a total of approximately 520,000 square feet of development. Measure G limited development to a total of 400,000 square feet of net new development. Thus, The Waterfront is within framework approved by voters in Measure G, all with no risk to taxpayers.
MYTH: Infrastructure Upgrades Are Not Needed. FACT: The City’s Own Studies Have Found That Revitalizing The Redondo Beach Coastline Is Crucial, And That The City’s Parking Garages Are Near Being “red-Tagged” By The City Building Department Due To Lack Of Structural Integrity.
The City’s study of the pier infrastructure found that the cost of necessary upgrades to the pier and parking structure alone could cost more than $100 million, and would be needed within 5-10 years. The Waterfront offers a minimum of $300 million in immediate private investment that pays for these crucial public infrastructure repairs at no cost to taxpayers.
MYTH: The Project Would Block Views Along Harbor Drive. FACT: The City’s Environmental Impact Report – An Exhaustive Review By An Independent Team Of Experts – Concluded That The Project Would Not Have A Significant Impact On Public Views, And Included A Number Of Visual Simulations To Confirm This Conclusion.
The project adds a 20-foot wide boardwalk along the entire waterfront, making the oceanfront 100 percent accessible for the first time, and will add a new street through the project that runs closer to the water. Both of these steps will dramatically improve views for the community. There are renderings of the new views in the Environmental Impact Report.
MYTH: The New Lagoon Would Be Dangerous For Children. FACT: While The Current Seaside Lagoon Violates Water Quality Laws, The Future Seaside Lagoon Would Comply With The Law.
The current Seaside Lagoon is subject to water quality violations on a regular basis. The updated Seaside Lagoon will embrace natural tidal flows and will reduce the expensive and continual risk of water quality violations related to the current condition of the Lagoon. In addition, the Seaside Lagoon will be open 365 days a year for the first time, with no admission fee, and will include family amenities like a children’s play area.
Seaside Lagoon will also include a stand up paddleboard and kayak drop off and launch, and will not impact boating activities.
MYTH: The Project Is Not Viable. FACT: The City Has Commissioned Multiple Independent Market Studies That Have Shown Exactly The Opposite – That The Project Is Viable And That With Centercal Privately Funding The Project, Taxpayers Are Never On The Hook.
CenterCal has a successful track record with different kinds of projects throughout the country, and the City has negotiated with CenterCal to ensure that CenterCal— and not the City—bears the risk of construction and operation of the project. The project has also seen significant interest from potential tenants, including many current businesses in the area, and is generating a great deal of excitement both inside and outside of Redondo Beach. CenterCal has also conducted significant research to determine what makes waterfront projects successful and has incorporated those findings into the project design.
MYTH: Input From The Community Was Ignored. FACT: Centercal Heard From Hundreds Of Redondo Beach Residents Before Presenting The Proposed Project Plans, And Incorporated Specific Ideas – Including The Public Market, Pedestrian Bridge, a Boardwalk That Connects Through The Marina And Local Businesses—As A Result Of That Process.
Community members had extensive input into the project beginning in 2012. Hundreds of residents attended eight public meetings before any project plans were drafted, and CenterCal has continued outreach with more than 30 community meetings and information tables at events since to gather additional feedback. Above all, the project conforms to the vision and limitations of Measure G, which voters passed in 2010. Community input continues to play a vital role in the proposed project, as the Harbor Commission will hold hearings prior to any project approval.
For a printable version of the Myths vs. Facts, please see our Essential Documents section.