Pier Area In Need Of Revitalization (And New Bars & Restaurants)
Redondo Beach is moving forward, certainly slowly at the pace of a gentle current rather than a fast-moving swell, to replace its rundown waterfront with a new $400 million project.
The City Council approved – barely, tho, by just a 3-2 vote – to extend the agreement of the developer, CenterCal Properties, thru December 2016. The plan calls for a complete makeover with retail, restaurants and, hopefully, a good bar or two with outdoor seating.
Current Pier Not Good For Businesses Or Customers
Currently, the Pier – while it has a gem like Old Tony’s that should be left alone – is mostly a blah place with old shops selling kites and toe rings. There’s a couple of small bars – the friendly Slip Pub & Eatery among them – that are actually under a parking structure.
A shiny new development is needed and would become a prime destination for people from all over the Beach Cities. This will be evident when Shade Hotel opens this spring on Harbor Drive; its bar is going to be a hugely popular weekend stop all summer for South Bay singles on bicycles.
There has been planning, talks and votes the past couple of decades about sprucing up or starting over with development of the Redondo Beach Pier and harbor, an area that’s as dated as bell-bottom jeans. But about all they’ve done so far is put up a Redondo Landing sign that looks like it belongs in a Wild West town.
For PubClubbers, anxious to see a lively waterfront with sun-backed terraces, happening bars and good restaurants with overlooking views of the Pacific Ocean, it’s been a frustrating process.
All the talk has turned it into kind of like a Redondo Beach version of the NFL moving back to Los Angeles: I’ll believe it when I see it. And that took 20 years to happen.
A January City Council meeting shows why that’s the case in Redondo.
Mayor Steve Aspel, a kind of “people’s mayor” who often dresses in Aloha shirts and flip flops at casual ribbon-cutting events and has been known to tilt back one or two, had the line of the night (or year?) when it was suggested one way to pay for the development was a small annual rise in property taxes.
This is a measure that would require a 2/3 vote to approve.
“You wouldn’t get two-thirds of the voters anyway,”Aspel said. “They won’t vote two-thirds in favor of a sunny day, much less taxing themselves.”
It’s funny but it pretty much sums up the attitude of many Redondo Beach residents, some of whom just don’t want change no matter how much it might help the area, its economy and most certainly the scenery.
The current project is still alive and seems to have enough backing to finally happen. But by the time you’re tipping back your first cocktail at one of the new bars or restaurants, the LA Rams may be back in St. Louis.