- Reporters Desk
Los Angeles — On Dec. 17, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a 50-year lease to transform a 100-year-old pier on the Los Angeles waterfront in San Pedro into an urban marine research and innovation center.
The center is called AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.
POLA and Rockefellar Philanthropy Advisor signed the agreement for the AltaSea project, which involves about 35 acres of land and water at the port’s City Dock No. 1 site, Berths 56 through 60, 70 and 71.
AltaSea will be developed through a public-private partnership that includes the port, AltaSea and a host of regional public and private universities. Funding commitments for Phase 1 of the project total $82 million to date, including $57 million in site-related capital investments by the port and a $25 million gift by the Annenberg Foundation. Phase 1 is estimated to cost $185 million with a 2018 completion goal.
The AltaSea campus will feature circulating sea-water labs, offices, classrooms, lecture halls, support facilities, an interpretive center, a facility for marine-related commercial ventures and an opportunity to develop the world’s largest seawater wave tank for studying tsunamis and rogue waves. The anchor tenant of Phase 1 will be the Southern California Marine Institute, a strategic alliance of 12 major universities in Southern California that have marine science academic and research programs. The entire project cost is estimated at more than $500 million with completion over a 15- to 20-year timeframe.
An economic impact study conducted by Kosmont Cos. projects that AltaSea will generate more than 6,500 construction jobs, resulting in $1.17 billion of economic benefit. The study also found that the new marine research campus will also generate about 1,350 professional jobs, with an estimated economic benefit of more than $290 million.
For the first phase of the project (Berth 56 and 57), the Port has agreed to make improvements to the wharf and sub-surfaces to ready the property for development. AltaSea will be responsible for upgrading the existing historic warehouse structures, as well as other improvements and facility operations.