DAILY NEWS Dec 18, 2013 10:02 AM - 0 comments

Urban marine research center to be built at Port of Los Angeles

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2013-12-18

SAN PEDRO, Calif.--The Los Angeles City Council has approved a 50-year lease to transform a 100-year-old pier on the LA Waterfront in San Pedro into a world-class urban marine research and innovation center called AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, said a release. The lease agreement – signed between the Port of Los Angeles and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the latter who currently serves as the fiscal sponsor for the AltaSea project – involves approximately 35 acres of land and water at the Port’s City Dock No. 1 site, Berths 56-60 and Berths 70-71.

“Public-private partnerships like AltaSea represent an innovative way to encourage investment and redevelopment in our communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This new world-class urban marine research campus is projected to generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in related economic benefits over the next decade.”

“AltaSea is a game changer not only for the Los Angeles Waterfront but for the entire region,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi. "Our Port continues to focus on growth as the nation’s premier trade gateway. AltaSea provides a unique opportunity to diversify the job base along the Los Angeles Waterfront with a world-class marine research institute that will become another economic engine for our region.”

The AltaSea site 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 currently estimated to cost $185 million with a 2018 completion goal.

The planned 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.

For the first phase of the project (Berth 56 and 57), the Port has agreed to make improvements to the wharf and subsurfaces 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.


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