Could Measure P kickstart development near the ports?

Warehouse No. 1, Joe Buscaino (Wikimedia Commons/Getty Images)
Warehouse No. 1, Joe Buscaino (Wikimedia Commons/Getty Images)

The historic 1917 Warehouse One building at the Port of Los Angeles could be repurposed into a hotel, as city officials consider a larger plan to revitalize waterfront properties.

But the future of the building, as well as other sites in the area, also depends on the passage of Measure P on the March 7 ballot, the Daily Breeze reported.

The initiative, backed by developers including billionaires Eli Broad and Rick Caruso, would extend leases for commercial properties at the port from 50 to 66 years, creating a more workable financing time frame for outside developers. If passed, it could kickstart a development revival stretching from Wilmington to the tip of San Pedro, according to the Breeze.

Supporters of the measure have argued that the current 50-year lease cap deters private investment and extending leases would help make the area more competitive with ports such as neighboring Long Beach and San Diego.

Developers often own the land where projects are located, allowing financiers to use the property as collateral. But port property is owned by the state of California, held in a trust by the city of L.A. and run by the Harbor Department – making the lease terms collateral.

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San Pedro’s waterfront area already started its redevelopment process with the overhaul of the 30-acre Ports O’ Call Village. Demolition on the northern part of the village began last year, which would bring in retail, dining and entertainment under its new name San Pedro Public Market with the first phase set to open by 2020.

A new 35-acre marine research campus called AltaSea is also in the works following a $3 million federal grant in September last year. Phase one of the project located in San Pedro’s warehouse district is also expected to be completed by 2020.

Los Angeles City Council Member Joe Buscaino is a staunch supporter of the measure, which has kept a low profile with no major opponents, according to the Breeze. Buscaino helped place it on the ballot.

“The Harbor Area communities have been thirsting for a waterfront that not only provides jobs but access and amenities,” Buscaino said to the Breeze. [Daily Breeze] — Subrina Hudson