New developer looking to resuscitate Redondo Beach waterfront redevelopment plans

Leo Pustilnikov is in negotiations to buy several city-controlled ground leases

A renderings from the previous waterfront redevelopment plan and the AES power plant in Redondo Beach (Credit: Curbed)
A renderings from the previous waterfront redevelopment plan and the AES power plant in Redondo Beach (Credit: Curbed)

Leo Pustilnikov, best known for his work in Downtown Los Angeles, is swapping skyscrapers for the development challenges of an oceanside community.

The SLH Investments principal is in negotiations to purchase multiple city-controlled leases on Redondo Beach’s harbor, Easy Reader News reported. That would allow him the opportunity to radically transform the waterfront.

City documents reveal the developer is now looking to take over portions of the Redondo Beach Marina leasehold, which the city owns. He’s also interested in taking over the Monstad Pier leasehold, a 15,000-square-foot property that is home to a vacant restaurant.

The waterfront has been mired in controversy and setbacks the past few years. After a five-year struggle, a partnership between developer CenterCal Properties and city officials fell through in July 2018, throwing the $400 million redevelopment plans for the site into question.

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At the time, Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand said he hoped an alternative proposal, combining the AES Power Plant with the waterfront, would be presented.

In October, Pustilnikov emerged as the buyer of the AES Power Plant site. He plans on redeveloping much of the 51-acre property, though it is unclear what will eventually rise on the site. City officials have previously said they wanted to partner with a private developer to build a public park with recreational facilities there.

Pustilnikov has worked on several adaptive reuse projects in the past. His projects include the Sears building in Boyle Heights and the Alexandria Hotel in Downtown L.A. He’s partnered with developer Izek Shomof on several deals, including the historic Rialto Theatre in Pasadena. [ER]Natalie Hoberman