California Centers

SEP 2018

California Centers Magazine serves retailers, developers, shopping center owners, investment sales brokers and tenant representation firms throughout the state of California.

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Page 18 of 56

16 California Centers Magazine | September 2018 C C ton Waterfront Promenade in Los An- geles and Alameda Point in Alameda. Lease expirations and port master plans that date back to the 1980s are a few reasons California's coastline is undergoing such a huge transfor- mation. The ability to resuscitate un- derutilized land as a true community amenity, complete with parks, water engagement, social spaces, entertain- ment, local artisans and updated din- ing options are just a few others. "The thing about California is that we do have the privilege of having beautiful frontage along the water, not to mention beautiful weather," says Sam Farhang, president of San Francisco-based Rapt Studio and the design lead on San Pedro Public Mar- ket. "But our waterfronts haven't re- ally been programmed, aside from our beaches. We haven't used them as urban assets. Developers are now say- ing 'even though we're doing some- thing driven by pro formas, we want to leave these communities in a better place than when we came in. We want to do something meaningful.'" TIPPING THE SCALES For developers looking to gain com- munity (and regulatory) approval, create a long-lasting asset and make a little money while doing it, it all starts with balance. This is no easy feat, as the laundry list of needs versus wants can be as long as a pier. In general, these teams must aim to attract both tourists and locals; take inspiration from other portside proj- ects while carving out an identity all their own; consider the needs of the general public and private business- es; allow for many free activities that can be augmented with fee-based ser- vices, products and experiences; cre- ate a modern project that remains true to the area's history; design public spaces that are vast in nature but in- timate in scope; and deliver an urban environment with a natural setting. It's public versus private. Com- merce versus complimentary. Urban versus natural. Indoor versus out- door. Old versus new. Industrial ver- sus retail. And, most of all, potential versus practical. "You have to cre- ate a balance be- tween a genuine experience, respect to the site and the history of the area's industry," Farhang continues. "Then you have to look at how to create engaging and live community spaces that are diverse in nature." SPECIAL TO SAN DIEGO Aside from the standard goals of a portside project, Rafael Castellanos, chairman of the Board of Port Com- missioners at the Port of San Diego, had a few more in mind when it came to reimagining the 70-acre site along the city's Central Embarcadero. These goals included add- ing commerce, rec- reation and environ- mental stewardship, among other ele- ments. "We had a vision statement: one bay, rich diversity," Castellanos notes. "A redevelopment like this attempts to capture all those things. We're try- ing to bring people down to the water- front so they can recreate. We're pro- moting commerce through restaurants, retail, a hotel and an aquarium that will stimulate economic activity." Ironically, the port and its development partners are hoping to drive com- merce to the region by providing a slew of free activities and space. About 70 percent of the Sea- port San Diego Proj- ect will be composed of open space, in- cluding parks, roof- top terraces, trails and promenades. "We're trying to balance and advance all these different mandates," Cas- tellanos continues. "You always have to strike the right balance. A project like this is critically important because it's called the '100 percent' corner. It's our most valuable piece of land, and we have to get it as right as we can." Protea's vision features a mix of entertainment, education and experi- ence. This includes OdySea San Diego, a 150,000-square-foot, 1.5 million-gal- lon, deep sea diving experience; a multi-level, subterranean aquarium; a learning center; Butterfly Wonder- land with a tropical rainforest habitat; 500-foot observation tower; and Kids Zone. It will also include plans for an outdoor venue for the San Diego Sym- phony, a "beachside" area with an outdoor gym, volleyball courts, boat- ing and swimming, and a boardwalk with shops and restaurants. A public market is also being worked into the project, which took inspiration from Seattle's Pike Place and San Francis- co's Ferry Building Marketplace. "Our forefathers used to shop at pub- lic markets, and they have re-emerged as popular destinations around the world," notes the plans for Seaport San Diego. "There will also be whimsical artisan offerings inspired by Brooklyn's Smor- gasbord market — think ramen burg- ers, stylized donuts and coffee slushies." The food and bev- Stanley W. Lamport Partner Cox, Castle & Nicholson Rafael Castellanos Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Port of San Diego Yehudi "Gaf" Gaffen CEO Gafcon and Protea Waterfront Development Michelle Giles Redevelopment Project Manager City of Alameda's Base Reuse Department Zachary Chrisco Principal Sasaki

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