San Pedro is set to become the site of L.A.'s first new marina project in two decades.

A proposed $50-million, 80-acre complex will feature about 60,000 square feet of retail shops, 700 boat slips and a facility for storing and servicing up to 1,000 boats.

The Port of Los Angeles last week selected Westrec Marinas, an Encino-based marina owner and operator, and Koll Real Estate Group to jointly develop the project at the Port of L.A.'s West Channel Development Area.

"We have the opportunity with this project to build a marina for the 21st century," said Tom Hogan, senior vice president of Westrec Marinas.

Hogan said the project will feature a 200,000-square-foot warehouse where boats can be stacked three or four high. The full-service facility, the first of its kind in Los Angeles, will prepare the boats for water launch and store them after their use, he said. A similar operation exists in Newport Beach, but the concept is more common on the East Coast, Hogan said.

"Most of the marinas on the West Coast were built in or before the '70s, when the technology for this kind of system wasn't in hand," Hogan said. He added that the proposed boat-storage facility will feature telecommunications hook-ups, catering services and a security system that monitors for theft.

"The biggest hassle of owning a boat is the upkeep and getting it ready to go out in the water and putting it away," Hogan said. "And in this day and age, everyone wants immediate gratification."

By calling ahead, boat owners can have their boats in the water, fully fueled, filled with food and ready to go at the appointed time of their arrival at the port. Upon their return, operators of the facility haul the boat out of the water, clean it, service it and stack it back in the security warehouse.

Koll and Westrec are currently negotiating their land lease and development contract with the Port of Los Angeles and the City Council, said Keith Ross, Koll's manager for the project. He expects construction to begin in early 1999 and take four years to complete. Westrec and Koll will own and operate the marina, to be situated on the east side of the West Channel Development Area.

The project, named Cabrillo Way, has been designed as a "destination recreation area" that will feature an outdoor amphitheater for boat shows, a youth sailing center, private club, restaurants and a waterfront promenade, Hogan said. The retailers will primarily be marine-related stores that provide bait and tackle as well as diving equipment.

Cabrillo Way will ultimately link Ports O' Call, an existing tourist-oriented retail district, together with the cruise line terminals within the Port of Los Angeles.

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