The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has given the go-ahead for the design contract for the $52.7 million waterfront promenade rehabilitation in Wilmington.

Boston design firm Sasaki Associates Inc. was chosen unanimously from among seven firms to oversee the project. The promenade will be 1,300 feet long and 30 feet wide and offer the public access to the water’s edge both in front of the promenade and adjacent to Banning’s Landing Community Center. The project includes plans for a 2.5-acre pedestrian plaza to be built behind the promenade from berths 184 through 186.

There will be a new, 1.25-acre parking area or possibly event space built between the promenade and Water Street as well. Bike racks, public seats, landscaping and new lighting are part of the project.

“Engaging a design firm for the promenade project puts us one step closer to bringing this vibrant and highly visible improvement to the Wilmington community,” said Vilma Martinez, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, in a statement.

City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area, said the people of Wilmington deserve to have waterfront access, and he expected the project “will continue to bring private investment dollars to the waterfront.”

The design phase of the project will cost an estimated $3.19 million and is expected to be completed by 2018.

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