Saturday, October 06, 2007

Odds and Ends 33 Just Couldn't End

Three big stories concerning Ponte Vista and development in San Pedro were brought to light in the Saturday edition of The Daily Breeze and its More San Pedro.

Page A1 of the paper has an article about the change of location of the infamous SRHS 14, the 810-seat Los Angeles Unified School District's proposed senior high school that continues to have as its "preferred site" a plot of land inside the boundaries of Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

The article states that leaders in the City of Lomita may welcome the campus being built in their City, with mixed-use abilities for the school and the surrounding community.

This is a victory for supporters of Bob Bisno's plans for Ponte Vista and many area residents, like myself, who have long been very opposed to having a high school, designed to ease the student population at Narbonne High School, in Harbor City, in San Pedro.

The Lomita site is now in primary focus to the planners of the new campus, with a site on Sepulveda Blvd., in Harbor Gateway, coming in second.

I thank and congratulate everyone involved with strongly encouraging, demanding, and giving positive new location suggestions, for what I feel is a victory for OUR community.

Now if we could only get the Navy to sell land for a new road to Gaffey Street, I think many, many members of OUR community, Ponte Vista supporters as well as opponents, could also find great ways to compromise.

Years ago I had begun to hear stories and rumors about the idea of building three high-rise condominium structures in downtown San Pedro.

The Vue is the first one actually under construction. In today's Breeze there was an article stating that the selling of units is at a high rate and that 247 of the 318 units have already found buyers. I think this is great news for OUR community.

"Urban Village" was planned as an 18-story condominium project directly across Palos Verdes Street from Vue. The project hasn't really gotten off the ground and the original developer of the project has sold his interest in the site. The new developers have not stated, at this time, how they may proceed with whatever they wish to develop, but there has been some indication that they may build an 18-story tower.

The third high-rise is now being actively considered. "G8" as it is being called by the development company undertaking the project, is looking to build an 18-story market-rate condominium tower at the corner of 5th. Street and Harbor Blvd., where the Grinder now stands.

"G8" is now informally planned to have 158 units.

The condominium tower would also have retail space on the ground floor.

There does appear to be interest by buyers seeking housing in the area, for high-rise living arrangements. This seems to be in stark contrast to what happened at Seaport Homes on Western Avenue, where only about 15% of the units were in pre-sale.

I feel if the downtown area, its residents and businesses, would welcome three condominium towers, then they should be welcomed.

I must repeat my caution while only one of the towers is under construction, that the area closer to the Harbor will need infrastructure such as a large supermarket closer to the high-rises, in order to best serve everyone in the downtown area. Having the Vons at 12th. Street and Gaffey Blvd, and the smaller food stores on Pacific, will cause traffic nightmares in the future and over crowding of the existing markets.

There is a condominium project on the corner of Pico Blvd. and Beverly Blvd. that has a full size Ralph's market on the ground floor, with indoor parking. I have seen that Ralph's crowded and residents in the local area seem to enjoy having a full service food store closer to their homes.

Perhaps "G8" or whatever is built on the old "Urban Village" site might want to include some units designed for senior citizens. Having shopping close by in downtown may be very attractive to seniors wishing to sell their homes with yards and move into homes that require much less care and without having the need to drive around, because so much more shopping is available downtown, than in northwest San Pedro.

At Ponte Vista, seniors who grew up using their cars may not find transportation as favorable to them as seniors might, closer to the different types of stores in downtown San Pedro.

I'm considering the news in today's Daily Breeze and More San Pedro to be good news for OUR community. It seems housing will be built where people want it to be built, and schooling will be built closer to where it should be built. I think this is good news for everyone in OUR community and having good news for everyone is much better than the fracturing we have seen concerning many issues in OUR community.

Let's hope for more days like today.

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