The city received the final permit that gives the go ahead to begin construction on the Marina Park project, city officials announced Tuesday.
The coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission was received on August 16. City officials hope to break ground before the year is up.
“I am very pleased that these long delays are finally over and we can move full steam ahead to provide this much needed park for the Peninsula community,” said Mayor Keith Curry.
The city describes the project: “10-acre public park will include a 23,832-square-foot multi-purpose community and sailing program building; greater accessibility to a large, public bay front beach; a 5,500-square-foot Girl Scout building; a new visitor-serving marina consisting of 23 slips and a 200-foot-long side tie area; park amenities including basketball half-courts, a children’s play area and new restrooms; and a 157-space public parking area.”
“This space will be used and treasured by Balboa Peninsula families, the Girl Scouts, and visitors for generations,” Curry said in the announcement.
Construction cost estimates are subject to final design work and bidding, but may range from $21-24 million. The construction period is estimated to be about two and a half years.
“Very few, if any, California coastal cities have the opportunity to turn coveted, waterfront property into a public park,” councilman Mike Henn said in the statement.
The city-owned site of the future park is located just off of Balboa Boulevard, between 15th and 18th streets, on the Balboa Peninsula.
A mobile home park currently occupies a large portion of the site. Residents of the 52 homes currently on the site reached a settlement agreement with the city in 2007.
“Under the terms of the agreement, the city purchased the residents’ mobile homes (for $35,000 each) and slightly lowered the rent for the remainder of their stay on the property,” the statement explains. “The residents will receive a 90-day notice that details that they must vacate the property and, if they desire, their option to repurchase and relocate their existing mobile homes.”
The city has remained in contact with the mobile home residents’ legal representative and the property manager during the last 11 years of the process.
“We made sure they knew that the Coastal Commission approved the project last summer and that the permit was pending,” explained City Manager Dave Kiff. “Those relationships have been important to us and we appreciate the good communication they’ve shared over the years.”
“We are already looking forward to seeing Newport Beach residents and visitors – whether they come by land or sea – enjoying the space and its amenities,” Henn said.
Henn went on to thank the CCC and community members who “championed the project and patiently awaited its fruition.”