Los Angeles City Council Approves "AltaSea," An Urban Marine Research Campus at the Port of Los Angeles
SAN PEDRO, Calif. – December 17, 2013 – Today the Los Angeles City Council in a unanimous 12-0 vote approved a 50-year lease to transform a 100-year-old unused pier on the LA Waterfront in San Pedro into a world-class urban marine research and innovation center called AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. The lease agreement – signed between the Port of Los Angeles and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the latter who currently serves as the fiscal sponsor for the AltaSea project –involves approximately 35 acres of land and water at the Port’s City Dock No. 1 site, Berths 56-60 and Berths 70-71.
“Public-private partnerships like AltaSea represent an innovative way to encourage investment andredevelopment in our communities,”said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This new world-class urban marineresearch campus is projected to generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in related economic benefits over the next decade.”
The AltaSea site will be developed through a public-private partnership that includes the Port, AltaSea and a host of regional public and private universities. Funding commitments for Phase 1 of the project total $82 million to date, including $57 million in site-related capital investments by the Port and a $25 million gift by the Annenberg Foundation. Phase 1 is currently estimated to cost $185 million with a 2018 completion goal.
The planned AltaSea campus will feature circulating sea-water labs, offices, classrooms, lecture halls, support facilities, an interpretive center, and an opportunity to develop the world's largest seawater wave tank for studying tsunamis and rogue waves. The anchor tenant of Phase 1 will be the Southern California Marine Institute, a strategic alliance of 12 major universities in Southern California that have marine science academic and research programs. The entire project cost is estimated at more than $500 million with completion over a 15- to 20-year timeframe.
“AltaSea represents another tremendous addition to the transformed LA Waterfront, while also creating jobs and spurring local economic growth,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, whose Council district includes the planned project. “Approval of this lease is a big step forwad in getting the project underway and ensuring AltaSea’s success.”
An economic impact study conducted by Kosmont Companies projects that AltaSea will generate more than 6,500 construction jobs, resulting in $1.17 billion of economic benefit. The study also found that the new marine research campus will also generate approximately 1,350 professional jobs, with an estimated economic benefit of more than $290 million.
The AltaSea public-private partnership represents an unprecedented collaboration among government, business, marine science and education for conducting targeted research on marine and ocean-related problems. Once complete, the campus will house researchers and scientists from major colleges and universities, government agencies and industries to study critical problems facing urban oceans today – from climate change to rising sea levels, from food supply to freak weather patterns, to a host of other pressing issues.
For the first phase of the project (Berth 56 and 57), the Port has agreed to make improvements to the wharf and subsurfaces to ready the property for development. AltaSea will be responsible for upgrading the existing historic warehouse structures, as well as other improvements and facility operations.
AltaSea will be a leading, world-class urban marine research and innovation center at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro. An unprecedented collaboration among government, business, marine science and education, the AltaSea public-private partnership has been created to transform the historic City Dock No. 1 site at the Port of Los Angeles into a nexus for research on ocean-related problems critical to Southern California, the nation and the world. The center will bring together researchers and scientists from major colleges and universities, government agencies and industries to study and develop innovative global solutions to benefit generations to come.
The Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative, strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.
Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $280 million in annual giving. Headquartered in New York City, it traces its antecedents to John D. Rockefeller Sr., who in 1891 began to professionally manage his philanthropy “as if it were a business.” With thoughtful and effective philanthropy as its one and only mission, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has grown into one of the world’s largest philanthropic service organizations, having overseen more than $3 billion to date in grantmaking across the globe from four regional offices in the United States.