A gas-fired power plant that has long occupied more than 50 acres of waterfront real estate in Redondo Beach could finally make way for redevelopment.
The Los Angeles Times reports that AES Corp., the operator of the roughly 70-year-old facility at Harbor Drive and Herondo Street, has closed on a sale of the property to developer Leo Pustilnikov.
Pustilnikov will reportedly couple the power plant site with surrounding land that he also owns to build a mixed-use campus featuring offices, commercial space, and potentially a hotel with branded condominiums. The project may also repurpose several existing buildings as a food hall.
The AES plant, which opened in the 1950s, had been slated to cease operations by the end of 2020 due to a state policy requiring that coastal power generation facilities shut down or discontinue the use of ocean water for cooling. However, the AES plant's lifespan was extended by the State Public Utilities Commission last year following concerns that Southern California may not have sufficient power during summer evenings.
Under the purchase agreement, Pustilnikov preserve nearly half of the property as open space, including as many as 15 acres of land which could be sold the City of Redondo Beach. The City has taken steps to establish an enhanced infrastructure financing district which could generate up to $265 million in funding for the project.
However, that agreement is contingent on AES being allowed to continue operating the plant through 2023, effectuating a transfer of $14 million to the developer for environmental cleanup. A two-year extension of operations would yield $6.5 million for environmental cleanup, and 12 acres of park land. A one-year extension would generate$1.5 million for cleanup purposes, resulting in four acres of park land.
Redondo Beach officials expressed opposition to any continued operation of the plant, according to the Times.
Any redevelopment of the AES plant site is subject to voter approval by residents of Redondo Beach. A similarly ambitious plan to redevelop the City's waterfront with offices, retail, and a hotel was defeated at the ballot box in 2017.
- Redondo Beach (Urbanize LA)