• A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future...

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future West Harbor waterfront development on Saturday, Nov. 12. Map courtesy of West Harbor

  • A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future...

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future West Harbor waterfront development on Saturday, Nov. 12. Timeline courtesy of West Harbor

  • A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future...

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future West Harbor waterfront development on Saturday, Nov. 12. Rendering courtesy of Studio One Eleven

  • A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future...

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future West Harbor waterfront development on Saturday, Nov. 12. Rendering courtesy of Studio One Eleven

  • A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future...

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for San Pedro’s future West Harbor waterfront development on Saturday, Nov. 12. Rendering courtesy of Studio One Eleven

  • Rendering of the Bark Social site to be constructed at...

    Rendering of the Bark Social site to be constructed at the northern end of West Harbor’s 42-acre development along San Pedro’s working waterfront opening in early 2024. The venue includes a dog park, retail, dog-and-people menus, a bar, and live events and philanthropic connections. Bark Social was founded by entrepreneurs Luke Silverman and Jeff Kurtzman. The first Bark Social opened in Bethesda, Md., in February 2021 and a second location in Baltimore, Md. in May 2022. A Philadelphia location also is planned. (Studio One Eleven, Long Beach)

  • A covered patio is part of what will be Bark...

    A covered patio is part of what will be Bark Social, the newest tenant signed on to be part of the 42-acre West Harbor waterfront development in San Pedro. (Studio One Eleven, Long Beach)

  • Rendering shows the layout of what will be “more than...

    Rendering shows the layout of what will be “more than a dog park” at the new West Harbor waterfront development in San Pedro. Bark Social, a unique brand launched just four years ago in the Mid-Atlantic, provides a membership venue offering drinks, food, remote work spaces with high-speed wifi for owners and a fenced romping space for their canines. The venue has signed a 10-year lease for West Harbor, with five-year add-on options, for the space in the north part of the waterfront with a front-row view of the working waterfront. (Studio One Eleven, Long Beach)

  • Project renderings are on display during a “live case study”...

    Project renderings are on display during a “live case study” event organized by the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and top redevelopment leaders, to present their plans for West Harbor, a new dining and entertainment destination emerging at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and top redevelopment leaders...

    The Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and top redevelopment leaders present their plans for West Harbor, a new dining and entertainment destination emerging at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, during a “live case study event” on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Project renderings are on display during a “live case study”...

    Project renderings are on display during a “live case study” event organized by the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and top redevelopment leaders, to present their plans for West Harbor, a new dining and entertainment destination emerging at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and top redevelopment leaders...

    The Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and top redevelopment leaders present their plans for West Harbor, a new dining and entertainment destination emerging at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, during a “live case study event” on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • West Harbor rendering showing the Aerobar feature, right. (Studio One...

    West Harbor rendering showing the Aerobar feature, right. (Studio One Eleven)

  • People walk along the soon to open waterfront promenade, part...

    People walk along the soon to open waterfront promenade, part of a development coming in 2023, in San Pedro on Thursday, March 3, 2022. The waterfront walkway will be open to the public from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, beginning Saturday, March 5, as a way to let the public get a feel for the area’s future. It’s all part of the West Harbor waterfront development set to open in 2023.
    (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

  • Beginning Saturday, March 5, the public will be able to...

    Beginning Saturday, March 5, the public will be able to use the finished portion of the waterfront promenade that running along the Port of Los Angeles’ Main Channel. It’s part of the coming West Harbor development set to open in 2023. (Photo Courtesy Port of Los Angeles)

It hasn’t been fast. Or easy.

And there’s still a ways to go.

But on Saturday, Nov. 12, San Pedro’s soon-to-come waterfront attraction, West Harbor, will throw a daytime — 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — public festival to celebrate the groundbreaking for the waterside development now slated to open in 2024.

The event, which is expected to draw more than 2,000 people — guests are asked to register online in advance at Eventbrite — is dubbed, “Sip, Savor, and Set Sail.” No one will be turned away, organizers said, but the registration process will help them plan better for the site’s daylong activities and food provisions.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2,000 people had already signed up to attend, organizers said.

Those who register will also receive detailed information on where to park — trolleys will pick folks up to take them to the site.

Roller skaters, stilt walkers, a mural being created onsite, free harbor boat tours by Harbor Breeze, music and other entertainment will kick off at 11 a.m. on the finished section of the promenade, where some of West Harbor’s tenants will set up tents with food and drink samples. Before that, developers and other dignitaries will talk about the development before turning shovels, a nautical rope cutting and a cannon being shot from one of the tall ships.

San Pedro Brew Company will host a beer garden. Other vendors will be on hand with food and drink tastings for a small fee. And the Sir Winston luxury yacht out of Long Beach will be on hand, which folks can board for shoreside views from its stacked decks.

Display tables will be set up where visitors can see some of the newest plans — including some evolving branding designs — for the venue.

Admission is free and food and drink proceeds will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of LA Harbor, which will also provide volunteers for the event. A classic car show will be featured in the parking lot adjacent to the Town Square.

Tenants for the 42-acre site so far include Mario’s Butcher Shop & Delicatessen, Pitfire Pizza, The Win-Dow, Hopscotch, Jay Bird’s Chicken, King & Queen Cantina, Mike Hess Brewing, Poppy + Rose, Bark Social (a social club and park for dogs and their owners), Harbor Breeze Cruises, Marufuku, Sugar Factory, Yamashiro and The Baked Bear.

But there is still room for additional restaurants, retailers or others to get on board, with about 30% of the spaces still available to lease.

“We’d love to have a Croatian restaurant,” said Alan Johnson, CEO of Jerico Development, the San Pedro developers who partnered with The Ratkovich Group to design and develop the project.

Typically, Johnson said, interest for new projects is sparked once the groundbreaking is held and construction begins — which, in West Harbor’s case, is expected to happen around the holidays.

“A lot of people we’ve been talking to will get more serious,” he said, adding that another goal is to sign a sit-down fish dinner house.

“Our goal is to hold on to those (open) spaces,” said Valerie James, vice president of Business Development for Jericho Development/West Harbor, “because we know once you break ground, the list of businesses that hear about you grows.”

The waterfront project, which has been in the planning stages for more than a decade, will take the place of the former Ports O’ Call Village, a 1960s outdoor center that was long popular with both San Pedro residents and visitors.

The decision to move forward with a new development didn’t come without its hometown critics, many of whom remain skeptical of the future project.

The pandemic further slowed plans. But in the past year, it as again gained steam. The pandemic, in fact, prompted some design tweaks that added more outdoor dining patios.

A 6,200-seat amphitheater also is planned and is still going through an environmental review at the Port of Los Angeles.

Among the biggest selling points, supporters have said, is the location.

While Ports O’ Call had a cluster of small buildings close to the water’s edge, along the Main Channel of the port, West Harbor will flip that notion: The project will have larger buildings, but they will be fewer in number and placed back from the water, behind and adjacent to the open promenade.

The structures will feature mezzanines, openings to water views and an expansive use of glass to also enhance views.

Over-water dining decks will be part of the plan as well.

“I remember Ports O’ Call being a very casual place,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t stuffy by any means, and I think we’ll continue to have that (atmosphere).”

From fine dining to more casual, fun fare and weekend pop-ups, Johnson added, “it will be something for everyone.”

The development, he said, will be “much more connected to the community than the (out-of-town owners of Ports O’ Call) were,” Johnson said. He and his brother, Eric, who run Jerico Development, have long been active in local historic preservation and San Pedro development, along with charity causes.

But the key and unbeatable attraction for West Harbor, many have said, is the water itself.

Gigantic container ships, cruise ships and sail boats cruise by the West Harbor area — amid seagulls, pelicans and the sounds of sea lions — to create what many have called a living theater.

The promenade is partially open to the public now and includes benches and turn-out plaza areas.

The Port of Los Angeles will be responsible for much of the infrastructure, including the promenade, while the developers will provide the rest of the venue.

West Harbor will be a family- and dog-friendly venue, developers said, with plenty of outdoor space and activities for children.

“There have been a lot of moving parts,” Johnson said of the long planning process, complicated by private and pubic entities being involved, having to secure tenants and financing, all with a pandemic thrown in.

“But all is going well.”

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