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Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Vision for New Urban Marine Research and Innovation Center

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, joined by Port of Los Angeles officials, philanthropic leaders, marine scientists, students and community members, today outlined a bold vision to transform City Dock No. 1, a 100-year-old pier on the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, into a world-class urban marine research and innovation center.

Officials announced that the 28-acre site will be called AltaSea and will be developed through a public-private partnership between the Port, a non-profit organization, and a host of regional public and private universities. Funding commitments for Phase 1 of the project already tally $57 million, including $32 million in site-related capital investments by the Port of Los Angeles and a $25 million gift by the Annenberg Foundation to get the project underway.  Phase 1 is currently estimated to cost $155 million with a 2018 completion goal.

The facility 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 11 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 will position the City of Los Angeles as the premier location for addressing ocean-related environmental issues that are not only important to Southern California, but to the world,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This public-private partnership will create jobs, draw new industries to the City, provide tremendous educational opportunities, and enhance the overall quality of life in Los Angeles.”

Phase 1 of the project will create an estimated 1,087  construction jobs, with Phase 2 providing an additional 4,161 construction jobs.  For every $1 million invested in research at AltaSea, an average of 9 direct jobs are estimated to be created.  For every $1 invested in education, an estimated $5.43 is generated for the state economy.
The proposed 28-acre AltaSea campus will be located along 4,100 linear feet of Port of Los Angeles waterfront dock and wharf space with direct harbor and ocean access.  Last October, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission certified the final Environmental Impact Report for the project.

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