What’s been happening with the Malibu Pier?

The first phase of the rehabilitation of Malibu Pier, which the state had originally hoped to have completed by the end of this month, has only just reached the halfway mark, Hayden Sohm, the Malibu district superintendent for the California State Department of Parks and Recreation, told the Business Roundtable Friday.

The state of California, owner of Malibu Pier, began work on Phase I rehabilitation of the project Oct. 27 and has run into several things that have slowed down the rehabilitation. Sohm likened it to repairing an old house — sometimes, you don’t know what the problems are until you start tearing it up and get an opportunity to see the portions that were covered.

What the state saw apparently increased the scope of the required rehabilitation. Originally, it had thought to replace 72 pilings, but that has now increased by an additional 17 pilings to be replaced. The area under Alice’s Restaurant and prep kitchen were found to be termite infested, necessitating extra structural work. The inevitable winter rain came, shutting the project down for a number of days, and then the unforeseen accident when a crane toppled trapping the operator also slowed the project. All told, the cumulative problems have set the project back about 50 working days. The new hoped-for completion date for Phase I is June 1, 2000. The goal of Phase I is to make the pier structurally sound by repairing the pilings, the deck and its support structures, and removing and replacing the old railings. That was further complicated by the fact that all the old paints used were lead based and had to be treated as hazardous materials. Water, fire, sewer, electric and lighting systems are all being rehabbed in this phase.

At the completion of Phase I, the state intends to go directly into Phase II, at which time the four buildings on the pier — two on the landside that formerly housed Alice’s Restaurant and its prep kitchen and two on the ocean side that housed the tackle shop and an old restaurant and some offices — will have to be jacked up and moved so that the understructure of the pier directly beneath the buildings can be repaired. Part of the Phase I repair was to strengthen the pier enough so large cranes and heavy equipment could be moved to the seaward end of the pier. Additionally, they plan several other infrastructure repairs like fixing the “King Kong” gates in front on PCH and the concrete staircases underneath. When completed, the external look of the pier will be the same, the amount of rental space will be substantially the same and the historic features of the pier will all be preserved.

They anticipate the Phase II construction will take six months, and the hoped-for completion date is now February 2001. They expect to finance the Phase II repair with some of the monies from the recently passed Proposition 12 Bond Act. The total rehabilitation will take $3 million.

By the completion of the Phase II, they expect to open the pier to foot traffic and fishing. If there is going to be any significant delay between Phases I and II, they are also thinking about opening the pier during that period of delay.

At the completion of Phase II, there will still be the buildings, like Alice’s Restaurant, to be internally rehabilitated and built out with tenant improvements. Sohm indicated the state will ultimately be looking for a master lessee to take over the entire pier and build out the necessary tenant improvement and then operate the pier, which might include subtenants like a restaurant operator. Since the master lessee will have to be financially very sound, as it will require some substantial, long-term capital investment, he indicated the master lease itself would probably be for a 20- or 30-year period. The details are yet to be worked out, and ultimately it will go to some public meetings for community input, and then to an RFP, so people have an opportunity to bid to become the master tenant. There is no estimated completion date for the ultimate opening of the restaurant.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

Related Articles



Latest Articles

%d bloggers like this: