Port of Los Angeles on the Fast Track to the Future

Courtesy of CindiK. Flickr 

Award-winning developments and new innovations keep the Port of Los Angeles at the forefront of business and quality of life. The Port of Los Angeles is North America’s top seaport in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, and a leading West Coast cruise port as home port for Princess Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line.

September 2011 saw the grand opening of the Cabrillo Way Marina, a world class 700-boat slip marina that includes marine-related retail businesses, an event plaza, a promenade with a trellis, trees, lighting, benches and signage, and adjacent pocket park with more trees, seating areas and marina and harbor views.

In addition, the port and the Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI) are developing a vision for the City Dock No. 1 Marine Research Institute, which would house a thriving cluster of university researchers, marine research vessels, educational facilities and spin-off technology ventures.

Wilmington Waterfront Park

The Port of Los Angeles earned three prestigious engineering and design awards for Wilmington Waterfront Park, a 30-acre green space that has become a community icon since opening in June 2011. The Port received the 2011 Project of the Year Award by the Southern California Chapter of the American Works Association (APWA). The Port, along with consultant team Sasaki Associates, Inc., also received the 2011 Best Project Award in the Landscaping/Urban Planning category by Engineering News-Record (ENR) California Magazine. In addition, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) has announced it will honor the Port of Los Angeles and Sasaki Associates, Inc. with the 2012 Merit Award in Engineering Excellence.

Wilmington Waterfront Park is designed to serve as a buffer between Port operations and adjacent residences. The park’s 16-foot high slope along the south border serves as a noise barrier and offers elevated views of the Port from a new El Paseo Promenade. The park is a 30-acre landscaped area with gentle slopes, lawns (grass and artificial), trees, bike paths, walkways, benches, water features, pedestrian bridges, restrooms, elevated observation points, a public events plaza, children’s playground, barbeques and a picnic grove.

“Water Cut” Project

In November 2011, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a $13.5 million construction contract to ready a prominent, downtown-adjacent section of the San Pedro waterfront for a new public open space and harbor area. The approved Downtown Harbor “water cut” will create the necessary land and harbor infrastructure to accommodate development of a new town square and promenade on the water. The location, just north of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, will become a centerpiece of the ongoing revitalization of the LA Waterfront.


The creators of Bergamot Station Arts Center along with the Port of Los Angeles has transformed two 1940s-era warehouses into a bustling crafts center called Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. Crafted hosts a community of one-of-a-kind local artists, handmade goods, gourmet concessions, live music and entertainment. The unique marketplace offers free admission, ample parking, public restrooms and ATMs for convenience.

The indoor venue boasts 140,000 square feet between both warehouses, with 500 vendor stalls, spacious aisles and natural lighting, plus a large outdoor courtyard. At full occupancy, it is estimated that the marketplace could attract up to 500,000 annual visitors to the LA Waterfront. Crafted is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Green Design

On the eco-friendly front, the port received the 2010 B.E.S.T. Project of the Year award from the American Public Works Association (APWA) for the 22nd Street Park in San Pedro. Opened in January 2010, the port transformed a barren oil tank site into 18 acres of lawns, meadows and 500 trees (maintained with recycled water), with walking and biking paths, benches, bocce ball courts and harbor views. In December 2010, a new solar clean energy system was installed on the rooftop of the World Cruise Center. Larger than a football field, the one-megawatt facility is capable of generating some 1.2 million kilowatt hours annually and reducing 22,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is the first phase of a multi-location solar power program that will eventually produce 10 megawatts of clean energy. The next three phases are set for completion over the next five years. Other improvements include four new high-tech electric-powered gangways between the cruise center’s terminal buildings and cruise ships, and new Alternative Marine Power™ shoreside electrical power for the cruise vessels.