The LA Waterfront: Development Projects for a New Frontier

San Pedro Public Market, AltaSea, and more

San Pedro Public Market | Rendering courtesy of Rapt Studio

Set against the bustling backdrop of the Port of Los Angeles, the 400-acre rapidly emerging LA Waterfront will undergo massive redevelopment over the next several years. Stretching from Wilmington on the north end, to San Pedro along the southwest perimeter of the Port, plans are in motion to create a new public market in close proximity to emerging hubs for technology and marine science, integrating the area’s rich history with an eye towards the future.

Over the past 15 years, the community-adjacent area along the Port’s main channel has grown its list of attractions to include Battleship IOWA, Brouwerij West brewery, CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles (a maker’s craft marketplace), the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, a new section of Cabrillo Marina, and the Frank Gehry-designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Public open space development ties these new attractions together with waterside promenades, parks, landscaping, fountains, bike and walking paths, playgrounds, fitness stations, and event spaces.

Read on for a sneak peek of the future of the LA Waterfront.

San pedro Public Market_rendering
Courtesy San Pedro Public Market


The San Pedro Public Market will replace Ports O’ Call, the New England-esque seaside “village” that served the local community and tourists for more than half a century. The new concept, described as “a world-class, urban waterfront destination,” will continue to serve as a family friendly spot with shopping, dining, fresh markets, and entertainment designed with sustainable urban elements.

The project includes a 15,000 square-foot food hall with a variety of vendors serving food, beer, wine, and possibly a full bar. The 40-acre space will also include offices, a promenade, 600 feet of courtesy slips and pedestrian paths, container kitchens surrounded by an outdoor garden, playgrounds and recreation areas, waterfront taxis and cruises and a Town Square that will connect the new development to San Pedro historic downtown district. 

San Pedro Market Map
Courtesy San Pedro Market
San Pedro Market Container Kitchen Rendering
Courtesy San Pedro Market

The legendary San Pedro Fish Market will be open during construction but will move to a new two-level building in the San Pedro Public Market. 

Developers The Ratkovich Company and Jerico Development will oversee the entire project; Rapt Studio, a California based design studio, will oversee the architecture; James Corner Field Operations, the designer of Manhattan’s “High Line” will head up landscape design. Construction is targeted to begin mid- to late 2019 with a projected opening as early as 2021.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Berth 56 Engagement Center at AltaSea | Rendering courtesy of Gensler


A century-old pier with access to the deep ocean will be the home of AltaSea, a public and private partnership that will serve as a world-class urban marine research and innovation center. Scientists, educators, policy makers, and entrepreneurs will come together to extensively research the ocean in pursuit of energy, climate, and food solutions. Designed by Gensler, one of the world’s leading architecture and design firms, this project has been described by Architectural Digest as “one of the most exciting new projects” in Los Angeles.

The build-out on 35 acres will take place in phases over the course of 20 years. Berths, warehouses, and public spaces will be revitalized and integrated to create a state-of-the-art campus that will include a hands-on education center, a science hub with classrooms and labs, a research and business hub, and a viewing center.

Among the tenants announced to date:

  • Boeing—the new home for the Voyager, a 51-foot-long robot submarine designed to stay under water and explore the deep sea for months at a time
  • Catalina Sea Ranch—a company at the forefront of aquaculture.
  • Ocean Exploration Trust—specializing in scientific exploration of the sea floor founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, the explorer who found the HMS Titanic.
  • Blue Robotics— a start-up creating innovative sea related products.
  • Braid Space—a co-working facility for ocean related start-ups.
  • La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator– headed by philanthropist and entrepreneur Morton La Kretz, its mission is to find and support entrepreneurs developing aquaculture, undersea mapping, and other ocean related businesses.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Los Angeles Harbor—Together with AltaSea, the two organizations aim to bring education and job training to the area’s youth, while nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium will assist with aquaculture education.
  • Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI)a consortium representing a strategic alliance of 22 major universities, colleges and foundations.
Property of Discover Los Angeles
Wilmington Waterfront Promenade Upper Lawn | Rendering courtesy of Port of Los Angeles


Construction will begin in 2019 on two new open park spaces designed by T.Y. Lin International and Boston-based Sasaki with a completion date of 2021. The Wilmington Waterfront Promenade is an extension of the current park and will be built in an area now occupied by storage tanks and industrial buildings, thereby creating a “window on the Waterfront” for the Wilmington community within the Port of Los Angeles. It will include a waterfront promenade, pedestrian plaza and parking lot.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project | Rendering courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

The Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project involves the construction of a 1,300-foot long pedestrian bridge along Avalon Boulevard to provide pedestrian access to the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade. 

Both projects will build significant infrastructure to support future commercial development opportunities. Currently there are bike lanes that connect Wilmington to the future San Pedro Public Market. Both projects will have public seating, bike racks and public drinking fountains