Friday, September 21, 2012

POLB’s Berth 55 Tenants Get a Reprieve

A plan to evict a fish market, sport fishing company and about a dozen other businesses at the Port of Long Beach’s Berth 55 in order to make room for the relocation of a city fire station has been temporarily set aside by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The port, which serves as the landlord for the waterfront property, had previously informed Long Beach Sportfishing, Berth 55 Fish Market & Seafood Deli and other businesses that they might have to move so that the city and port could relocate Long Beach Fire Dept. Station No. 20 to the site.

The station’s current location is in the path of the $1 billion replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which begins construction next year. The new fire station would be combined with a facility to be used by the Long Beach Police Dept.

In April 2012, the Port notified the Maehara family, the operators of the Berth 55 Fish Market & Seafood Deli, that they had 180 days to vacate the property, a process that the parties had agreed to more than a year earlier. Because the port had intended for some time to consider other uses for the site, the port didn’t renew its lease with the Maeharas at the end of 2008.

However, the Maeharas have been allowed to stay on a month-to-month basis, and at a Sept. 17 meeting, the Long Beach Harbor Commission decided to set aside the April decision that would have had the occupants vacate the property by Oct. 15.

“We will do an environmental analysis of the proposal for a new fire and security center at the Berth 55 site,” Commission President Susan E. Anderson Wise revealed. “In the meantime, the 180-day notice has been rescinded and the restaurant and sport-fishing vessels can stay.”