REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - The Redondo Beach waterfront is one step closer to a $400-million makeover, but many residents in the South Bay city aren't sure about it.
The multi-million development project will include shops, restaurants, a movie theater and boutique hotel.
"Our goal is to make the Redondo Beach waterfront the gathering place for the citizens of the South Bay and especially for the residents of Redondo Beach," said Fred Bruning, with development company CenterCal Properties.
But the large scale development has struck a nerve with residents and local representatives.
"The size of it is 525,000 square feet - that's about as big as the Del Amo Mall renovation, where they have a Nordstrom's," Councilman Bill Brand said.
Brand, who is running for mayor of the city, opposes the development and said it will congest the area. Many residents are referring to the development as the "mall by the sea" and are pushing for a smaller project.
"What we really need to do first is preserve our open space and enhance those areas so that it's more accessible to the community," Brand said.
But supporters of the ambitious project point to plans for public parks and walkways, as well as the revenue it will bring to the city.
"We understand that change is hard. The alternative, though, is if we don't make the change there are hundreds of millions of dollars worth of improvements needed and no money to pay for them," Bruning said.
The proposed project still has many hurdles to get through, including approval from the California Coastal Commission. Brand hopes the project will end at that point, which will lead to another vision being made for the ailing waterfront.
"There's no question that we need a public-private partnership. We need a redevelopment. We need to revitalize this area, but you can make it too big," he said.