After months of construction, a sparkling new Pier Avenue (or Upper Pier) in Hermosa Beach debuted in time for the holidays.
The project, a culmination of 15 years of planning, sought the collaboration of council members, residents and businesses on how best to deal with flooding and traffic issues plaguing the gateway to the city. As the dust began to settle, we inquired about the massive undertaking, from concept to completion.
“The overall process was very rewarding in that citizens and businesses came together for the goal of improving the entrance to Hermosa Beach Pier Avenue, or Upper Pier as we all know it. The city staff did a great job finding grants and funding from many government agencies to build our vision for a new entrance to Hermosa Beach. I feel very proud and excited that everyone’s hard work resulted in a beautiful entrance into the city. Most important is that the street improvements are going to help stimulate residents and visitors to get out of their cars and walk this beautifully landscaped Upper Pier and enjoy the businesses and casual lifestyle of living here.”
Mayor Peter Tucker,
City of Hermosa Beach
“When I first heard the news, I was so excited. You could honestly see tumbleweed flowing through the air because Pier Avenue looked so deserted and distressed. After they started construction, I really became annoyed with everything. Sales were down this summer by 56%. Sometimes I would arrive in the morning and see signs outside saying ‘no parking today’ without any notification. Also, two days during construction they told us that our water would be shut off for hours. I would call clients to cancel and send my staff home ... only to find out they never shut off the water. Saying all that, things are SLOWLY getting back to normal, and I just hope that the statement always said is true: ‘If you build it, they will come.’”
owner, Mani Pedi Cutie
“When we heard about the project, we were absolutely thrilled. We were also very apprehensive about the construction process and how it would affect our business. Our store was practically barricaded for about two weeks, which resulted in a tremendous drop in our business. We were also very surprised when the mature trees were cut down. We found out later that some of those trees were replanted and moved. Now that all of the work is done, it looks fabulous and better than ever. Another major positive outcome is that a lot of business owners who did not know each other, before will now band together and form a business improvement district.”
owner, Door To Door
“In my opinion the Pier Ave Project has been the best thing to happen to Hermosa Beach in the 12 years that I have lived here! The renovation, although a slight inconvenience for residents and business owners, went as smoothly as expected from my point of view. I love the wider, more pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, landscaping, benches and overall feel that it lends to the city, while hopefully helping increase revenue for our local businesses. Now when I drive down the street it feels like the entrance to our city, where people will gather with friends and family and create a better sense of community and be proud of where they live!”
Hermosa Beach resident