Development on Ocean Front Walk

The Ocean Front Walk has become a hot spot for development lately. Upscale development may be the biggest threat to the “ambiance” of the OFW, and is likely driving the removal of the homeless, higher rents, and pressure on vendors on both sides of the Walk, more than anything else.

A few examples include:

• The nearly completed massive condo project that straddles Thornton between Speedway and OFW (see photos). A Starbucks is rumored to be an upcoming tenant.

• The interest from Champion Development in tearing down the “Gingerbread Court” (formerly the Seabreeze Apts. built by Eddie Cantor), and adjacent properties and replacing them with a 4 Seasons luxury hotel.

• Yet another building by Frank Murphy, two doors north from Figtree’s Restaurant which will block the ocean view from much of the Ellison Apartments.

• A new project at the site of the old L&A Market (near Dudley).

• The recent purchase by a corporation of the 5 Rose building that houses many low-income residents.
These are issues that will profoundly affect our distinctly Venetian “front door.”

–Jim Smith

Posted: Mon - October 1, 2007 at 08:07 PM