Developer asks for OK of stalled Pacific City project in H.B.

DJM, the company that developed Bella Terra in Huntington Beach, owns 11 acres of the 31-acre Pacific City site at Pacific Coast Highway and First Street.

HUNTINGTON BEACH – One of the new developers of the stalled Pacific City project is asking city officials for quick approval of their plan.

Lindsay Parton, president of DJM Development Partners, Inc., solicited the council’s help at a study session Monday, saying the company is seeing a turn in the industry that could affect the project.

Article Tab: A rendering of the proposed Pacific City project.
A rendering of the proposed Pacific City project.

“Interest rates are up, construction costs are up, tenants are getting anxious, they want to see us starting,” Parton told the council. “We’re prepared to start.”

DJM, the company that developed Bella Terra in Huntington Beach, owns 11 acres of the 31-acre Pacific City site at Pacific Coast Highway and First Street.

The company plans to construct a two-story retail space anchored to the south by an outdoor country-style market featuring vendors offering goods such as produce, oysters, flowers and fresh fish.

Equinox, a fitness company, is expected to anchor the northern end of the project with a luxury fitness center that would incorporate beach workouts and recreational lessons into its services, Parton said.

He added the second floor will be slated for restaurant use and talks are underway with Apple to open a store.

“We think it’s going to be something that will create a destination in Huntington Beach,” Parton said. “We’re really creating a sense of place here that people are going to want to come and hang out.”

Pacific City has had a tumultuous past and changed developers several times before DJM took over.

Some residents and city officials have complained that the unfinished project has been an eyesore on Pacific Coast Highway.

The development was first approved in June 2004 when it was owned by Makar properties. At that time, Makar officials forecast fall 2008 as the completion date.

Construction on the underground parking structure started in 2008, but work stalled after the economic downturn.

Since then, ownership of Pacific City bounced between several developers until the 31-acre site was split into three parcels: residential, commercial and a hotel.

Crescent Heights bought the entire site in October and sold 11 acres of it to DJM in December.

Crescent Heights still owns the residential portion of the project, which will include 516 apartment units. DJM also owns the commercial portion of the site and will partner with another developer to build the $115 million hotel, Parton said.

Parton said he projects DJM’s portion of the site will bring in $6 million in annual revenue for the city.

“The sooner we can start, the sooner we can start generating the things that are most important to you,” Parton told the council.

The council voiced its support for the project saying it is looking forward to the gaping hole on Pacific Coast Highway being developed.

“I’m glad that we have this cutting-edge thing that’s coming,” Councilman Joe Shaw said. “I’m kind of overwhelmed.”

City staff members said they expect to bring the proposal forward to the Planning Commission in August.

If the project is approved and not appealed to the City Council, DJM can start construction.

DJM wants to open Pacific City in summer 2015.

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