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HUNTINGTON BEACH : Mays Says City's Past Holds Key to Future

January 05, 1990|BILL BILLITER

Mayor Thomas F. Mays envisions this beach community going back in time in 1990.

"Our redeveloped downtown will be made into a village, just as the town started out many years ago," Mays said. "The downtown will have a traditional Main Street with a village atmosphere. You can walk there and take care of all your basic needs, such as going to the dry cleaners, the dentist, the real estate office. We're making it into a traditional downtown."

Huntington Beach's new "downtown village" will be the result of a $500-million redevelopment effort. Mays said the first new buildings downtown will open in 1990. "The Waterfront Hilton Hotel will open in July or August, and we expect another hotel to be under way by then," he said. "The Pierside Pavilion--the new building on Main Street at Pacific Coast Highway--also will open in 1990. It'll have movie theaters, restaurants, a new Golden Bear night club, business offices and retail shops."

On the Main Street block next to Pierside Pavilion, work will start in 1990 on parking structures and retail shops, the mayor added.

Mays said that in 1990 the city also expects work to start on a new pier to replace the landmark structure that has been closed because of its unsafe condition since the summer of 1988.

"I'll be going to Washington and Sacramento to try to get more funds for the pier," he said.

In the northwest corner of the city, the county is expected to dedicate the start of a new regional park that will connect the city's existing Central Park with bluffs overlooking the Bolsa Chica ecological preserve. The park is envisioned as having 113 acres, but Mays said he will be working to get the acreage increased.

The Bolsa Chica preserve itself will be greatly enhanced in the 1990s, Mays said. "Bolsa Chica will go from about 300 acres of wetlands to 1,150 acres of restored wetlands," he said.

The City Council early in 1990 is expected to act on a proposed plan for a massive new residential area in the city. Called the Holly-Seacliff Development, the project would convert 768 acres of land used chiefly for oil wells into homes and parks. About four new parks are scheduled to be built in that development, Mays said.

"I'm very optimistic for Huntington Beach in the 1990s," he said. "We're headed in the right direction to take us into the 21st Century."

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