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Dispute over former L.A. shipyard site is on hold

A Los Angeles historical group, the Port of L.A. and a Long Beach firm agree to a truce brokered by Councilwoman Janice Hahn. The accord allows a plan for dredging the harbor to move forward.

July 01, 2009|Ronald D. White

The Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Conservancy and a Long Beach firm have agreed to put on hold their dispute over the fate of a 38-acre site that operated as a full-service shipyard until 2005.

The site, known as the old Southwest Marine facility, is deep inside the Port of L.A. and is where the port plans to put sludge it dredges from the bottom of the harbor to deepen the shipping channel. That would enable the port to accommodate the next generation of giant cargo ships.

Gambol Industries Inc., operator of a shipyard in Long Beach, has challenged those plans because it wants to open a bigger, full-service shipyard capable of handling the large vessels that currently call at the harbor.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Conservancy, a historic preservation group, wants to preserve some of the buildings at the site, which date as far back as the early 20th century.

Under an agreement brokered by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the harbor deepening project will proceed as planned while Gambol gets a one-year period to negotiate an agreement with the port to build a shipyard on the site.

And the conservancy will be given an opportunity to preserve the historic buildings.

"I'm extremely pleased that we were able to proceed with the channel-dredging project to allow for the larger ships that will keep our port competitive while still looking at the real possibility of bringing a state-of-the-art shipyard back to Los Angeles, which will bring in other kinds of good-paying jobs," Hahn said.

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ron.white@latimes.com

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