Palisadians Invited to an Unveiling of the Plan June 18
L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s District Director Stephanie Cohen office sent out the following invitation on Monday.
“Please join PCH Beach Associates, the L.A County Department of Beaches & Harbors and Supervisor Kuehl’s Office for a Community Open House to present Frank Gehry and Chef Wolfgang Puck’s vision for the redevelopment of Gladstone’s at Will Rogers State Beach.”
“This event is 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, and is free and open to the community. It will be held in the Swarthmore Room in Palisades Village (second floor above the concierge desk). RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In addition to the Gehry and Puck, three other bids were made to renovate the property, which is currently run by former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, who chose not to bid on the new facility. He will continue to operate the current restaurant until construction starts in about two years.
The Gehry/Puck plan includes an upscale dining location, a casual cafe and an ice cream parlor. The enterprise will employ up to 300 people and add a Big Blue Bus stop in front of the restaurant.
In an April 2018 story by Laurel Busby (“Gladstone’s Adjusts Menu and Amenities”), Puck was quoted: “This for me would be probably my lifetime dream to be working with Frank Gehry and to have my new flagship right here in Los Angeles County. It will create a totally new experience for Angelenos.”
Bids were submitted between April and September 2017. The facility was expected to fit in the same footprint as the current restaurant.
The second-ranked bidder was Sunset and Ocean Partners, which includes Palisadian Mark Verge, whose company owns four Santa Monica restaurants and four hotels.
His company protested the County’s choice, arguing that their bid would have provided the greatest rent to the county and other benefits such as environmental sustainability and diversity (majority minority-owned), while also voicing concerns about missing financial statements from the initial bid by PCH Beach Associates (Gehry and Puck).
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said in Busby’s story that she had been assured by County lawyers that the bid process “had been carried out correctly” and was told that there were “deficiencies in all applications that [bidders] had been allowed to correct.”
Kuehl expressed clear support for the project, stating “This agreement exemplifies the exciting synergy of talent, cultural and culinary work so prevalent in Los Angeles County today.
The invite to residents included the statement, “This project brings together their talents to deliver an approachable, high-quality California cuisine in a distinct architectural setting.
“We encourage community members to join and learn how PCH Beach Associates, LLC plans to build a strong waterfront destination that will serve as an inviting beacon for people of all ages and backgrounds.”