As a long time resident of Newport Beach and a neighbor to the Lido Marina Village, I’ve seen the Village’s ups and its downs. Over the years, we’ve seen a slow parade of retail shops, restaurants, clubs, the Lido Theater, Starbucks, the Lido Diner switching to Woody’s Diner, Curl Fitness, the Elks Lodge, a Farmers Market, the Lido Boat Shows, the gondolas and the occasional boat weddings draw people to the area. But despite its best efforts over the years, the Village always seemed to fall short of its potential. It needed retailers with staying power – especially on the northeast side of Via Lido. More importantly, it needed a group or individual that could provide an overarching vision and funding to pull the Village together and propel it in a better direction.
This won’t be news to neighbors since we’ve already seen the early fruits of their labors, but that development group has arrived and has been doing good things for the Village over the past year, giving the area a needed boost. That developer is DJM Capital Partners. If the name rings a bell with Orange County residents, that’s because they were the ones responsible for the popular Bella Terra shopping and dining destination in Huntington Beach.
In order to properly inform and update the Newport residents closest to the project, DJM invited the residents of Lido Isle for a meet-and-greet event on July 23, 2014 at the Lido Isle Club House. The room was packed with neighbors, eager to hear what the DJM had to say. Jesse and I got there early and managed to grab seats; the room was standing room only ten minutes later.
The principals of DJM introduced themselves, thanked everyone for coming and then dove right in.
Lindsay Parton, the president of DJM, kicked it off by introducing himself and his colleagues, thanked everyone for coming and then dove right in. He expressed that the village area hadn’t been utilized properly to its full potential. “Lido Marina Village is a jewel of Orange County that needed help… we saw it three years ago and thought we can make it a place you’re proud of…”
The Lido Marina Village was appealing to DJM due to two main reasons. One is the beautiful location along the bay. Second, the unique village setting that has the potential to provide a wonderful environment for Newport Beach locals; when they want to shop, dine and enjoy bay activities while staying close to home.
Parton also talked about how helpful the City of Newport Beach has been. Changes and improvements have been happening at the site for over a year and it was good to hear that our city representatives had also embraced the project.
Linda Berman, senior VP at DJM said “[DJM] creates places they would want to go to and bring their families to… it’s about creating ‘human scale’… smaller can be better and we think Lido Marina Village has warmth and we want to keep that… we want to live up to that and we want the locals to embrace it and make it theirs…”
DJM had large renderings of the project up on easels and had passed out sets of postcards with the same images to attendees. I think everyone was in agreement that the project looked good. Q&A followed their presentation for about 30 minutes. There was a small but very vocal minority who practically booed the presentation and bemoaned loudly the loss of the Regatta Cafe… but, other than that, the crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of the project; there were several rounds of applause throughout the presentation.
If all goes accordingly to plan or close to it, DJM will enhance approximately 116,000 square feet of boutique retail, restaurant and office space. This project also includes improving the 47 Slip Marina and moving the remaining wedding/party boat services across the bay to the PCH area, where additional wedding/party boat services call home. Parking will still pose a challenge on busy days but overall, this is a development most Newport Beach Residents and visitors alike have been waiting for.
Will DJM be able to back up their visions and goals? We’ll certainly see over time. They’ve said the project will take five years to complete. Personally, I like the improvements so far and most of the locals are eager to see the Lido Marina area completed.
Here are a few photos from the Village and the meeting as well as a few renderings of the finished LMV project that are being circulated:
For additional information and details, please contact DJM Capital Partners at:
3412 Via Oporto
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Sidebar – This project is not to be confused with two other developments in the works. One is the approved boutique hotel, which will eventually be built on the old city hall site off 32nd Street and Newport Boulevard. The second project involving upscale apartments and offices will commence in the area of 3355 Via Lido, where the old California Beach Sushi Restaurant used to call home. I’ll post about these other two projects as progress is made on them.