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Commercial Scene : Waterfront Complex for Huntington Beach

The Waterfront Hilton Hotel--first phase of the $350-million, 50-acre resort complex known as “The Waterfront"--is under way in Huntington Beach.

Scheduled to open in July of 1990, the 293-room, 12-story hotel is the first of four hotels and seven phases planned over at least 10 years. When completed, the complex is expected to generate more than $8 million annually in city tax revenues.

Mike Adams, the city’s planning director, said the ground breaking is “definitely” a major step forward in the city’s downtown redevelopment program.

The complex will include 44 acres that will be developed by The Robert Mayer Corp. in cooperation with the city’s redevelopment agency. The remaining 6 acres will consist of roads. The site is at Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, extending north to Huntington Street.

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The Hilton, which will be operated by Dallas-based Signet Hotel Corp., is the first phase.

The second phase would be a two-story oceanfront health and tennis club; the third, a 500-room hotel and the city’s first conference center; the fourth, a 15-story 250-suite hotel; the fifth, a three-story shopping plaza; the sixth, a 400-room luxury hotel; the seventh, 875 condominiums.

The Hilton was due to be under way last fall but was delayed while the city made relocation plans for 400 residents in a mobile home park who would be displaced by the project.

“There was a lot of grumbling at first,” Adams said, “but the major opposition was from the residents to be displaced, and once the relocation plan was approved, most people saw the project as a shot in the arm for the city.”

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