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Balboa Village to get $700,000 in plant and sidewalk sprucing

Balboa Village to get $700,000 in plant and sidewalk sprucing
An archway greets visitors to Newport Beach's Balboa Village district. (File Photo)

Newport Beach plans to spend about $700,000 to touch up the Balboa Village streetscape.

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The largely aesthetic improvements include new navy blue pots to replace the large 15-year-old terra cotta street planters, new seasonal faux plants for the coordinating hanging planters, and enlarging the tree wells that encircle the growing palms. The area also will see new trash cans and benches, plus sidewalk and curb repairs.

The sidewalks, made from a decorative type of pavement known as lithocrete, will account for about $230,000 of the price tag. The surface has lifted in spots because of intruding adjacent landscaping and is patchy in other places where workers cut through to access utilities.

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Balboa Village, which covers about four blocks of Balboa Boulevard between Adams and A streets, is a historical mixed-use tourist hot spot on the Balboa Peninsula. The city has invested more than $12 million since 2000 on revitalizing the area, which includes the Balboa Pier and the Fun Zone.

City Councilman Scott Peotter was cool to the latest expenditures, as he has been in the past.

“We installed it, it was expensive and we need to maintain it, so I understand the need to do this, but I just want to point out this area is sucking up a lot of money of the city’s to maintain,” he said Tuesday night before casting the lone dissenting vote when the council considered the streetscape face lift.

Work is expected to begin in December and be completed in the spring. Irvine-based Optima RPM will get the $673,000 construction contract. An additional $34,000 is going toward contingencies and incidentals.

The funds will come out of local parking revenue and the city’s share of the county’s Measure M half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

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