Marina Del Rey History & Community Info 

Marina del Rey properties and real estate make an ideal location for any family.  Marina del Rey is a town filled with a lively culture and great schools.  It’s no wonder that Marina Del Rey is one of the hottest real estate markets in Southern California as of right now.  Marina del Rey continually builds new homes year in and year out because of the high demand for its real estate.  Whether it be new condos for sale, new apartments for sale, or even new houses, here at Ron Michael Properties, we’ll know about it.  We know about every Marina Del Rey Real Estate listing that goes up and will be able to assist you in any way you need when you are ready to purchase or sell your property or house in Marina Del Rey.

Marina del Rey is a census-designated place and seaside town located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 8,176. The community of Marina del Rey is the result of a long time of planning and construction. The present entrance to the channel first began construction in December 1957. It wasn’t until approximately 70 years later that efforts began to construct the harbor which was ironically finanaced by a railroad company.

M.C. Wicks organized the Port Ballona Development Company under the management of the Santa Fe Railroad. It was Wicks hope that the harbor would be developed into a commerical harbor to serve the Los Angelos area. Under his management, they were able to raise $300,000 which all went to the construction of the harbor which occured over a three year period. When Wicks went bankrupt the area was taken over by duck hunters. 25 years passed with no development in the area until in 1916, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported to Congress that the proposal to develop the Playa del Rey area was impractical.

Twenty years later, in 1936, Congress authorized reconsideration of the negative 1916 report and the County Board of Supervisors ordered another study in 1937. This time there was competition, and the decision went to San Pedro, where major expansion had been approved to form the present Los Angeles Harbor. From this point on, the dream focused with increasing clarity on a harbor for small craft. World War II caused a temporary halt to planning, but on September 7, 1949, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted a report indicating the feasibility of construction of a pleasure craft harbor for 8,000 boats at a total estimated cost of $23,603,000.

In 1953, the County Board of Supervisors sponsored State legislation which eventually granted the county a $2 million loan from State tidelands oil revenues to assist in purchase of the new harbor site. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed Public Law 780, making the Marina del Rey harbor an authorized federal project and planning moved into high gear. The federal commitment, however, was limited to the “main navigational features” and involved a 50-50 sharing of these costs by the local sponsor; in this case, the County of Los Angeles.

On November 6, 1956, a general election resulted in County voters approving the revenue bond method of financing the remainder of the project, and in December 1959, a $13 million revenue bond issue was sold to provide funds for much of the actual construction. Meanwhile, in December 1957, construction of the “main navigational features” began as a joint Federal-County project; by November 1958, the entrance channel jetties were completed and the first tangible facilities had emerged from the long-standing dream.

Marina del ReyBig projects have big problems, and Marina del Rey had its share; construction delays plagued the early development. Shortly after the harbor finally opened for operation, it suffered storm damage so severe in the winter of 1962-63 that an emergency program was initiated to provide protection from wave action. Fortunately, based on early indications of excessive vulnerability of the harbor to wave action, a model study was already well under way at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station at Vicksburg, MS.

With the cooperation of the Federal Government, this study program was expedited on a “crash” basis; the model was used to arrive at a feasible interim solution, and the County proceeded to immediately construct temporary protective sheet-pile baffles in the entrance to the channel to give vital protection pending the completion of permanent protective works by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

Meanwhile, the results of the model study indicated a requirement for a permanent off-shore breakwater. The County Board of Supervisors promptly appropriated $2.1 million of the estimated cost of $4.2 million for this project as the sponsoring agency’s share, and a concerted effort by the County’s legislators in Congress was successful in securing the matching Federal appropriation in the 1963-64 budget.

Construction of the breakwater began on October 15, 1963, and was completed in January 1965. The dispatch with which this major point project was planned, funded and constructed reflected a healthy working relationship between County and Federal governments and particularly indicated the effective representation enjoyed by the County in Congress.

Marina del Rey successfully surmounted its major development problems and was progressing steadily toward complete fulfillment of its destiny. Formal dedication of the Marina del Rey Harbor was held on April 10, 1965. Today, Marina del Rey is an indispensable social, environmental and economic success, and has become a role model for other urban marinas throughout the world. As the Marina heads into the next century, considerations for future planning and design are underway. Marina del Rey will never be thought of as a finished product, but instead as a constantly evolving Marina “new town” with an inherent capacity to accept change. Currently, the County continues to strive for an optimum balance between public and private interests, as economic and recreational needs reinforce the Marina’s role as a multifunctional activity center for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Public Recreational Facilities:
Burton W. Chace Park; Admiralty Park; Marina “Mother’s” Beach; regattas, crew races, boat parades, sailing races, park concerts, harbor cruises; handicapped swim ramps, children’s playground, boat rentals and sailing instruction, South Bay Bike Trail (part of 20-mile coastal bicycle path), north jetty promenade and view piers, vista points, fishing docks, Marina Information Center, County Library with large nautical section.

Boating Facilities:
Approximately 6,100 boat slips, beach launching areas for hand-carried or RV-transported boats, sailing lagoon, dry storage for boats, yacht clubs, repair yards, fuel dock & pump-out stations, live bait, charters, transient boat docks, boat sales and brokerages.

Civic Contribution:
Community with current population of 10,000; more than 200 individual businesses provide 6,000-8,000 jobs; taxes generated by leases provide significant tax revenue for County, City schools, special districts, etc.; direct freeway access via Marina Freeway (Route 90).