Two former Pepperdine hot spots are being redeveloped into newer and pricier alternatives for Malibu residents.
The former sites of the PierView Café and Windails restaurants located on Pacific Coast Highway near the Malibu Pier will be demolished and rebuilt by the summer of 2008.
The PierView site will be replaced with a 7,100-square-foot restaurant with a “beach cottage” motif, according to Stacy Rice, Malibu city senior planner. Rice said she believes the plans are amazing.
It is not known what type of food will be served.
The former Windsails site will be 5,900-square-feet and Asian-themed, complete with a full sushi bar and an indoor tide pool.
Both restaurants will have a full liquor and wine service and are restricted to hours of operation between 11 a.m. to midnight each day and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Indoor and outdoor seating will be available on both properties with substantial space devoted to seaside decks.
Questions have been raised over the price range of the new restaurants.
In an interview with the Malibu Times, Planning Commission Chair Carol Randall expressed concern over whether prices would be affordable.
Some Malibu residents disagree with Randall’s assessment, however. In a letter to the editor submitted to the Malibu Times on Feb. 1, Tina Goldstein expressed discontent with what she interpreted as the Planning Commission trying to regulate prices. “I didn’t know this was the Socialist republic of Malibu,” she wrote.
Randall said that she was misunderstood and that although she hopes for affordable dining, regulating prices is not her job. Overall, she said she approves of the plans.
Despite such controversy, the technical process seems to be moving swiftly.
Both sites will be developed by billionaire and former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison purchased the PierView in 2003 from former owner Chuck Spencer, who had owned PierView for 13 years.
Ellison then purchased the already vacant Windails structure in 2004 from local developer Richard Weintraub, who planned on building a 9,555-square-foot restaurant, bar and day spa on the site, according to the city staff report.
Restaurant plans can be viewed at scottmitchellstudio.com and on the Malibu City Web site.
Permits have been approved for both structures, and the general appeal period has expired. An appeal was submitted to the planning department for the Windsails development by residents living in the neighborhood adjacent to the proposed site. According to Randall, the residents were worried about noise and other disruptions during construction and operation. The appeal has since been dropped.
In exchange for exceeding approved size limits, Weintraub agreed to set aside small public meeting room within the structure and donate $400,000 to the Malibu-Santa Monica School District over six years, ending in a permit approval. A similar agreement has not been made for the new development.
The California Coastal Commission has an appeal period of its own. The Commission reviews and approves the proposals according to 12 criteria established by the Malibu Local Coastal Program, including hazards, public land access, scenic and visual hillside protection and archeological and cultural resources.
One major concern was parking, which will be exclusively valet. The structure to be built on the Windsails had 10 fewer spaces than needed. As a result, an agreement was made for joint parking between the two lots, with the PierView site serving as a parking spot donor.
Another issue was landscaping. Under the Local Implementation Plan, 40 percent of all commercial areas must be devoted to landscaping. Each proposal has less than this amount, with the PierView site devoting 17 percent and the Windsails site devoting only 16 percent.
However, considering the “unusable, sandy beach” that comprises close to 15 percent of each lot and similar arrangements at restaurants like Moonshadows and Dukes, an exception was made.
The Windsails development will also need to go before the city council. The site is zoned for homes under the Local Coastal Program, and for visitor-serving commercial use under the city’s General Plan. An amendment to the Local Coastal Program must be made before construction can proceed.
“The community looks forward to the opening of the two restaurants,” Randall said. “They should be very attractive additions to our city.”