San Pedro’s historic Harbor View House is for sale, could become a boutique hotel

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A historic San Pedro building that currently houses California’s largest mental health facility just went on the market for the first time in nearly 50 years and could soon be redeveloped as housing or as a boutique hotel—at least if local officials have their way.

The five-story building, now called Harbor View House, was constructed in 1925 as a YMCA for Army and Navy personnel and repurposed for civilian use following World War II. It last sold in 1968 and has offered temporary housing for the mentally ill since then. In 1982 it was named a Los Angeles historic-cultural monument.

Now the property has come up for sale, with its owner planning to relocate residents to new facilities over the course of the next eight months, the Daily Breeze reported. That’s ignited interest from developers and neighborhood boosters alike, who speculate that the building could serve a key role in the area’s ongoing revitalization.

Much of that revitalization is centered around San Pedro’s waterfront, where the aging Ports O’ Call complex is being replaced with a new Fisherman’s Wharf-style development.

Located on Beacon Street, almost directly above the Ports ‘O Call project, Harbor View House is well-placed for major redevelopment. The question seems to be what kind of project that might be.

Black and white photo of the YMCA
The building was originally constructed as an Army-Navy YMCA
Los Angeles Public Library

LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents San Pedro, told the Breeze he’s hoping for a hotel rather than housing. With new attractions like the USS Iowa battleship and the redone Ports O’ Call, San Pedro is poised to become a major tourist destination, he said. Boosters argue that a new hotel would be better for San Pedro than a residential development—even as Los Angeles struggles to address a citywide shortage of housing.

Buscaino’s communications director, Branimir Kvartuc, told Curbed that San Pedro already has plenty of housing on the way (about 800 units) and that the chance to repurpose a historic structure like Harbor View House for hospitality use is “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Kvartuc said that he expects developers will continue to flock to the area, bringing more housing, retail, and hotels to the once-sleepy port town. “Downtown San Pedro is on fire right now,” he said.

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