Community Voices
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Newly installed Trani’s Dockside Station sign. Click to enlarge. (photo: J. Trani’s Ristorante/Facebook)

It’s 2023 planning season for local businesses, and now that we have a better understanding of how to navigate life after the pandemic, the future is bright. 

The new year will see new leadership from assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and Mike Gipson, San Pedro-grown L.A. Councilmember Elect Tim McOsker, and our own L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn. We will see renewed support for job creation and sustainable economic investments in our community, but also the arts, nonprofits, and quality of life issues that help protect the character of the town we love.

An estimated 3,000 San Pedrans attended last month’s kick-off of West Harbor — or still Ports O’ Call, to you and me. People are eager to finally see progress on this property and welcome the many new restaurants and attractions that will come along with it. Trani’s Dockside Station in the old Canetti’s building at 307 W. 22nd Street is about to do some soft events in preparation for full operation. The same goes for the much-anticipated Port Town Brewery at 285 W. 7th Street, which has already hosted some memorable events and will soon help offer some diversity to San Pedro’s craft brewery scene. I see these operations and Brouwerij West as a great “tourist-adjacent” alternative for more locals to enjoy.

It will be interesting to see if and how the San Pedro Fish Market transitions to its new space under the bridge. San Pedrans are so used to talking about promises broken when it comes to redeveloping the waterfront it is going to be hard to change gears now that progress is happening. The families who made the San Pedro Fish Market one of the largest restaurant locations in the world – with over $30 million in annual receipts – are more than capable of creating something even bigger, with more vision and excitement. I hope there’s a sense of urgency. It would be a shame if such an important and iconic part of the waterfront fails to adapt to the reality that West Harbor is finally happening, and it’s time to move on.

There is a sense of collaboration between businesses and community organizations like never before. With the opening of Sheikh/Impact at their new location at 455 W. 6th Street, we now have a better hub of support for the organizations working to serve and improve our communities. Harbor Connects will also be housed there with a mission to better connect the nonprofits we have addressing poverty and homelessness by filling in gaps between what servicers can provide our residents. Thanks to Councilman Joe Buscaino and his generous support of $600,000 for the Harbor Neighborhood Relief Fund, the organization has been able to hire Executive Director Kent Wallace-Meggs to further its mission and transition to the more permanent Harbor Connects.

This month may be the last San Pedro City Ballet performance of The Nutcracker at the Warner Grand Theatre for some time. Be sure to buy your tickets for one of the four performances the weekend of December 9-11. The $14 million restoration of the historical Warner Grand should commence in 2023, and while we’re eager to see it begin, it could be closed for three or four years while the work is being done. We will need patience; the grand old building deserves the craftsmanship and artistry to get the job done right. The Nutcracker, Encore Theatre Group, and other performances will take place at other nearby venues — stay tuned for details.

My real estate team is focused on an attitude of “Give where we live,” and is using 2023 to make charitable giving, volunteer hours, and community-focused activities a bigger part of what we do. Our – Faces & Places series of videos highlights so much of the good here in San Pedro and the organizations that support the positivity. We have already interviewed half of the schools in San Pedro, and one thing we have found is it takes a village to raise our children. Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro City Ballet, The Boys & Girls Clubs of L.A. Harbor, Grand Vision Foundation, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, AltaSea, L.A. Maritime Institute, San Pedro Library, and other local organizations bring so much to enriching the student experience here in San Pedro schools.

San Pedro Today is a testament to the sense of community building and support our society so desperately wants. The events this magazine supports with community rockstar Melissa Hay help introduce our local business startups and craftspeople to the rest of the community. This month’s issue is full of local artists, craftspeople, and businesses we can support with our holiday purchases to keep our dollars local. Please be safe this holiday season, shop local, and let’s agree to lift up San Pedro in our various ways to make 2023 our best year yet. spt

Lee Williams

Lee Williams leads The Lee Williams Real Estate Group at REAL Broker and is a Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner. He also serves on the board of directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Connects, and the San Pedro Education Foundation. He can be reached at