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Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon Works to Revitalize Pier Area

The councilwoman has big plans for the major tourist attraction, including the demolition of an abandoned restaurant.

Diane Dixon, current Newport Beach city council member, announced a plan to revitalize the Newport Beach pier area.

The foremost change, says Dixon, will involve the demolition of a building at the end of the pier which was once used as a restaurant, but which has stood vacant for over a decade.

Dixon said that the building is “clearly an eyesore,” adding that “There hasn’t been any maintenance of it. There’s no one occupying it.” In the eight years she has served on the Newport Beach City Council, Dixon said, the restaurant has been a persistent problem. 

Unfortunately, no restaurant company was willing to buy the building due to logistical issues, making its demolition the only logical choice. The demolition is already underway, and scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.

Although Newport Beach was the first city to take action, it is not the only pier in Orange County which has suffered from that particular problem. The Ruby’s restaurant at the end of the Huntington Beach pier has been sitting abandoned for over a year now, while the one on the Seal Beach pier was destroyed in a fire in 2016.

The removal of the abandoned restaurant is only one of the renovations which Dixon has in mind for the Newport Beach pier area and the nearby McFadden Square. This area remains among the top tourist attractions in Orange County and a major source of local revenue, particularly as the 2022 summer tourism season kicks into high gear, although it has not seen any major improvements in several decades. 

Some of these proposed changes may include an expansion of parking and an enlargement of the boardwalk. In addition, Dixon has said that the city is open to placing a restaurant partway down the pier, which could be less logistically difficult than one at the end. 

There are also a set of maintenance repairs already underway to preserve the structural integrity of the pier. Over the years, the timber support structures beneath the pier have suffered erosion from the ocean waves.

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