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DDR web site calls its QW Bay development: "Pike at Rainbow Harbor"

(July 11, 2001) -- Ohio based developer DDR's web site has listed its 18 acre entertainment and commercial development at QW Bay as the "Pike at Rainbow Harbor."

DDR's web site identifies the "Pike at Rainbow Harbor" among the firm's CA developments. Clicking on its hyperlink produced the message, "This property page is under construction. Information is forthcoming."

Phil Hampton, a LB based spokesperson for the project, told that while the name is not yet official, it would be unusual if it were to change prior to an official announcement.

DDR's planned 18 acre entertainment and retail complex, which includes a movie theater, has been criticized by some as a "strip mall by the sea." LB officials bristle at the epithet, calling the project crucial to a "critical mass" downtown and for the rest of the QW Bay area, including the Aquarium and Convention Center.

Is invoking the names of two historic LB attractions -- "the Pike" amusement zone and "Rainbow pier" -- an effort to recast public perception of the development? Mr. Hampton said:

"DDR wanted to select a name that would give the project a distinct identity, distinct from the much larger master plan that the city put together that is called Queensway Bay...The city's Queensway Bay plan includes not only the commercial project that DDR is developing but also other elements in the area, including the Aquarium and Convention Center...So we wanted a name that was distinctive and could be easily identifiable, and also separated the commercial portion of Queensway Bay from the rest of the city's Queensway Bay master plan."

Rainbow Pier, a semi-circular pier lined with lights, let cars and pedestrians go from land to ocean and back in a giant half circle. It was allowed to deteriorate and was torn down.

The Pike, LB's once famed amusement zone, featured a playland atmosphere and thrills, including the legendary Cyclone Racer roller-coaster. Some locals disliked the Pike's hurly burly surroundings and City Hall quietly let the area die, arguably hastening its death.

In the 1960's, when approving plans for a vehicular bridge as part of the "Queen Mary" and harbor plan, LB officials said the Cyclone Racer was in the way and had to be demolished. After destroying the amusement zone's key attraction in 1968, the remaining amusement area died about ten years later. Since then, some locals have speculated the bridge could have been configured so as to preserve the classic ride and the city's beachfront heritage.

Other cities have restored their beachfront areas. San Diego and Santa Cruz preserved their wooden beachfront coasters, now designated historic sites and drawing tourists. In recent years, businessman Ken Jillson offered to rebuild the Cyclone Racer but City Hall effectively gave his plan the cold shoulder.

DDR's plans include putting a roller coaster-resembling lattice, a faux replica of the Cyclone Racer's silhouette, on a pedestrian bridge.

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