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ExplorOcean gives estimated completion date

Newport Harbor Nautical Museum's planned exhibit next to the Balboa Fun Zone may be completed within five years, president says.

March 16, 2012|By Sarah Peters

However, he said it remains unclear as to the museum's intentions toward the amusements.

To many, the changing landscape on the peninsula represents a loss of history — multiple community groups rallied to protest the removal of the carousel, without success, last year.

Yet others take the changes as the cost of modern-day business and as improvements to an area in need of revitalization.

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"The whole area around the Fun Zone has had issues in terms of maintenance and restoration in order to keep it a fun, safe environment for families," Newport Beach resident Sue Buettell said after Wednesday night's meeting. "So, it's a very exciting project from that perspective."

While Buettell still has some reservations about the project, she said the museum's preview center laid a lot of those concerns to rest for her.

The preview center on East Bay Street contains a model of the project, some renderings and a video that outlines the before-and-after changes to the area.

"It's something that's been there for a long time," Newport Beach resident Lee Fellinge said of the property. "Seeing that go is almost like losing what made Newport, Newport. But, you have to recalibrate. If they can pull this off, it can be even better than what it was before."

sarah.peters@latimes.com

Twitter: @speters01

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