NEWPORT BEACH, CA-Hollywood celebrities and various dignitaries, including US presidents, have enjoyed the ocean-view rooms and many amenities at the beachfront resort known as “Host of the Coast” throughout its 52-year history. Now the historic Balboa Bay Club is undergoing a $55-million renovation and expansion in two phases, with total completion expected by January 2003.

“We’re not just replacing it, we’re upgrading it and increasing density,” says Brian Parno, VP of corporate development for Snyder Langston of Irvine, which was awarded the contract for pre-construction and construction of the project. “The plan is to turn it into a five-star resort.”

Designed by Irvine-based architects Lee & Sakahara, the project will have an Italian Renaissance architectural theme. The project necessitates tearing down the club’s current 241,000-sf of facilities to make way for the new amenities and resort. However, the demolition will be done in phases so that the club can remain open during construction.

The first phase of the project is already under way with the former Beach building having been demolished. In this phase, a new three-story clubhouse will be built including spa rooms, a fitness center complete with basketball and racquetball courts, and 28 guest rooms for members all fronting Newport Harbor. This phase is scheduled for completion by fall 2001.

The second phase will add a grand ballroom, swimming pool, pool bar, public and private restaurants, a 131-room luxury hotel and parking garage. Covered walkways will link the buildings to one another, enhanced by extensive Mediterranean landscaping.

“Working in conjunction with the California Coastal Commission and the city of Newport Beach, Snyder Langston has been able to develop design and site solutions that suit both our client, as well as surrounding neighbors,” says project manager Robert Cavecche.

Developer on the project is International Bay Clubs Inc. of Newport Beach; the interior designer is Bob Barry Designs of Beverly Hills.

The new clubhouse will also feature a marina with 150 boat slips accommodating vessels up to 125 fet. long. The new resort hotel will have a presidential suite, a governor’s suite, a honeymoon suite and seven one-bedroom suites. Guest rooms will be 500 sf including balconies, and feature VCR, stereo and Internet access with facsimile machines available. The 7,505-sf grand ballroom will accommodate up to 865 guests for receptions and 550 guests for banquets. There also will be eight meeting rooms, one boardroom and a 1,250-sf pre-function area.

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