Lido Marina Village gets long overdue makeover

On a recent Monday, the stench of gas fills the air as construction crews upgrade underground utilities along the brick-paved Via Oporto, a charming Newport Beach road with storefronts that boast waterfront views.

Yet, despite the premium location, 75 percent of the commercial space has been vacant for years. Long neglected by absentee owners, the enclave is slowly coming to life under DJM Capital Partners.

The San Jose firm is rejuvenating the 1970s-era Lido Marina Village with a mix of boutique retail shops, fine dining restaurants, a gourmet market and chef-driven bistros.

The collection of new restaurants and retailers, some with views of Newport Harbor, are part of the “luxurious but laid back tone” imagined for the multimillion-dollar commercial project. It is slated for completion by year’s end.

“We’ve been feeling like we’ve been given the keys to kingdom,” said DJM president Lindsay Parton. “If we’re close to what we’re envisioning, this will be a place where everyone will want to go.”