Details of the proposals have not been released but the list includes some heavy hitters, including groups connected with billionaire developer Ed Roski Jr., the man behind the proposal to build a National Football League stadium in the City of Industry; well-known Los Angeles developer Wayne Ratkovich; and a London-based firm that just opened its 21st high-end designer outlet center near Hamburg, Germany.
The eight developers that have applied for the opportunity to remake the 30-acre waterfront site represent a variety of backgrounds and expertise.
Port of Los Angeles officials expect to select one of the developers by the end of the year.
"This is a very good first step," said Jayme Wilson, manager of Ports O' Call Village.
Over the summer, port and city officials met with more than 50 developers who had signaled an interest in bringing the outdoor center, which opened in 1962, back to life.
Responding to a request for qualifications were:
Battaglia Inc., specializing in "theme park and major entertainment design" and formed by Richard Battaglia, formerly part of the Disney management team. Projects include Marine World/Africa U.S.A. in Northern California, Entertainment City in Juwait, and Lotte World Adventure in Seoul, Korea.
Cal-Coast Cos. LLC, based in Los Angeles, which has created master-planned communities, hotels, office buildings, commercial regional centers and retail developments. Among its properties is the Doubletree Hotel in the Cabrillo Marina in San Pedro.
LA Waterfront Alliance, a group that includes participation by Ratkovich and the Victory Group, a San Pedro-based development company long involved in historic restoration.
Majestic Realty Co., headed up by Roski who has pushed a Los Angeles NFL stadium - with the idea now turning toward a baseball stadium instead - in the City of Industry.
McArthurGlen Group, based in London and known for its development of designer outlet centers throughout Europe. According to the group's website, 75 million visitors are attracted to McArthurGlen's outlet centers designed for "destination" shopping.
Rising Realty Partners, launched by Los Angeles developer Nelson Rising, who guided the Library Square development in downtown Los Angeles that included the 73-story U.S. Bank Tower and 54-story Gas Co. Tower, as well as leading the Playa Vista development under Maguire Thomas Partners.
Sonnenblick Development LLC, a Los Angeles-based real estate development firm under Robert Sonnenblick specializing in oceanfront resort hotel developments with a focus on high-end golf resorts.
Strata Properties & TFO/TDD Partners, based in Orange County and, according to the website, "dedicated to developing first-class commercial projects."
Efforts to attract a new developer to Ports O' Call have failed in the past.
But with the waterfront development taking a few huge leaps this past summer - with the openings of the USS Iowa and Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles - port officials believed the time was right to try again.
Wilson said some developers who decided not to compete for the site mentioned ongoing issues that could be problematic, including the relatively early stage of waterfront development, restricted demographics with water bounding half the parcel, and the presence of a low-income public housing project across the street on Harbor Boulevard.
The future of the economy also remains uncertain.
But port officials said they were pleased with the response and will appoint a panel to begin reviewing the companies and their ideas.
Constructed to reflect a New England theme, Ports O' Call Village featured a string of small shops, restaurants and other attractions on a wooden boardwalk that drew 1 million visitors every year in its heyday in the 1960s.
Most of its tonier shops began to move out 20 years after that, however, as the center fell into disrepair and leasing disputes drove some store owners to seek space elsewhere.
As the process moves forward, specific plans for the makeover could cover a full range of ideas, including entertainment venues, restaurants, hotel space, shops and/or theme park style attractions.
But construction probably wouldn't begin until 2015, after all of the current leases expire.
Kathryn McDermott, deputy executive director of the port's business development group, has said redeveloping the center will receive much attention.
"This is a high priority, and we're going to put some firepower behind it," she said this summer. "We want the right proposal. ... We're creating a sense of place."
Follow Donna Littlejohn on Twitter at http://twitter.com/donnalittlejohn