A 5.6-acre parking lot owned by the Port of Long Beach is on the market. Photo by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman.
A 5.6-acre parking lot located behind One World Trade Center and the Hilton Hotel in downtown Long Beach is back on the market, Port of Long Beach officials announced last week.
The land, which is owned by the Port, was originally purchased in 2011 for $8 million, said Port of Long Beach spokesman Lee Peterson.
At the time of the purchase the Port was considering buying and using One World Trade Center as its headquarters, according to a press release. However, now that the headquarters is being constructed at the Long Beach Civic Center, the Long Beach Harbor Commission decided it is time to sell the lot, according to a statement by Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzman.
Since the land is owned by a government agency, its current value is unknown. Larry Ditchkus, the real estate broker for the plot, said that bids from developers will determine its market value.
Peterson said that the land is zoned for apartment, office and retail use and that all bids from developers must be in accordance with the Downtown Plan.
The Downtown Plan, which was created by city council in 2012, is a set a regulations for the development and expansion of the downtown area. It focuses on architectural legacy, sustainability, transit and building requirements.
Currently, the land for sale is managed by ABM Industries and is being unofficially used by WTC and Hilton employees as a parking lot, with 659 available spaces.
In accordance with the Downtown Plan, if a developer were to construct over those parking spaces, a parking structure would have to be built to replace them.
Already, the downtown property has generated a lot of interest from high density residential developers, Ditchkus said.
Peterson said that there are many factors which the Harbor Commission will consider before picking which company to sell the land to; price, the company’s track record and the overall plans in relation to the Long Beach community will be considered.
“Our commission is intent on making sure the buyer will carry through on the best interest of the community,” he said.
Guzman echoed a similar sentiment, assuring that the land will be developed in a way which benefits the City of Long Beach.
Aerial view of a 5.6-acre parking lot for sale by the Port of Long Beach. Photo courtesy of POLB.
“We’re committed to getting a competitive price for the property,” she said. “But as a public agency, diligence demands we also consider other factors such as the track record of the developer and its ability to deliver on a vision that is good for Downtown Long Beach.”
Although it is unknown when the commission will make its final decision regarding the sale of the property, Ditchkus said that due to the large amounts of interest, a decision will probably be reached within a year.
The money from the sale of the parking lot will be allocated to the Port of Long Beach general fund.