Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach.
U.S. Navy, Maritime Administration and California Environmental Protection Agency representatives joined City of Long Beach and Port of Long Beach (POLB) officials Tuesday to commemorate the approval to transfer ownership of 125 acres of the former Naval Complex to the city, according to an announcement released this week.
The Pier T container terminal, in the former Navy facility, is one of the POLB’s busiest, has the ability to serve megaships and handles billions of dollars’ worth of trade, according to the release.
The 125 acres, located on Terminal Island, were a part of the former Naval Shipyard and Long Beach Naval Station that the Navy agreed to transfer to the Harbor Department as part of the ongoing defense base closures that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, according to the release.
The Navy’s presence on Terminal Island started with the purchase of 100 acres from Long Beach in 1940, leading up to World War II.
In 1998, U.S. Navy and city officials first worked out a lease agreement for the Harbor Department to take control of the 500-acre complex, enabling the port to break ground on Pier T, while the ownership transfer is set to occur in stages as environmental issues are resolved, according to the release.
The Navy deeded more than half of the property to the city in 2001. There are two smaller sections of acreage left to be transferred in the next few years after this current transfer fo 125. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is facilitating the process under its Port Conveyance Program.
“The Navy Base Realignment and Closure team is proud to have played a key role ensuring this 125 acres was environmentally suitable for transfer and continued port-related reuse,” said Kim Ostrowski, the director of the Navy Base Realignment and Closure Program Management Office West, in a statement. “Any effort of this magnitude takes a great deal of teamwork; the Navy and the Port of Long Beach, along with state and federal regulatory agencies, have worked diligently to develop and implement cost-effective cleanup solutions to facilitate this property transfer.”
“It’s a proven fact that investments in port infrastructure foster long-term job creation, encourage economic redevelopment, and ensure the availability of adequate port capacity to meet the nation’s future trade and defense needs,” stated Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen.
Alongside the Total Terminals International container shipping terminal on Pier T, the property is also home to Energia Logistics United States, which operates Sea Launch, a satellite-launching company. It is also home to a dock for the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force, according to the release.
“This property transfer is a symbol of the successful partnership between the Navy, MARAD and the City of Long Beach that turned the closure of a major Navy facility into a thriving commercial terminal,” said Harbor Commissioner Tracy Egoscue in a statement. “The transformation of the Naval Complex into a shipping terminal has been a major step forward. The Commission thanks the many people and agencies involved.”
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $180 billion in trade annually, supporting hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.