Today, governor Jerry Brown signed SB 562, legislation geared toward simplifying the public-private procurement process for the Long Beach Civic Center, merging separate sections of state law into a single section.
The law combines state and case law relating to leave-leaseback public-private partnerships and Design-Bid-Finance-Maintain (DFOM) public-private partnerships into a hybrid model specific to the Civic Center Project.
“The Long Beach Civic Center Project is a once-in-a-lifetime project that will transform Downtown Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “I’d like to thank Senator Ricardo Lara for his leadership in the California Legislature to make sure that this iconic public-private partnership continues to move forward with broad support.”
According to a release issued by the city, the Civic Center Project will create 3,700 jobs through a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) supported by the City of Long Beach, Port of Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Business Trade Council of California.
The release also states that the new law “reduces the risk of legal challenge” to the project and allows the city to invest more directly in development costs. The city’s annual payment on the lease is designed to be the same as the payment for the current Civic Center and other off-site leases.
“Long Beach residents are closer to seeing significant revitalization and modernization in downtown come to fruition thanks to SB 562,” said Lara in a statement. “The Civic Center is at the core of Long Beach and the expansion project will benefit residents for years to come. This bill is about smart investment to keep Downtown Long Beach thriving for residents, business, tourists and the community at-large.”
“The Port of Long Beach made a pledge to find a permanent home downtown and return to the waterfront when it moved to its temporary headquarters a year ago,” said Lori Ann Guzmán, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners president in a statement. “This bill helps bring us a step closer to that, and as a department of the City, we’re pleased to be a part of the Civic Center project.”
According to the release, the 15.87 acres of land being used by the Long Beach Civic Center Project will include a new Long Beach City Hall (that is seismically safe), Port of Long Beach Headquarters and Main Library, as well as a redesigned park. Additionally, transit-oriented, mixed-use developments, high-rise condominiums and retail will encompass the private side.
All developments will be constructed and fit within the parameters outlined by the city’s Downtown Plan, which stipulates that all projects use an expedited Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) review. This process cuts down on the costs and time often associated with entitlement and project delivery.