Photo by Asia Morris. Renderings courtesy of the City of Long Beach.
Developers Sares-Regis Group, City of Long Beach dignitaries, architects Studio One Eleven and those involved with the developing downtown renaissance broke ground on The Pacific this morning, one of three new housing developments soon to be built in downtown Long Beach.
According to Long Beach Development Services, The Pacific at 230 West 3rd Street will have a total of 163 units, 17 of which will be priced at below the current market rate for moderate income residents. Construction will officially begin in July and will be completed in the summer of 2019.
The Alamitos, at 101 Alamitos Avenue, will provide 136 units, as well as space for retail and restaurants and The Linden, located at 434 East 4th Street, will build 49 market rate apartments, retail and restaurant space and parking for residents.
The Pacific will feature 163 units, including 17 affordable units at 230 W. 3rd St., adding to housing & livability of urban core. pic.twitter.com/8fZQmV4fwg— LB Development (@LongBeachBuilds) June 1, 2017
“Urbanistically the core still has a lot of what urbanists call ‘missing teeth’, where there are missing buildings, and those are the surface parking lots which are still scattered within our downtown core,” Michael Bohn, senior principal at Studio One Eleven, said during the event.
The surface lots mentioned by Bohn will be replaced with 348 housing units across the three separate developments, which won’t displace any residents or remove existing downtown housing stock, he said. The buildings will also be LEED Certified and are designed by Long Beach-based architects Studio One Eleven.
Rendering of The Linden at 4th Street and Linden Avenue. Construction will begin June 2017 and will be completed in early 2019.
“Most of these lots were unfortunately created in a suburban-thinking era of ‘we need to provide parking’ and unfortunately that resulted in demolishing lots of great buildings and just bringing more cars sitting on the street, hurting vitality between buildings, walking and connectivity,” Bohn continued.
The three projects prioritize people over space for vehicles, a controversial method of development in downtown where parking is already impacted. However, being able to walk, ride a bicycle and use the nearby Metro Blue Line for transportation were mentioned as highlights of living in the developing area.
Rendering of The Alamitos located at 1st Street and Alamitos Avenue. Construction began in May and will be completed in early 2019.
Another parking lot soon to be replaced with housing units is located next to the courthouse at 500 West Broadway. The Broadway and Magnolia Apartments were approved by the Long Beach Planning Commission in early May.
The recent groundbreakings coincide with Mayor Robert Garcia’s goal, who is a resident of downtown, to build 4,000 additional residential units in the core of downtown, to support the small businesses, retailers and the community that already resides in the area, by “activating empty parking lots,” he said.
“I think that’s important to note we’re transforming empty parking lots into communities and into neighborhoods where people will live, people will get a chance to form relationships and enjoy all of the great small business, shops and attractions as part of the downtown core,” Garcia said.
The developer of the three buildings, Irvine-based Sares-Regis Group, which also acquired Douglas Park in 2012, attracting Mercedes Benz, Virgin Galactic and the currently-under-construction retail center, Long Beach Exchange, had its managing director, Chris Payne, speaking on behalf of the project.
“This is starting to look like all the other urban centers here on the West Coast that are really having an explosion of activity and we’re happy to be here early and we hope we’re a good part of what continues the progress that the city in particular has really made here in changing the dynamic in downtown,” Payne said.