More housing and commercial space has arrived in Downtown Long Beach as the once-empty lot at the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Linden Avenue has become The Linden, a 49-unit, six-story mixed-use residential complex.
Renderings for Studio One Eleven’s design were released in 2017 while construction, started in August of last year, has completed. Sares-Regis, the developer leading the specifics, has built the project—much to the happiness of urbanists all around—within walking distance of metro, groceries and shopping.
In a discussion surrounding The Streets development just west of this proposed project, Michael Bohn, Principal at Studio One Eleven, noted that they’ve been approaching design through “integrating back” into the community so that “sidewalks [and] streetlights and trees [are the same] as the adjacent neighborhoods.”
This design reflects that: Park[d] Plaza, the public space that used to host tether ball and chairs and still features an Aaron De La Cruz mural as its floor, are reflected in the design. Yellow and gray like the mural, there are also hints of De La Cruz’s geometrical, maze-y lines as details on the outside of the building.
While none of the units are affordable (and the time of its entitlement make it ineligible for the city’s upcoming inclusionary ordinance), it marks a distinctive shift in the neighborhood that has been slowly taking hold over the past decade.
Lyons Art Supply used to sit at 420 E. Fourth Street and remained the sole business with any sort of activity before Berlin Bistro—Portfolio owner Kerstin Kansteiner’s second operation—and Fingerprints—having historically been located in Belmont Shore for its entire existence up to that point—moved into the space.
Lyons then moved across the street, along with Atlantic Salon, and a handful of other designer, construction, and architectural studios in a shared space that eventually brought heavier foot traffic and crowds to the neighborhood.
Of course, the rapid change is one that doesn’t sit well with everyone: Cries of gentrification, displacement, and a lack of community involvement has led to a sense of disconnection in terms of long-term residents and developers.
Despite a boom in housing development—much needed given the housing crisis—many feel that the development isn’t for them. Add onto this the fact that Class C apartments, home to units which are often the only ones many can afford, are being snatched up by real estate investment firms, you have factors that lead to displacement and lack of affordability that falls disproportionately on our most marginalized populations.
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