During Mayor Robert Garcia’s overview of 75 development projects being proposed or constructed throughout the city, there were some definitive highlights that—despite whether you’re a fan of reach-for-heaven development or not—are ambitious to the extent that they’ll alter the city.
And they won’t only alter our day-to-day experience but they’ll become permanent fixtures in our urban waterfront skyline that, for the most part, has remain the same since the 1990s.
Broadway Block (200 – 256 Long Beach Blvd.) [Pictured above]
Right next to the very uninspiring lofts being built at the northwest corner of Broadway and Elm in DTLB, a much (much) larger neighboring project has revealed updated renderings.
The $195 million Broadway Block project (previously at a price tag of $154 million) takes up the eastern edge of Long Beach Boulevard between Broadway and Third Street. In this space sits the revered-but-shuttered Acres of Books, which developer Cliff Ratkovich of Ratkovich Properties said would not only be adaptively reused for the project but also brought into the project “to create a one-of-a-kind culture and spirit.” The other part of the 50,000-square-foot space was mainly used as a parking lot.
The Third Street portion will have a 21-story residential while the Broadway stretch will have a seven-story structure. Combined, the project will bring 392 residential units to the Downtown area (previously 375), 5,773-square-feet of creative office space, 3,873-square-feet of flex space, 6,012-square-feet of loft space, 1,311-square-feet of ArtExchange space and 3,200-square-feet of university space.
600 W. Broadway
Details on this massive proposal were slim because, well, it is still very much a proposal. Thirty-four of the 75 projects discussed were still in the proposal phase, and perhaps what separates these proposals from the many rejected proposals of the past—fun fact: This is what Ocean and Alamitos was supposed to look like before the Current came in—is the fact that there are so many of them, showing a vested interest in the city from an economic angle.
This project is, unquestionably, the city’s most ambitious one.
Six different buildings spread across the sad, empty parking lot behind the World Trade Center near the 710, the proposal—with heights varying from six stories for one building to 40 stories for the tallest one—hopes to bring in 694 residential units, new retail space, and new office space.
It, however, is not the city’s largest residential development…
One Golden Shore Avenue
…as that honor belongs to this very obscure project.
One Golden Shore has long been the site of proposals. In 2010, the $1 billion Golden Shore Master Plan was proposed—a partnership between Keesal, Young, & Logan and Molina Healthcare, both property owners in the area—that would have brought 1,370 residential condominiums, 340,000-square-feet of office space, 28,000-square-feet of retail space, a 400-room hotel, 27,000-square-feet of conference and banquet facilities, and 3,430 parking spaces.
That, clearly, never happened, as goes the tale of Long Beach.
However, should this eight-story project go through, it would bring 750 new residential units to Long Beach.
Canvas (throughout North Long Beach)
Will this change the skyline? No—but it’s important for the city as a whole.
When Shaheen Sadeghi, the man behind The LAB, Costa Mesa’s self-described “anti-mall,” announced he was going to build an entirely new concept in North Long Beach, eyebrows and hopes were raised. Questions surrounding the man’s intentions—intentions, mind you, that have been largely shrouded in a rotating door of concepts, ideas, and tentatives—were warranted: What would a man from Orange County have anything to do with a portion of Long Beach that has been historically disinvested and widely ignored?
His plans are quite bold: Sadeghi’s properties in North Long Beach are not continuous or entirely connected but more like pockets, the largest of which is a three-acre site across from the Michelle Obama Library (and is the last piece of the puzzle he is dealing with, noting that it would be a “game changer” if he gets what he wants but, alas, can’t divulge the details quite yet).
To read more about the project, click here.
Broadway & Promenade (127 – 135 Broadway)
The Promenade is arguably DTLB’s largest urban design success—but the obvious elephant in the small stretch of pedestrian living space was the largely empty surface lot just west of the Promenade.
Sure, it was host to some cool events. (You are very much missed, Promenade Beer & Wine Festival.) But it was largely a parcel of important but ignored space that could become something grander.
Enter Raintree Partners, who presented to the Promenade Area Residents Association last night to discuss two projects, including its ambitious Inkwell residential project in that very surface lot.
Eschewing many of the redundant designs being churned out by developments taking over former Redevelopment properties across the city, Raintree is attempting to create 189 units (with 268 underground parking spaces) in an eight-story, 85-foot tall building that plays wonderfully with the surrounding height and density.
Off-center, geometric patios play with triangular wood overlays, glass, and a natural-feeling aesthetic that offers more browns and earthy tones than it does steel and glass.
Shoreline Gateway Tower (777 E. Ocean Blvd.)
The second phase of one of the largest developments in Long Beach at Ocean and Alamitos will be breaking ground soon—and bring the city its tallest building along with it.
Following completion of the $70 million, 17-story Current tower, the footprint of the 35-story East Tower just to the east of Current will break ground this fall.
Initially set to be 221 units with 6,367-square-feet of ground floor retail, Shoreline Development Partners updated their plan to build 94 more units and 344-square-feet of additional retail space. This would put the Studio One Eleven-designed building—set to be the city’s tallest at 417 feet high, usurping One World Trade Center which currently stands at 397 feet—at 315 residential units and 6,711-square-feet of retail space. Additionally, the previously-approved 393 parking spaces will increase to 458 while pushing the subterranean parking garage from two levels deep to five.
3rd+Pacific (131 W. 3rd Street)
But the company’s largest project is, unquestionably, 3rd+Pacific. In the pre-development phase, project plans currently consist of two buildings, both of which have undergone alterations. The tallest, originally proposed as a 21-story high rise, is now being proposed for a 23-story height. The smaller building, originally a six-story building, is now being proposed as a seven-story structure. Both structures are set to bring 370 new residential units.
The coolest part of the project? The vacation of the paseo between the buildings, what we now know as the alley that is West Roble Way. It will be cleared and turned into a complete street, with new lighting, pedestrian amenities, and what developers are hoping will become a food-centric space for both residents and visitors.
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