Updated Renderings Revealed for $195M ‘Broadway Block’ Development in Long Beach (and Yes, Acres Of Books Will Be Incorporated)

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Renderings courtesy of Ratkovich Properties.

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 $195M Broadway Block project (previously at a price tag of $154M) takes up the eastern edge of Long Beach Blvd. between Broadway and 3rd 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 sq. ft. space was mainly used as a parking lot.

Ratkovich boasts that the adaptive reuse of Acres of Books will prove to be the “first of its kind in DTLB.” Judging from renderings, the Art Deco-style building will be a key component of its entry way along Long Beach Blvd.

The property was transferred to Broadway Block LLC for $7.8M in an unanimous vote during the Long Beach City Council meeting in July of last year. The development, a partnership between Ratkovich Properties LLC, Urbana LLC, and The Owl Companies.

The 3rd 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.

Even more, the project garnered attention last year for the fact that it would build affordable units for Cal State Long Beach graduate students in the structure aligned for Broadway. However, updated information only includes that “performing arts space” for the university will be included. It is unclear if, following the proposed addition of CSULB housing at the former City Place development, that this project will move forward with student housing.

Updated renderings show the geometric rooftop of the pyramid-like façade of the southwest corner, mirrored squares that permit the plebeians to look up toward swimmers with jealousy and a sense of voyeurism, and a sea of mostly white folks. (Please work on that, renderers.)

Total parking requirements for the site are 511 spaces but 524 spaces are included in the current proposal.

Construction was expected to begin summer of 2018 but has now been pushed to the beginning of 2019.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.