Machinery sits at a construction site at the corner of 3rd Street and Pacific Avenue in Downtown Long Beach where a 271-unit building is being constructed. Photo by Jason Ruiz

A Downtown Long Beach housing development that has undergone massive changes since originally being pitched to include a 23-story tower is making progress toward completion and is slated to bring 271 more units to the corner of Third Street and Pacific Avenue by late 2025.

Developers of the 3rd & Pacific project, located at the northeast corner of the intersection, said that the project has about another month of excavation ahead before crews will start pouring concrete for the foundation of the building.

George Elum, a managing director for the Holland Partner Group, said once construction begins, it could take about two and a half years to complete the project, with the group aiming for the second or third quarter of 2025.

The Holland Partner Group took over the project last year from the original developer, Ensemble, which in April 2021 downsized the project from a 23-story tower with 345 market-rate units to an eight-story building that will include 271 rental units. The latest version will also include about 2,000 fewer square feet of retail space than the original project, which called for 14,000 square feet of retail.

Getting rid of the tower was cast as a COVID-19 casualty by Ensemble, which said the market had changed and fewer people wanted to live in high-rises.

“That high-rise did not pencil out for either of us,” Elum said of the smaller project his group is building.

The excavation is clearing room for below-ground parking—the project has space for 395 vehicles—and a crane will soon join the construction site after the City Council approved an easement for its use Tuesday night.

The council’s vote calls for the crane to come down by the end of 2026, or the end of construction.

The Holland Partner Group built the Volta development at Seventh Street and Pacific Avenue, which was also an eight-story, 271-unit development. That building was sold in 2022 for $156 million.

Elum said another one of the group’s projects in Long Beach, a six-story, 281-unit development near the Marina Shores retail center in Southeast Long Beach, could be before the Planning Commission in the coming months.

The project sits in the city’s recently rezoned Southeast Area Specific Plan, where developers have already proposed three projects totaling 1,353 units, some of which would be affordable units. The SEASP zone allows for up to 2,500 new units of housing.

Developing southeast Long Beach requires a balancing act

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.