Perhaps it is the day the music died.
Vault 350 became a Long Beach legend as quickly as the famed venue closed its doors: From 2004 to 2008, the space at 350 Pine Avenue hosted acts ranging from the B-52s to Kanye West, Flogging Molly to Ghostface Killah.
After the club stood vacant for seven years, Millworks CEO Michelle Molina, along with her husband John Molina of Pacific6, bought the building for a cool $3.5 million in 2015, with plans to bring back the space to its former glory as an esteemed music venue.
That, however, will not happen following the sale of the historic building to Antioch Church of Long Beach.
Pastor Wayne Chaney of Antioch had long been looking to pawn off their current property, a church that is a pillar of Central Long Beach’s black community.
“The purchase of 350 Pine will allow us to do much more than house our services—it will serve as a premier venue,” Chaney said in a statement, adding that beyond acting as the venue for Antioch services, it will also host plays, weddings, business events and more.
The purchase was also serendipitous: After being on the market for nearly four years, the original Antioch property on Gundry Avenue suddenly became flooded with offers; shortly after that sale, they eyed the property at 350 Pine in what Michelle Molina called a “match made in heaven.”
“The Millworks team—especially Lauren [Limbaugh] and Kasra [Esteghamat]—brought tons of great music people to the table, every rolling stone was turned over, but no perfect match was ever made,” Molina said. “I could not bring myself to selling to a grocery store or gym and putting great friends on Pine out of business. This building was bought with the thought of bringing love and music and community together. [The Chaney Family] will do just that.”
The building at 350 Pine has an extremely rich history: Designed by one of the era’s few working black architects, Paul Revere Williams, it was once the original SoCal headquarters for the Bank of Italy, it was then transformed into a Bank of America venue. It was after that that former owner Mitchell Stewart bought the space, turned it into Vault 350 and then passed away in 2008; the venue then sat silent, waiting. That waiting resulted in a quick-but-failed partnership between Luis Armen Kaloyan and Rudy Medina that was to have the Vault up and running once again in 2010—only to end in a dispute that dissolved the partnership.
According to the release, at least 50 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project and many more permanent jobs will be created by the church and venue business once the building is completed.
Kara Rice, Principal at Citron Design Group, will lead the charge on the building’s design and activation. Jan van Dijs at Jan van Dijs Construction Management will be responsible for the build-out and ensuring the renovation remains true to the client’s needs and vision.
The project is expected to be completed in the next year to year-and-a-half.