LBUSD board moves forward in process to sell 2 vacant properties

Long Beach Unified’s Board of Education voted Wednesday to move forward with selling two vacant properties owned by the school district.

The LBUSD, which is the largest property owner in the city, has been in enrollment decline for a decade, and earlier this year the board voted to classify seven properties as “surplus,” beginning the process of looking to sell those properties.

On Wednesday, the two vacant properties at 999 Atlantic Ave. and 4310 Long Beach Blvd. were at issue. The board’s vote Wednesday was to seek a waiver from the State Board of Education to avoid the traditional open bidding process, which would require them to sell the properties to the highest bidder. The reason the district is seeking that waiver is the possibility of selling to a bidder with a “greater community good” in mind.

A vacant LBUSD property at 4310 Long Beach Blvd. Image capture March 2019: © 2021 Google.

Although no specific plan has been developed yet, board member Megan Kerr said in October that she’d like to see the properties become affordable housing to help families move into Long Beach, where the cost of rent has been swiftly rising.

David Miranda, the LBUSD executive director of facilities, development and planning, said in his remarks on Wednesday that the district took the board’s wishes into consideration in requesting that waiver for the two sites, which have been vacant for four to seven years. The district is currently spending money on security and maintenance for the vacant sites.

“My only comment is I appreciate staff really listening to the board,” said Kerr. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to do good in the process with all of this.”

The vote was 4-0 with board member Doug Otto not present due to illness.

Miranda said that the district will submit an application for the waiver in January, with approval likely at the next state board meeting in March. The hope would be to receive responses from potential buyers in the spring and then present the LBUSD board with a recommendation for the two properties in the summer.

The other five locations the district has deemed as “surplus” are currently occupied, including its headquarters at 1515 Hughes Way. The district is still developing plans for what to do with those sites, which are:

  • 1515/1511 Hughes Way, Long Beach, CA 90810
  • 723 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90813
  • 2201 E. Market St., Long Beach, CA 90805
  • 2425 Webster Ave., Long Beach, CA 90810
  • 2700 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90810

Continued decline in enrollment will mean a tighter budget next year, LBUSD says

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