The Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education approved the sale of two vacant, surplus district properties during last week’s board meeting. The two properties—at 999 Atlantic Ave. and 4310 Long Beach Blvd.—sold for a total of $5.7 million.
The sale brings to an end a multi-year process surrounding the two properties, with keys to be turned over in the next two months.
“It has been a long road,” said LBUSD Board president Diana Craighead. “I know it’s required a lot of work and a lot of effort.”
The LBUSD is the city’s largest landowner and has been engaged for years in selling off surplus properties due to its prolonged state of declining enrollment.
LBUSD Executive Director of Facilities, Development and Planning David Miranda made a presentation to the board, outlining that the 999 Atlantic Ave. property was sold to the Suzanne Fussell/Joseph Iwuajoku Trust for $3.6 million. The two doctors will consolidate their medical practices at the facility, as well as build an affordable housing component. The resolution to sell the property passed unanimously, 5-0.
The 4310 Long Beach Blvd. property was sold to 2H Property 3060 for $2.1 million for the planned development of a medical facility, which the site is already zoned for, according to Miranda. That resolution passed 3-0, with board members Erik Miller and Maria Lopez abstaining.
“The process can take some time,” said Miranda. “We’ve been at this for the better part of three, four, five years.”
The district’s team first identified seven surplus properties in a process that began in October of 2017, two of which were vacant and five of which currently house LBUSD programs or offices. The two sold last week were the vacant properties.
The LBUSD board has emphasized that they wanted the properties to go toward the greatest community good, not the highest bidder, and in 2021 granted a waiver that freed the district from a state requirement to sell to the highest bidder.
Former board member Megan Kerr said she’d specifically like to see the properties go toward providing affordable housing. Board member Juan Benitez, meanwhile, said at last week’s meeting that the board remains committed to selling its surplus properties to organizations promoting the public good.
“I know that this was a new approach that we took,” he said. “I just want to affirm the commitment that we have for any surplus consideration of properties that we don’t just go look for the biggest bid, but that we’re intentional about what we mean by public good or community good.”
The other five locations the district has deemed as “surplus” are currently occupied, including its headquarters at 1515 Hughes Way. They are:
1515/1511 Hughes Way
723 Long Beach Blvd.
2201 E. Market St.
2425 Webster Ave.
2700 Pine Ave.