Plans for the development of a 303,000-square-foot warehouse in North Long Beach have been withdrawn following pushback from the surrounding community over the adverse environmental impact it would have on an already underserved area, residents say.
Link Logistics Real Estate, a subsidiary of Blackstone that specializes in last-mile logistics properties, purchased the 14.19-acre industrial property at 5900 Cherry Ave. just north of South Street last year. The sale was announced in March of 2022, and site plans were submitted in September and approved by the Planning Commission in October.
Initial site plans called for the demolition of all existing structures on 5900-5910 Cherry Ave. and the construction of a 303,000-square-foot concrete tilt-up industrial warehouse building slated to be 51 feet high with 9,000 square feet of office space, 338 parking spaces and 44 semi-truck bays.
Since October, North Long Beach residents have been vocal in their opposition to the construction of the proposed industrial building, saying it would increase pollution, worsen air quality, and add traffic and noise in their community.
John Harris has been a resident of Long Beach for 15 years and has lived in North Long Beach for the past 10. Harris told the Post that projects of this size are often pushed to North Long Beach, which is ironically an area that is identified in the City’s General Plan Land Use Element as a “disadvantaged community.”
“All the crap gets dumped here. Except money, of course, or investment,” he said.
Two appeals were submitted by North Long Beach residents Kirk Davis and Laurie Angel in response to the Planning Commission’s approval, in which they asserted that the environmental impact of the proposed development had not been evaluated properly and that it did not align with the Uptown Planning Land Use and Neighborhood Strategy (UPLAN), the city’s rezoning plan that is intended to attract companies that produce less pollution.
In a Feb. 7 recommendation to the City Council, the Planning Commission stated that because of the UPLAN’s intention to “reduce compounded health risks by facilitating new development that is less polluting than existing uses or conditions,” the proposed development fell in line because it had been previously used as office space to support an adjacent petroleum storage facility. The new development “would be less polluting or environmentally harmful than the previous use for the Site,” the recommendation said.
Both appeals were set to be heard by the City Council on Tuesday, but that hearing was canceled after Link Logistics withdrew its application. The company’s move to scrap its plans for the site served to “rescind the October 2022 Planning Commission approval,” according to Development Services spokesperson Richard de la Torre.
Development Services and Link Logistics did not respond to request for comments on the reasoning behind the withdrawal.
“We do not want more pollution, truck traffic or giant warehouses in our neighborhoods. We ask for strong regulations to protect our health against polluters,” wrote Hilda Gaytan, founder of the Puente Latino Association neighborhood group, in an email to neighborhood residents.
Despite the withdrawal, Gaytan and her husband Davis, who submitted an appeal, still voiced their concerns and priorities to the council on Tuesday.
“The main reason that we cling to this project was because of the community health issues. This warehouse was being built in the middle of two neighborhoods,” said Davis as he addressed the City Council. “We expect and we want you as our representatives to protect our health.”