Long Beach Cafe property on Ocean Boulevard, listed at $6.25M, is in escrow

The priciest bit of semi-vacant land in Long Beach currently for sale is in escrow, according to its listing agent.

The land, which includes the shuttered Long Beach Cafe and its large parking lot at 615 E. Ocean Blvd., is a rare bit of land still available on the desirable stretch of the boulevard in Downtown’s East Village Arts District.

According to listing agent Janet Neman of Kidder Mathews, the buyers intend to build a mixed-use development on the site, just west of The Current Apartments and on the same block as the 35-story Shoreline Gateway luxury apartment complex.

The 18,233-square-foot lot includes the 3,852-square-foot building that housed the Long Beach Cafe, which closed last September after 32 years due to COVID-19.

The property is located in the Downtown Plan development district, which was created to bolster housing development in the area. It is zoned LB PD-30, which is the highest density zoning in all of Downtown Long Beach and it allows increased floor-area ratios and height limits for new development projects including mixed-use, residential and retail, according to Neman.

Specifically, the property is in an area that allows a height limit of 240 feet, and when utilizing incentives and bonuses, the site allows for an increased height limit of 500 feet, which could accommodate a building in excess of 40 stories.

The pending sale puts the 5,649 square-foot sole remaining undeveloped waterfront lot on Naples Rivo Alto Canal back on top as the most expensive vacant land for sale in Long Beach. Listed at $4 million, the Naples land has been on the market for nearly three and a half years.

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.