Planning Commission approves new 108-unit Downtown Long Beach development

The Long Beach Planning Commission approved a new 108-unit residential development Thursday night that is proposed to be built just north of City Place at the intersection of Locust Avenue and Seventh Street.

The seven-story building would include 77 one-bedroom units, 11 one-bedroom units that include a den, 17 two-bedroom units and three units with three bedrooms. It will also include open space on the third floor the building , a rooftop pool deck and a four-level parking garage with 135 parking spaces.

The design includes retail space on the ground floor facing Seventh Street. The development would replace an old Firestone Auto Care facility at the southeast corner of Locust and Seventh, which sits across the street from Oropeza Elementary School.

Starpoint Properties, a Beverly Hills-based investment company, proposed the project in April 2020. Starpoint owns and operates commercial, residential and corporate spaces in the Southwestern United States.

Sandy Schmid, senior Vice President of acquisitions for Starpoint, said the group is hopeful to start construction in about a year. The group still needs to submit its full construction plans and have its environmental review approved by the city.

“We have a long way to go,” Schmid said.

All of the units at the proposed development are set to be market rate because the plans for the project were submitted prior to the City Council’s adoption of its inclusionary housing ordinance earlier this year. That policy would have required 11%— roughly 10 units—of the project to be set aside as affordable.

The plan had been in the works for years but was ultimately approved by the council in February. The application to build this project was submitted to the city by Starpoint Properties in April 2020.

Before approving the project, the Planning Commission approved an addendum to the Downtown Plan, which was amended in 2012 to modify height limits and design standards for construction in the Downtown area. The plan had previously capped residential unit development at 5,000 but the city currently has over 5,200 units completed, under construction or approved, according to a city memo.

The addendum will allow for an additional 3,260 units over the next 14 years. The addendum calls for a reduction in future office space, commercial uses and hotel rooms to make room for the additional housing production.

Long Beach gives preliminary approval to policy mandating more affordable housing

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.
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