The Long Beach Planning Commission will consider a massive new housing project near the 2nd and PCH shopping center that could demolish existing shops to add 600 market-rate apartments to the area.

The developer, Onni Group, is proposing to build two five-story structures that would total 600 units, which would be a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. The Vancouver-based group purchased the Marina Shores retail center in late 2021 for $67.9 million and originally planned to build 670 units.

Marina Shores still has some businesses operating including a Petco and Orange Theory Fitness, but its largest tenant, Whole Foods, moved to be the corner anchor of the 2nd and PCH development in 2019.

A rendering of the proposed 600-unit project shows the northern side of the development from an internal street that will separate it from the 2nd and PCH shopping center.

The proposed development would have about 4,000 square feet of commercial space and its unit distribution would be 10 studios, 373 one-bedroom, 195 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom units.

Between the two buildings will be a public paseo that will allow residents and the public to walk through the middle of the development to access the marina to the west of the proposed development. Parking will be located beneath the residential units and the city is requiring that a minimum of 1,156 parking spaces be included in the project.

Unlike a neighboring project that the Planning Commission approved earlier this year, the Onni development wouldn’t include any affordable units.

The proposed project is located in the city’s Southeast Area Specific Plan, which now allows for high-density mixed-use projects like Onni’s. The specially planned area has three developments in the works totaling about 1,300 units.

A city staff report notes that this parcel was identified in the city’s Housing Element as a space that could include 37 moderate-income units and 148 market-rate units. The 600 units would create a surplus of 415 market-rate units if the project is constructed.

A rendering of Onni Group’s Marina Shore project shown from Marina Drive looking southeast.

Long Beach’s regional housing needs goals said the city needed to make room for 26,502 units by 2029. Out of that, 4,158 were moderate-income units and 11,156 were market rate. A total of 11,188 affordable units were assigned to the city through the Regional Housing Needs Assessment issued by the Southern California Association of Governments in the most recent cycle.

Onni is not new to developing in Long Beach. The group developed the Broadway Block project Downtown that included 432 new units and incorporated the former Acres of Books location into its design.

That project included a 24-story tower and a smaller mid-rise building to the south. The high-rise portion also offers short-term leases on certain floors.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the project at its July 6 meeting.

6-story residential development near 2ND & PCH gets green light from Planning Commission

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.