Photos by Asia Morris.
Developers, investors and city dignitaries gathered Friday, October 30, to celebrate the topping off of Long Beach’s largest and most dense apartment complex to be built in a decade. The $70-million, 17-story, mixed-use, 223-unit rental tower with 6,750 square feet of retail called The Current is set to open in April 2016 for leasing.
Co-developers Ledcor Properties, Inc. and Anderson Pacific, LLC, Michelle Molina of the Downtown Long Beach Associates and the Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency, City of Long Beach were in attendance to help commemorate this long-anticipated milestone for the city’s downtown area.
"It will change the skyline of our city," said Mayor Robert Garcia. "Anytime you change the skyline of a community you’re making a big, long-lasting impact."
A 35-story sister tower is set to be added right next door as part of the developers' "Shoreline Gateway" project, located kitty-corner to the historic Villa Riviera where Alamitos Avenue meets Ocean Boulevard. With both towers completed, 365 for-sale residential units and 12,500 square feet of retail, gallery and live/work spaces will be added to the 1.4 acre site.
"Alamitos is one of the divisions of the two original ranchos for Long Beach," said Jim Anderson, CEO of AP, commenting on the uniqueness of the property and project. "This really does represent the way that Ocean Boulevard moves; it’s a gateway to downtown."
The Current is just one part of an 11-year-old two-part vision to frame downtown in the way that many of its residents and supporters believe it deserves.
Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal looked back to one of her very first campaign events in 2006 at the Villa Riviera, when each candidate was asked what they thought about the Shoreline Gateway proposal.
"I think I was probably one of the few people if not the only person that said we need density, we need a tall building," she said. "So that didn’t get me any applause of course, but here we are so many years later."
As Lowenthal nears the end of her term, she voiced to those in attendance that she hopes she’ll still be in office for the groundbreaking of the second tower and that, while 11 years is a long time, the Downtown Plan had to come first.
"We got the Downtown Plan right, we got a lot of the downtown right, so now we are worthy and deserving of an amazing project like this," she said. "For those who wait all good things do come, so I feel like this is the time."
"The best part of this project will be the people that live here, the people that become part of our community and contribute not just to life in this building, but to the life of our city," concluded Garcia.
Most recently, CBRE’s Long Beach team was selected as the lease agency for the tower, while a few hard hat-clad attendees were able to view several of the spaces in their bare-bones state of construction.
Guests were given the opportunity to take a "thrilling" elevator ride to the top level, which provided a breathtaking, if not vertigo-inducing view of the ocean, the Villa Riviera, Signal Hill and downtown Los Angeles, barely visible through that ever-present brownish haze of smog.
For more information about The Current, click here.
The Current is located at 707 East Ocean Boulevard.