A local preservation group has found a developer willing to restore the Jergins Trust building, a historic landmark on a prime downtown site at Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue. But financing for the purchase and renovation has not been arranged, and the current owners plan to obtain a demolition permit in March so they can build a 20-story luxury hotel.
Los Angeles architect John Jerde has indicated he would like to refurbish the 10-story building as a complex of offices and specialty shops, said Charles Greenberg, a board member of the nonprofit Partnership for the Pacific Coast. Greenberg, a Long Beach attorney, said Jerde visited his law office about three months ago to discuss a different project.
"He looked out the window of my office and said, 'God, that Jergins Trust is a gorgeous building,' " Greenberg said. "Then I told him we were trying to save it."
Jerde has figured out the costs, however, and told the partnership he would need special low-interest loans to take on the project, Greenberg said. Jerde could not be reached for comment.
At least four other developers also have expressed interest in refurbishing the Jergins Trust, Greenberg said.