LONG BEACH — The Redevelopment Agency last week acted on major development proposals for four downtown blocks, including the prime Ocean Boulevard site where the Landmark Building is being demolished.
Agency members gave conceptual approval to proposals from five bidders who want to put up high-rises on the Landmark site. The approval means that these proposals conform with broad development guidelines the agency had set for the site and the projects now may move to the next step in the city's developer selection process.
Executive Director Roger Anderman said he was "extremely pleased" to receive five "such high-quality and large-scale projects" for the Ocean and Pine Avenue corner, which the Redevelopment Agency has sought to recycle since the early 1980s. Agency officials estimated that each developer paid at least $100,000 to put together a proposal.
Review Process Begins
The projects will now be reviewed by the Downtown Project Area Committee, which includes downtown business and property owners, and an ad hoc Developer Selection Committee, which consists of two members of the Redevelopment Agency board, agency and city staff members, and design and real estate consultants. Each will make a recommendation to the agency board.
Redevelopment Agency member Noel Gould, who is on the selection committee, said he may ask the committee to delay a decision until the City Council decides whether to amend the Downtown Redevelopment Plan to allow residential use of the Landmark site and others north of Ocean Boulevard. Amendment consideration is expected in late November.
Competing proposals were submitted by:
- IDM Corp., which proposes to build 276 apartments, more than 57,500 square feet of office space and 44,500 square feet of retail space. There would be on-site parking for 368 cars, with additional parking available at the adjacent 100 Broadway office building, which IDM owns.
Selection of the $48-million, 27-story project, the only one of the five proposals to include residential space, would be contingent on council approval of the Downtown Redevelopment Plan amendment.
- Kilroy Industries, which proposes to spend $132 million for a 35-story tower, with 642,000 square feet of office space, 76,000 square feet of retail, and 1,900 parking spaces, 950 of which may be situated at an undetermined off-site location.
- Landmark Court Associates, a joint venture of Stanley Cohen and North American Taisei Corp., which proposes spending $82 million on a 32-story tower with 410,000 square feet of office space, 68,350 square feet of retail and 1,270 parking spaces in a seven-level garage.
- Paragon Place Associates, which proposes a two-tower, two-phase project that would cost $123 million and include 631,000 square feet of office space, 26,000 square feet of retail (all built in the first phase), and a 10-level, 1,754-space parking garage.
- The Landau Partnership, which proposes a 25-story tower with 435,000 square feet of office space and 13,615 square feet of retail, with an eight-level parking lot that would accommodate 1,485 cars. It would cost $74 million.
By proposing multistory towers, all five developers are taking advantage of an unlimited building height the city is allowing on the property. Mindful of the agency's requirement that developers of downtown redevelopment projects contribute space or money to the arts, all four of the non-residential projects are offering space to the Long Beach Art Museum, which is seeking a downtown location.
The agency also agreed to open talks with two development companies interested in building on two other blocks of the four in the downtown redevelopment area. Both put up $25,000 deposits to secure exclusive negotiating rights on the parcels for the next several months.
Urban Ventures Corp., an affiliate of Urban Pacific Design Corp., will negotiate to build a $22-million, 17-story, 162-unit apartment building southeast of Ocean Boulevard and Linden Avenue. The block is currently occupied by the Shoreline Inn hotel, which would be demolished. The block is bounded on the south by Seaside Way and on the west by Atlantic Way, an alley.
Long Beach Plaza Associates, owner of most of the eastern half of the block occupied by the former Barker Bros. building, is negotiating to rehabilitate the nine-floor office building at the corner of Broadway and the Promenade. It would also build new office and retail buildings fronting on Broadway, the Promenade and possibly on 3rd Street. A 300-space parking structure would be built mid-block. The cost of the project is estimated at $13.6 million.
Art Moderne Style
Plans call for black granite buildings with aqua glass and would incorporate elements of the 1930s Art Moderne style the Agency Board adopted for Promenade-front developments.
The style was recommended to the agency board by design consultant James Goodell in a recently completed study. The guidelines will be published in a booklet for developers.
Acting on the fourth downtown block, the agency also agreed to begin advertising for proposals from developers interested in building a restaurant, movie theater and retail complex on the block immediately south of the Long Beach Plaza shopping center. The block is bounded by the Promenade on the west and Long Beach Boulevard on the east, and extends between Broadway and 3rd Street on the north and south. The proposal deadline is Dec. 1.