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Long Beach : Wrather Project Questioned

August 28, 1986

At a Harbor Commission hearing Monday, only one person objected to the Wrather Corp.'s plans for a $250-million expansion project next to the Queen Mary.

Steven Beyer, spokesman for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 681, said he believed that city taxpayers will end up paying for road improvements to accommodate increased traffic in the area. He said he also wondered whether the proposed 15-year construction period would hurt the tourist trade and cause layoffs among union members.

Beyer, whose union has 8,000 members, was speaking at a public hearing on a draft environmental impact statement of the Wrather Corp. proposal that was written by Port of Long Beach planners.

The Wrather Corp., which owns the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose, has proposed adding a 350-room hotel next to the Queen Mary by 1988. The firm also wants to construct four office buildings, a large exhibition hall and dozens of specialty shops, all within 15 years.

The report concludes that the project will increase employment and generate more sales and property taxes, but that the project would have an adverse effect on traffic and air quality. The Harbor Commission is expected to vote on the project sometime next month.

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