"We were in high gear. We basically are ready to go. But since this proposal by Ratkovich, the wheels have kind of slowed down," Kendrick said.
By law, current owners must receive preferential consideration from the agency, but if developer interest is great the site could be made available for competitive proposals, he said.
If all goes well here for Rouse and Ratkovich, they hope to begin construction in two years. And if, as they believe, "there is a yearning for life in the center of the city," Long Beach may have its own festival marketplace by the end of 1990.
Elsewhere, "the components have been a market, lots of eating places, lots of small and larger shops, lots of diversity, color, fragrance and texture that does recall the marketplace of the past," Rouse said.
"There is a spirit of festival provided by that spirit of choice. . . . A plaza where people can gather and where entertainers can come in. Magic shows, jugglers, small bands. It's not structured entertainment. It's involving the people of the city in the life of the center of the city once again," he said.