So many homeowners are offering to sell their West Side property to the Redevelopment Agency that the agency board has doubled the amount of money city staff is authorized to spend acquiring property there.
In April, the agency staff sought and received permission to spend $2.5 million to buy property in the West Long Beach Industrial Redevelopment Area. Since then, the agency has spent, or committed to spend, $2.1 million for five sites, including two large industrial parcels which cost $1.7 million.
On Wednesday, board members agreed to add another $2.5 million to the kitty. "People are contacting us and offering to sell," said Hal Duensing, development project manager. "It's accelerating rapidly." Most homeowners are receiving $100,000 to $125,000, including relocation benefits, Duensing said.
The agency settled a lawsuit that stalled redevelopment on the West Side by agreeing to buy any residential property offered to it in the west Long Beach area, and agreeing not to condemn property unless it is needed for roads or other public improvements.
City officials say their goals in the west Long Beach industrial area are to revitalize aging public improvements, recycle under-used property to give businesses space to expand, and create more jobs.