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LONG BEACH : Navy Will Resume Hospital Hearings

January 20, 1994|EMILY ADAMS

Under pressure from a coalition of local cities, the Navy has decided to reopen hearings on reuse of the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, which is closing in March.

Six cities, calling themselves the Southeast Area Military Facility Reuse Alliance of Cities, have opposed Long Beach's plan to turn the site into a major shopping center, claiming that another mall would destroy surrounding businesses.

The alliance, led by Lakewood officials who fear that a new shopping center would lure customers from the nearby Lakewood Center Mall, has spent thousands of city dollars lobbying the Navy to turn down the Long Beach plan.

Earlier this month, the cities received a letter from Fred Sterns, assistant Navy secretary, detailing the Navy's plans to reopen the process for 90 days.

During this time, the Navy will hold a series of public meetings, soliciting ideas on how to use the hospital site, Sterns said.

The alliance, which includes Lakewood, Buena Park, Cypress, Hawaiian Gardens, Artesia and Garden Grove, claimed a partial victory in the Navy's announcement. The group has argued that a new mall could eliminate 6,000 to 9,000 retail jobs in the region.

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