c-17 flyover (copy)

A C-17 flyover was part of opening ceremonies of many Long Beach Grands Prix.

A development project similar to Long Beach’s Douglas Park could soon come to the city’s former Boeing C-17 manufacturing plant, a 93-acre plot of land located between the Long Beach Airport and Cherry Avenue.

The Goodman Group, a property development firm based in Australia, is in escrow to purchase the property for upwards of $200 million, city officials confirmed Friday, June 14.

“It’s a big project that could mirror some of our more successful uses in the city,” Councilwoman Stacy Mungo said, “including Long Beach Exchange and Douglas Park.”

Mungo said city staff members have been involved in the process and ensured that residents’ desires will be reflected in the final agreement.

Whatever happens with the deal, Mungo said, she’s hopeful the site’s development will be a boon for local residents.

“I’m excited to work with whoever closes escrow on the property,” she said, “to ensure the residents have a diversity of jobs and shopping opportunities right here, near their home.”

A spokeswoman for Olive Creative Strategies, which represents Goodman, declined to comment Friday night.

The information, she said, “is still highly sensitive at this time due to multiple conditions surrounding the purchase and sale.”

A representative for Boeing, meanwhile, said the company “does not comment on its buyers or selection process until it has completed closing.”

But, spokeswoman Chamila Nothum confirmed that Boeing has chosen a buyer.

“We can tell you we have selected the most suitable buyer for the former C-17 manufacturing property,” Nothum said in an email. “Throughout the process, Boeing has partnered with the City of Long Beach to identify a buyer who is best aligned with the vision of this unique site.”

For two decades, Boeing manufactured the C-17 Globemaster cargo planes at the plant. It was an economic powerhouse for the city, but orders eventually dried up and the last plane flew off the lot in November 2015.

The city tossed around different ideas during the intervening years about how the plant and the surrounding area could be redeveloped. Officials are currently working on the Globemaster Corridor Specific Plan, which would potentially rezone the area and layout a long-term vision for that corridor.

For an industrial and shopping development to be constructed, the land would have to be rezoned; it’s currently zoned for industry uses only. That change would have to come before the Planning Commission for public input and final approval.

As for the project’s potential timeline, Mungo said she hopes the process will be a fast one.

“I’m excited that Boeing is looking to close on the property quickly,” she said. “The community is ready to engage in this process and get something going on that site as soon as possible.”

UPS, the package delivery company, had been eyeing the plant since it was put up for sale in November. Company officials said it would’ve brought thousands of jobs to Long Beach.

“We’re bummed we didn’t get the bid,” Bruce MacRae, the delivery giant’s vice president of state government affairs, said Friday. “UPS will now look at other cities.”

MacRae, who is from Long Beach, said UPS isn’t looking anywhere nearby.

“This was truly the perfect location,” he said.

UPS earlier said that, if it gained control of the plant, the company would’ve preserved the iconic building and turned it into a hub for delivering packages to Long Beach and nearby cities.

But, “we’ll be taking those 2,500 jobs elsewhere,” MacRae added.

It’s unknown how much Boeing will sell the property for.

But Bret Hardy – an executive managing director for Newmark Knight Frank, a brokerage firm handling the sale – said in November similar industrial properties have sold for $60 to $70 a square foot.

For Boeing’s part, Nothum said, “We will continue to have a solid presence in Long Beach, and remain active and committed to the community and neighborhoods in which we live and work.”

Staff writer Jeff Collins contributed to this report.

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