It's official. The Civic Center Grand Opening has been set for the evening of July 29, with Long Beach's government operating out of the new City Hall the next day.

City Manager Pat West sent the Save The Date notice out on Wednesday. The party will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 29, in the plaza between the new City Hall and its twin, the new headquarters for the Port of Long Beach.

The party will be free and open to the public. The another part of the new Civic Center — the new main library — will open this fall, with a Sept. 21 date set. A rebuilt Lincoln Park will follow.

Plenary Edgemoor Civic Partners is the developer of the $533 million Civic Center. The city will lease City Hall for 40 years, with Plenary Edgemoor responsible for maintenance, then buy the building for $1. The Port of Long Beach (the city's Harbor Department), is buying its building outright.

Construction of the new buildings began in July 2016. Once the public part of the center is complete (including demolition of the old City Hall and main library), Plenary Edgemoor can develop land it received as part of the deal. Options include a mixed-use commercial and residential high-rise and a hotel.

Overall, the value of the redevelopment has been pegged at $900 million.

Heating, ventilation, cooling and electricity are all shared by the three main buildings, with solar on the library roof used to partially power City Hall. The new buildings use state-of-the-art security systems, and the new meeting chambers will be shared by the City Council and the Harbor Commission, with other meetings there as well.

For more information about the center's construction, go to http://www.pecplongbeach.com/ and http://www.lbciviccenter.com/.

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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