Pacific & PCH

The Long Beach Planning Commission weighed a proposal at its Thursday, Nov. 5, meeting to approve a 138-unit project consisting of two five-story buildings at 201 - 245 W. Pacific Coast Highway and 1827 Pacific Ave.

A new mixed-use development project, consisting of 138 rental units spread across two five-story buildings, is coming to Pacific Coast Highway between Pacific and Cedar avenues in Central Long Beach.

The Planning Commission approved the project at its Thursday, Nov. 5, meeting, even as some residents who live near the project expressed concerns about its density and impact on the local community.

Alex Tomko, a member of the Wrigley Association representing the neighborhood, said during Thursday’s meeting that the group isn’t against to the idea of development at the site, but it is opposed to this project in its current form.

“We’re excited that the applicant wants to invest in our community,” Tomko said. “However, as it is designed currently, we don’t feel that it’s taking the neighborhood into consideration.”

Tomko cited the project’s height — five stories near a single-family neighborhood — and lack of sufficient parking as some of the Wrigley Association’s concerns.

“We feel,” he said, “that there’s work to be done.”

Community members also lamented the loss of El Paisano Supermercado, a grocery store at 245 W. Pacific Coast Highway that will be demolished to make way for the new development.

But Jan van Dijs, the development’s project manager, said his team met twice with the Wrigley Association and compromised to meet some of its members’ requests, including making the end of the project near single-family homes shorter and then growing to five stories at Pacific Coast Highway, a major thoroughfare.

“We just feel very, very strongly that this is the appropriate size of a project on a major hard corner,” van Dijs said. “PCH is a seven-lane road at that intersection with a deep-set sidewalk. There is a significant amount of public infrastructure surrounding this project, and a five-story building is not incompatible with that type of urban infrastructure. We think it’s a beautiful project.”

Members of the Planning Commission said they sympathized with neighbors’ concerns, but the project complies with city planning standards and Long Beach’s push to build more housing along major corridors.

The project will include nine studio units, 89 one-bedroom units, 32 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units; all units will be rented at market rate.

Henry Tong, an architect for the project, said he expects the development to be built in the next two-to-three years.

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