Work has begun to dismantle a 75-year-old refinery on the corner of Artesia and Paramount boulevards in north Long Beach, with plans to build a state-of-the-art warehouse.
The refinery, which primarily produced asphalt, has been idle for several years. Ninth District City Councilman Rex Richardson said crews are working now to dismantle the equipment, and soil remediation already has begun.
A group called Bridge Development Properties is taking over the property, and got first approvals earlier this month from the Long Beach Planning Commission to create the 416,000-square-foot warehouse with 21,000 square feet of office space. The $84 million project will be called Bridge Point Long Beach.
"The Bridge Point project creates a clean and modern gateway to the Paramount Blvd. industrial corridor, creating hundreds of new local jobs, and a new architectural standard for Artesia Boulevard,” Richardson said in a release. “We congratulate Bridge Development’s leadership on such a transformative project and welcome their partnership to the Uptown community.”
There is no named tenant for the building. It is expected to create 500 permanent jobs, officials said, and Bridge Development promises to prioritize Long Beach residents in hiring. Richardson said the new building could be up as early as the end of 2020.
Preliminary landscaping plans include adding 1,200 linear feet of new trees along Artesia Boulevard, and Bridge Development will pay for a new bike lane bordering its property. Completion of the warehouse should coincide with the beginning of a rebuild of Artesia Boulevard. At the other end of the street's business corridor, at Atlantic Avenue, buildings are going up for a new shopping center that will include a bank, several restaurants and other businesses.
“This type of multi-million-dollar plan from a nationally recognized firm like Bridge Development Partners is the kind of investment that not only will dramatically improve the site of an outdated and blighted oil refinery but will serve as an important catalyst for future growth,” Richardson said. “Over the last several years, it’s been exciting to see the renaissance in North Long Beach take place, and we want to ensure we continue to get the investment and attention we need for long-term economic prosperity.”
Richardson said that Bridge Development also has pledged to donate $250,000 to support North Long Beach programs including arts, youth and civic engagement. No timeline for that donation was released.
Harry Saltzgaver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.