Glance across the city skyline and you can’t miss them: Construction cranes in motion, reshaping Long Beach with more than $5 billion in private and public development underway in 2018 — and more to come in 2019.
While still preserving historic district and landmarks, the city is booming with economic developments that benefit the community and business investors alike, according to Planning Bureau Manager Christopher Koontz.
In 2018, the city issued 12,495 building permits, with a total construction valuation of $506 million. And those permits aren’t isolated in any one part of the city, Koontz noted, highlighting the fact that Downtown, East, North and Central Long Beach all have much to look forward to in terms of modernization.
No one project from 2018 stands out most for Koontz; he said it’s really about the overall development taking shape in Long Beach that each project contributes to.
“It’s the big picture that’s most important,” he said. “It’s hard for me to say that Project A or B was the most important of the year because it’s really the big picture.”
Koontz said 2018 was a “good year” much like 2017, and together, the two years are “unprecedented for the city since the 1980s” in terms of quality economic activity.
“We are chipping away at the housing crisis facing the city… We are really rebuilding the employment base of the city… We are really changing the economic dynamics of the city,” he said. “All of the projects put together are more than the sum of their parts.”
Koontz said the keyword of 2018 was housing, and he feels that job strategy and economic development are going to be bigger parts of the conversation, in addition to housing, moving into 2019.
Among the major projects completed in 2018 were:
• Huxton, a 40-unit residential townhome development at 227 Elm Ave.;
• Regency Palms, an adaptive reuse of a designated downtown landmark at 117 E. Eighth St. into 49 residential units for senior assisted living;
• Riverdale, a community of 131 single-family homes at 4747 Daisy Ave.;
• Clarke Estates, a two-story Habitat for Humanity project at 1950-1960 Henderson Ave. that includes four single-family homes;
• Industrial Condominiums, a 10-unit development at 1333 Orizaba Ave.;
• Pacific Pointe East, about 480,000 square feet of industrial space at 4350 Conant St. in Douglas Park;
• The Terminal, four two-story office buildings with 40 commercial condominium units at 3738 Bayer Ave. in Douglas Park;
• Long Beach Exchange, a 26-acre shopping center with nationally known anchor tenants at 3991 N. Lakewood Blvd. in Douglas Park.
Koontz said the massive changes happening, especially at Douglas Park, are something folks have to see to believe, and he noted how new businesses coming into Douglas Park are “really rebuilding the employment base of the city.”
Currently Under Construction
Among the major projects under ongoing construction in 2018 were:
• 2nd + PCH at 6400 E. PCH, where a two-story commercial development, with 175,000 square feet of retail and 70,000 square feet of restaurant space, is underway and set for completion in fall 2019;
• Staybridge Suites, 2460 N. Lakewood Blvd., a six-story planned hotel with 125 guest rooms, expected to be ready for occupation in late 2019;
• Dorado, a community of 40 single-family homes, at 3655 Norwalk Blvd.;
• The Long Beach Civic Center, 411-415 W. Ocean Blvd., set for completion in 2019;
• The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Pacific Visions wing, which will give the attraction an additional 29,000 square feet;
• Shoreline Gateway, 777 E. Ocean Blvd, a 35-story building housing 315 units of residential space and 6,700 square feet for commercial use when complete in late 2019 or 2020;
• AMLI Park Broadway at 245 W. Broadway is a seven-story building with 222 planned residences and 6,007 square feet of commercial space, soon to be complete in 2019;
• The Beacon, 1201-1235 Long Beach Blvd., will house 160 residential units and about 6,000 square feet of commercial space in two mid-rise buildings when finished in 2019;
• Oceanaire, 150 W. Ocean Blvd., will be complete in 2019 and include 216 apartments in a seven-story building with 1,500 square feet of commercial space and planned improvements to Victory Park and a new city park near Seaside Way;
• The Pacific, seven stories at 230 W. Third St. with163 residential units expected to be complete this summer;
• The Alamitos, 101 Alamitos Ave., seven stories of 136 condo units, plus 2,500 square feet of commercial area ready to occupy sometime in 2019;
• Ocean View Tower at 200 W. Ocean Blvd. includes 106 units in a 12-story development;
• Sonata Modern Flats, 207 Seaside Way, a five-story housing development with 113 units and 2,000 square feet of commercial space set for occupation in 2019;
• 442 Residences, 442 W. Ocean Blvd., will be complete this year and include 94 units of housing;
• The Linden at 434 E. Fourth St. will be six stories with 49 apartments soon to be complete in 2019;
• The Place at 495 The Promenade North will be 20 units of housing in four stories and ready sometime in 2019;
Pacific-Pine, 635-636 Pine Ave., will be complete sometime in 2020 or 2021 and include 271 units of housing with 11 affordable units in two, eight-story buildings, plus about 1,300 square feet of commercial space;
• Long Beach Garden Condominiums at 1570-1598 Long Beach Blvd. will include 36 condominiums and 10,000 square feet of commercial space;
• Mental Health America Long Beach Boulevard Center at 1955-1965 Long Beach Blvd. is under construction to give MHA 3,000 square feet to provide more services to the mentally ill; and
Soon To Break Ground
Many projects being proposed now, and going through the city’s approval process, could break ground soon:
• West Gateway at the World Trade Center is planned for a major revitalization at 600 W. Broadway, and the parking lot there, with nationally-renowned developer Trammel Crow at the helm of the changes underway.
Koontz said he’s very excited about Trammel Crow investing in Long Beach for the first time and noted that he hopes the company continues to build on its relationship with the city going forward.
“You’re going to get off the freeway on Broadway and have a totally different experience,” Koontz said about the work being doing there. “It was once just a stretch of road that is going to be a nice, upscale welcoming community right there. It’s all coming together, from the World Trade Center on through the new Civic Center and Library.”
• Long Beach Airport Phase II improvements have been approved for new ticketing facilities, airline offices, security areas, rental car facilities and more.
• Plans for the Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center, 4320 E. Olympic Plaza, have been approved;
• Las Ventanas, 1795 Long Beach Blvd., five stories with 101 units of affordable housing and about 4,000 square feet of commercial space to be finished in 2019;
• Vistas Del Puerto, 1836-1852 Locust Ave., five stories with 48 units of affordable housing to be complete in 2019;
• Silversands, a four-story 40-room hotel and 56-unit condo complex, at 2010 E. Ocean Blvd. has been approved and could break ground this April;
• Queen Mary Island, 1126 Queen Hwy., may soon be developed by Urban Commons and include more than 36,300 square feet of commercial space — the proposal is under review;
• The Broadway Block, approved at 200-250 Long Beach Blvd., will feature a 21-story tower and seven-story mid-rise, will include 400 units of housing, with 14 affordable units for professors and graduate students at California State University, Long Beach, plus more than 32,000 square feet of commercial space;
• The Breakers Building, an iconic property at 210 E. Ocean Blvd., is being transformed into a 186-room boutique hotel with 13,300 feet of commercial space now that plans have been approved;
• An unnamed Mixed-Use Project at 1101-1157 Long Beach Blvd. has been approved to include 120 apartments and 6,000 square feet of commercial area;
• Locust Long Beach Apartments,1112 Locust Ave., is an approved seven-story project with 97 units of housing that could break ground as soon as March.
• Aster at 125 Long Beach Blvd. has been given a go-ahead from the city to build eight stories of housing and about 7,200 square feet of commercial space;
• Inkwell, 127-135 E. Broadway, is approved for 189 apartments in an eight-story building with 10,000 square feet of commercial space;
• Magnolia and Broadway, approved for 500 W. Broadway, will be seven stories and 142 apartments, with more than 4,100 square feet of commercial area;
• Residences at Linden, 135 Linden Ave., an approved seven-story development with 82 units of housing and more than 4,000 square feet of commercial space;
• The Vault, 1405 Lewis Ave., a set of 19 artist lofts in a four-story building, have been approved by the city;
• An unnamed Mixed-Use Residential development at 1400-1452 Long Beach Blvd., will include an approved 65 condos and 2,100 square feet of commercial space in a four-story building;
• Habitat for Humanity Townhomes are approved for 116 W. 14th St., where 10 units will fit in a two-story building;
• An unnamed Residential Project at 320 Alamitos Ave. has been approved to include seven stories and 77 units of housing;
• Third + Pacific, 131 W. 3rd St., is a project under review that could include two buildings — including a 23-story high-rise and an eight story mid-rise — with 345 units of housing and 16,000 square feet for commercial use;
• Fifth & Pacific, 507 N. Pacific Ave., is under review to transform into 157 condos plus 9,000 square feet of commercial area in a seven-story building;
• An untitled Hotel Project, 100 E. Ocean Blvd., is under review to create a 429-room, 30-story hotel with more than 50,000 square feet for commercial use;
• Ocean Village is under review for 1-11 Golden Shore, where 738 resort units are proposed in three mid-rise buildings with 10,000 square feet of commercial space;
• Plans for an Assisted Living Facility at 810 Pine Ave., including 78 units in a 10-story building, are under review;
• 101 PCH, 101 E. Pacific Coast Highway & 1814 Pine Ave., could be 24 residential units in a three-story building with 3,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space once it’s out of the review process;
• Anaheim and Walnut, 1500 E. Anaheim, is a planned five-story project that is currently under review and could include 88 units of affordable housing, plus 22,700 square feet of commercial space, including a children’s medical clinic;
• Long Beach Senior Living, 2515-2545 Atlantic Ave. is under review and could include 154 units of senior housing;
• The Spark at Midtown, 1900-1940 Long Beach Blvd., includes four stories and 95 apartments, which have been approved to break ground in early 2019;
• The Uptown, 6141-6191 Atlantic Ave., has been approved, but no construction date is set for the 16,352-square-foot restaurant and retail expansion;
• Uptown Commons is under review for plans to add three buildings that would make room for five restaurants and one drive-thru at 6600-6630 Atlantic Ave. and 609-695 Artesia Blvd;
• Canvas, from 56th to 60th streets on Atlantic Avenue, is a planned development under review that will create “interconnected, village-style” commercial and mixed-use spaces;
• City Ventures Townhomes, 4800 Long Beach Blvd. and 5100 Long Beach Blvd., are 49 planned townhomes under review;
• Senior Living Facility, 2400 Long Beach Blvd., is a project under review that would include five stories of 145 units of transitional residential care for seniors and about 5,600 square feet of commercial area;
• Axiom, under review for 1401 Long Beach Blvd., would be 142 apartment units, including 69 market-rate and 73 affordable, in a seven-story building with about 7,300 square feet of retail space;
• 469 West Apartments at 469 W. PCH could be three stories of 40 affordable housing units, following the review process; and
• Laserfiche, a Long Beach-based company, has plans to develop 3435-3459 Long Beach Blvd. and 3464 Locust Ave., about 92,800 square feet of commercial space, with those plans under review.
Koontz emphasized that successful projects are launching throughout Long Beach, from downtown and beyond, and he said he’s excited to see work being done — especially that which addresses the housing crisis — in parts of Long Beach that haven’t seen new developments in decades.
NOTE: This story has been updated to adjust the status of three projects — West Gateway, Las Ventanas and Vistas Del Puerto.