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  #61  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2004, 11:52 PM
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Improving the Pike

A fountain and more benches would make it more inviting.

The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach's newest retail, dining and entertainment development, is not meeting its financial expectations. And that isn't just a private concern. The City of Long Beach assumed a portion of the risk and is on the hook for millions of dollars if business doesn't pick up.
As the Press-Telegram's Don Jergler and Felix Sanchez reported earlier this month, the city may have to pay $1.1 million or more next year in bond debts because the Pike's parking lot isn't making enough money to pay for itself. The Pike opened about seven months ago, and pedestrian traffic is still noticeably sluggish.

Things are getting better as more retailers climb on board, according to city officials who are tracking parking lot receipts. But there has to be more improvement, and soon. The city has far too many financial problems without adding the Pike to its long list of budget woes.

So what's the problem at the Pike? Jergler and Sanchez interviewed retail and real estate experts who pointed to several difficulties facing the complex: the lack of retail outlets to complement the preponderance of restaurants and entertainment venues, competition from other shopping areas, the location, and the demographics of downtown.

Those are important factors. But as Long Beach resident Pat Fraley wrote in a letter we published July 9, the design appears to be a major fault. The Pike's layout does little to encourage people to spend time there. As Fraley astutely observed, the Pike's core area has no outdoor atmosphere to speak of, and is almost devoid of pedestrian-friendly features such as benches, tables and fountains that lend character to such places as The Grove in Los Angeles and even Long Beach's Towne Center. (To clarify, Fraley was commenting on the inner core of the Pike, north of Shoreline Drive, and not the waterfront section, with P.F. Chang's and Outback Steakhouse, where business is booming.)

There is a smattering of benches at the Pike's central areas, and some outdoor tables on restaurant patios. But at the Pike's core, which should be the heart of the complex, there is a traffic intersection instead of a central fountain, benches or open tables that would create a friendly ambience. The design says: See a movie, eat, spend some money and then get out.

It's not too late to change that.

Fraley's letter hit on four major design flaws, three of which could be corrected to improve the Pike immensely.

First, get rid of the useless interior streets that cut the Pike's core into several disconnected areas for no good reason. Since most people will walk into the Pike from the outside, the streets cutting through the shopping area aren't serving any worthwhile purpose. Reconfiguring them into pedestrian walkways; adding elements like landscaping, benches and kiosks would be a major improvement.

Then, add lots of outdoor benches and tables. People like to eat and drink outside, especially in the summer. They also like to find a place to sit and talk. For a place that was billed as a public gathering area, it's not at all conducive to conversation.

The Pike also needs at least one big fountain. Every like- minded development of note has a fountain, and the lack of one at the Pike is a glaring, correctable omission. (Fraley's other complaint was that that the Ferris wheel and carousel are outside the complex, instead of in the middle surrounded by shops and restaurants. He's right, but it's probably too late to change that.)

Developers Diversified Realty, Inc., the Pike's development company, says it signed leases for a dozen new retailers, and several more are soon to be announced. That will help boost activity at the Pike, as well as use of the parking structure that is so crucial to the city's bottom line.

City Hall and by extension, the entire population of Long Beach has a considerable investment in the success of the Pike. It must not fail. But success is harder to envision if the Pike's outdoor areas remain uninviting. City and development officials ought to order and oversee some design changes while there's still time.

As one real estate expert told the Press-Telegram, the Pike "is not the most convenient place to go." In other words, people have to seek it out. With a more pleasant, welcoming atmosphere, more people would seek it out.
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  #62  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2004, 1:13 AM
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Thumbs up New 22 Story Tower for Long Beach!!!

New condos for Pine



Developer buys downtown site to construct 22-story building.

By Don Jergler
Staff writer

LONG BEACH — A Pasadena developer has purchased one of downtown's premium ocean-view sites, and construction on the city's newest upscale residential tower could get under way by this time next year.

The Edgewater on Ocean, a 22-story, 155-unit condominium tower at Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue, could be completed and ready to be occupied by 2007, according to developer James Ratkovich & Associates Inc. of Pasadena.

The developers say they have "set an aggressive schedule' to get the project completed.

The firm purchased The Pacific at 850 E. Ocean in 1996, a failed venture developed by a Japanese firm, and completed and sold the 187-unit, 16-story condo development by 2000, said Steven Clark, Ratkovich's executive vice president.

The firm's newest project will be developed by 100 E. Ocean Partners LLC which includes Ratkovich and other investment partners, Clark said. 100 E. Ocean is the site's address.

The site was sold by Ensemble Investments, a former owner of the World Trade Center in downtown Long Beach and a property manager.

Clark declined to give the purchase price.

"It was a lot of money," he said. "We bought it for a great price relative to the current value. We believe we got a good deal."

Clark said units, which range in size from a 990-square-foot one-bedroom unit to a 3,600-square-foot penthouse, will sell for between $400,000 and $4 million.

The building will include a subterranean garage with 338 parking spaces. Additional parking for the structure will be built at the corner of Seaside Way and Locust Avenue by the seller as part of the deal, Clark said.

Ground-floor retail tenants proposed for the project include a gourmet market, a cafe and a spa and health club.

"This building is going to be an icon building in the city of Long Beach's skyline," Clark said.

Up to 4,000 upscale residential units are being added to downtown, many in the form of high-rise towers.

In June, a deal was made for a two-tower, 246-unit project on the site of what is now a pay parking lot at Ocean Boulevard and Chestnut Street. Units in the 29-and 22-story towers will sell for between $400,000 and $1 million.

Further down Ocean is Camden at Harbor View, consisting of 538 waterfront units in two nine-story towers, as well as four towers built to four stories, which have been renting for more than a year. Further yet on Ocean is the nearly completed 556-apartment-unit Aqua, formerly known as Ocean Villas, two 22-story towers, at Linden.

Once ground is broken, the Edgewater project will take from 16 to 20 months to complete, Clark said.

He estimates project costs at between $100 million and $105 million and said he believes they will recoup more than $150 million in sales.

Since Ensemble had previously obtained civic approval to build a 22-story residential tower, no further city action will be necessary to get the project green-lighted, other than basic permit approvals, Clark said.

He said the project attracted his firm because of its locale its near the newly opened Pike at Rainbow Harbor retail and entertainment center, the Long Beach Convention Center and Pine Avenue.

"We like the fact that it's urban living on the beach," Clark said. "Being at the corner of Pine Avenue, that's where it's all happening."
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  #63  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2004, 1:14 AM
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From the LB Report

(August 2, 2004) -- A 22-story luxury condominium tower is being planned for the southeast corner of Ocean Blvd. at Pine Ave.

James Ratkovich & Associates, Inc., a Pasadena-based development firm, says it has completed purchase of the site and is now in the final design stages of the high rise which will be called "Edgewater on Ocean."


As described in a release by the firm, "the $150-million project will be a multi-use development consisting of a 155-unit high-rise residential tower and ground floor restaurant and retail space. Other contemplated ground floor tenants include a gourmet market, upscale cafe and a full-service spa and health club. The highly amenitized condominiums, with floor plans ranging in size from a 990-square-foot one-bedroom unit to a sprawling 3,600-square-foot penthouse, will be priced from the $400,000s to over $4 million.
"This is one of the finest development sites in all of Southern California," said firm president James Ratkovich in the relase. "There is no other site north of San Diego and south of San Francisco that can deliver the urban waterfront lifestyle to be found at Edgewater on Ocean. We're excited to be creating what we believe will be the most cosmopolitan address in this unique urban waterfront setting," he added.

The release continued:


A modernist's dream come true, the tower's collection of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units will feature standard ceiling heights in excess of ten feet, spacious balconies, as well as stunning floor-to-ceiling glass walls to create the feeling of total transparency. More than 80% of the units will reveal spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the Queen Mary and Long Beach Marina. North-facing units will enjoy views of city lights to the San Gabriel Mountains. A rare collection of only 24 penthouses will occupy the 18th to 22nd floors, offering an elite group of owners the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the distinctive cachet of penthouse living. These luxurious residences will feature 12-foot-high ceilings, unparalleled views and total living areas over 3,600 square feet. Plans also include an exclusive rooftop lounge where owners are free to mingle or relax against the vibrant backdrop of the Long Beach skyline.
The elegant interiors will be timeless moderne, yet with a fresh spin towards casualness and fun reflecting the Southern California way of life. Design appointments and customization options will be comparable to those found at many high-rise developments throughout the surrounding coastal region. Ideal for entertaining, gourmet kitchens will offer granite countertops and top-of-the-line appliances. Extensive pre-wiring for phone, Internet and fax communications will be a major benefit for owners working from home. To make home ownership more enjoyable and carefree, owners have exclusive access to a Residential Concierge to experience the comforts of personal attention and first-class service.

The fourth level of Edgewater on Ocean -- reserved exclusively for residents and their invited guests -- will be an expansive indoor/outdoor area of refined amenities, including a recreation room, library, movie theater, private wine cellar, as well as a fitness facility with menís and womenís locker rooms and saunas. Just outside, one discovers the most alluring perk of ownership: the pool terrace. Here, residents may soak in the hydrotherapy pool, or relax on the sundeck surrounded by an eclectic mix of exotic tropical landscaping. One may also take a refreshing dip in the infinity-edge lap pool, which creates the wonderful illusion of gently floating over the distant waters of the blue Pacific.

Edgewater on Ocean is scheduled for a 2005 groundbreaking with completion sometime in 2006.

James Ratkovich & Associates was the developer of Long Beach's The Pacific.
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  #64  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2004, 12:28 AM
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Views from the Aqua/Ocean Villas

First, a rendering of the two 18-story towers:


View of Queen Mary


View from 14th Floor - Looking South


View from 16th Floor - Looking North


View from 4th Floor - Looking East


View from 16th Floor - Looking West


View from 4th Floor - Looking Northeast


View from 9th Floor - Looking Southeast


Artwork, 'Bruce' lifted to his new home - atop the West Tower


'Bruce's' view looking down from West Tower


'Bruce's' view looking out over Downtown Long Beach
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2004, 10:58 PM
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I live in belmont and rarely vebture downtown, but i wouls love it if downtown look like mid-town manhattan nyc!
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  #66  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2004, 4:30 AM
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Douglas Park gets OK

Mixed-use project on Boeing land goes to council after planning panel’s approval.

By Don Jergler
Staff Writer

LONG BEACH — A massive development of 1,400 residences and more than 3 million square feet of commercial and retail space near Long Beach Airport was unanimously approved Thursday by the city Planning Commission.
The commission’s recommendation sends the proposed Douglas Park mixed-used development to the City Council, which has final say on the project proposed for a site bordered by Long Beach Airport, Lakewood Country Club, Carson Street and Lakewood Boulevard.

Since the property was vacated by Boeing, hotly contested plans to develop the site have been revised several times over the past four years.

But on Thursday, the final plan received unanimous support from commission members and nearly full support from community members who attended the meeting.

Boeing Realty Corp.’s final plan to convert the 239-acre parcel, a former McDonnell Douglas commercial aircraft plant that was the heart of the city’s economy during from the 1940s through the late 1980s, is the result of numerous meetings with the community and countless hours of collaboration.

‘‘I’ve never sat through so many positive comments in all my six years (on the commission),’’ said Charles Winn.

The latest plan includes:

• 3.3 million square feet of space for commercial, retail, office, research and development and light industrial space;

• up to 400 hotel rooms;

• 13 acres of parkland or open space;

• 1,400 residences, including single-family homes, town houses, condominiums and up to 400 apartments.

Under the agreement, the developer would contribute $3 million to the city to use in support of affordable housing and $8 million for building schools downtown.

At completion, the project would generate $2.4 million to $3.6 million more in tax revenue than it would cost in city services, such as safety and utilities, according to the developer.

It is estimated businesses within the project will employ 11,000 people and create a payroll of $1 billion.

Most of the dozen attendees spoke overwhelmingly in favor of Douglas Park.

‘‘We are very happy to support this project,’’ said Matthew Kinley, vice chairman of the board of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. ‘‘It adds much needed value to our region and our city.’’

Those few who spoke in opposition raised environmental and noise concerns, or they just had other ideas for the property.

Resident John Heinz said 13 acres for parks and open space isn’t enough in a city as crowded as Long Beach.

‘‘I’d rather see this 200-plus acres built entirely into a park,’’ he said.
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  #67  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2004, 6:20 AM
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  #68  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2004, 5:49 PM
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L.B. office space getting scarce?

City has one of lowest such vacancy rates in county, report says.

By Don Jergler
Staff Writer

LONG BEACH — A report issued Monday shows office vacancy rates in Los Angeles County have fallen to the lowest level since 2001, a sign that businesses may be gearing up for a stronger economy.
Over the past year, countywide vacancy rates dropped to 15.5 percent from 17.4 percent, bringing the area near a low point at the end of 2001, when the rate stood at 14.5 percent, a quarterly report by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield shows.

"Businesses are starting to get a little bit more optimistic," said Jack Kyser, vice president and chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. "What we're seeing in Southern California is a pretty steady stream of business expansions."

The vacancy in the Long Beach area remained among the lowest in the county, falling to 10.6 percent from 11 percent the previous quarter, according to Kimball Wasick, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director.

"Long Beach was not a recipient of the big run-up of (lease) rates during the tech boom, so because of that, we didn't have the big fall," Wasick said. "We've been steadier."

Wasick credits that to downtown, which recorded 92,000 square feet of positive absorption in the past 90 days. Realtors measure absorption by lease availability. Positive absorption means more leases have been signed.

The World Trade Center downtown has two yet-to-be announced leases, taking office space in the 27-floor tower to 93 percent of its 560,000-square-foot capacity, Wasick said.

The Kilroy Airport Center also contributes to the area's low vacancy. The 1-million-square-foot business park is 94 percent leased.

The county's Westside market, including West L.A., Santa Monica and El Segundo, has shown the greatest gains since the beginning of the year, falling nearly 3 points to 14.9 percent, Wasick said. The Westside, the area in L.A. hardest hit by the dot-com crash, was the softest in the county at the end of 2002.

The Tri-Cities area Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena remains one of the healthiest office markets with a vacancy rate of 11.8 percent, and the South Bay continues to be the weakest at 19 percent, the report shows.
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  #69  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2004, 6:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAMetroGuy
L.B. office space getting scarce?

City has one of lowest such vacancy rates in county, report says.

By Don Jergler
Staff Writer

LONG BEACH — A report issued Monday shows office vacancy rates in Los Angeles County have fallen to the lowest level since 2001, a sign that businesses may be gearing up for a stronger economy.
Over the past year, countywide vacancy rates dropped to 15.5 percent from 17.4 percent, bringing the area near a low point at the end of 2001, when the rate stood at 14.5 percent, a quarterly report by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield shows.

"Businesses are starting to get a little bit more optimistic," said Jack Kyser, vice president and chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. "What we're seeing in Southern California is a pretty steady stream of business expansions."

The vacancy in the Long Beach area remained among the lowest in the county, falling to 10.6 percent from 11 percent the previous quarter, according to Kimball Wasick, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director.

"Long Beach was not a recipient of the big run-up of (lease) rates during the tech boom, so because of that, we didn't have the big fall," Wasick said. "We've been steadier."

Wasick credits that to downtown, which recorded 92,000 square feet of positive absorption in the past 90 days. Realtors measure absorption by lease availability. Positive absorption means more leases have been signed.

The World Trade Center downtown has two yet-to-be announced leases, taking office space in the 27-floor tower to 93 percent of its 560,000-square-foot capacity, Wasick said.

The Kilroy Airport Center also contributes to the area's low vacancy. The 1-million-square-foot business park is 94 percent leased.

The county's Westside market, including West L.A., Santa Monica and El Segundo, has shown the greatest gains since the beginning of the year, falling nearly 3 points to 14.9 percent, Wasick said. The Westside, the area in L.A. hardest hit by the dot-com crash, was the softest in the county at the end of 2002.

The Tri-Cities area Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena remains one of the healthiest office markets with a vacancy rate of 11.8 percent, and the South Bay continues to be the weakest at 19 percent, the report shows.
Good news!! If it hits 10% and stays there for a while, we may see some more WTC office towers rise. I'm dumping all my LA rent control properties and am looking at office buildings in LB for 1031 uplegs. It's a hot area.
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  #70  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2004, 6:36 AM
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Isn't 1031 for replacement properties of "like-kind", how is a rent controled property "like" a long beach office building?
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  #71  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2004, 6:52 AM
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Investment property of any sort, whether it's a rent controlled ghetto-hole or a swanky highrise on Wilshire or a manufacturing bldg in Fort Worth are all considered "like-kind". I get avoid pissing away my profits in capital gains....for now.

The one thing that a 1031 seller absolutely must do is to make sure the upleg is of equal or greater value than the property(s) being sold and the mortgage debt is greater than or equal to that of the properties being sold.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2004, 9:30 AM
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Originally Posted by LAMetroGuy
The vacancy in the Long Beach area remained among the lowest in the county, falling to 10.6 percent from 11 percent the previous quarter, according to Kimball Wasick, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director.

The World Trade Center downtown has two yet-to-be announced leases, taking office space in the 27-floor tower to 93 percent of its 560,000-square-foot capacity, Wasick said.

The county's Westside market, including West L.A., Santa Monica and El Segundo, has shown the greatest gains since the beginning of the year, falling nearly 3 points to 14.9 percent, Wasick said. The Westside, the area in L.A. hardest hit by the dot-com crash, was the softest in the county at the end of 2002.


It's nice to know that LB isn't burdened with so much unleased space. Seems like the last time I saw stats for the area, it was way up there with double digit vacancy rates. I was worried it was going to end up like the LAX area (esp along Century Blvd), which has had really high vacancies for what seems like decades.

And West LA at 14.9 at least won't be as much a big counter deadweight to DT. However, DT (at least in another set of stats I saw not long ago) still is listed as having way too much unused space, about 4% higher than the westside, 7% higher than LB. But if DT LB's office bldgs can get in better shape, maybe there's hope for DT LA's highrise bldgs too.

As for the Douglas proj, that sounds like a great shot in the arm for the north LB area. It will be the first somewhat large amt of new (non-highrise) housing to be built in SE LA County in a long, long time. Up til now, such devlmpt has been exclusive to southern OC or the hoods near the LA/Ventura border.
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  #73  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2004, 10:15 AM
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OMG, I had no idea LB was getting THIS MUCH development! That's WONDERFUL! My word, if it continues, we could start to see it rival Century City's skyline.

I only wish LA was more consolidated...IMAGINE: DT LA, LB, Century City, Westwood, Glendale...all in one area...(sigh)

Anyway, I am a bit sad to read that the 600-footer won't be built. I thought it would have been a big draw for the area.

With all this going on in DT LB, I think it warrants more Blue Line attention to get more people to ride down to LB.
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Old Posted Oct 18, 2004, 5:44 PM
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The 100 wonders of Long Beach

The 100 wonders of Long Beach
By Tim Grobaty
Staff columnist

A BOOK ON THE LOOKS OF THE CITY: There are hundreds of ways to look at Long Beach: Launching into town from the north you get a view of an industrialized tangle of trucks, refineries, port structures. Soon enough, you're whipping down a corridor of sparkling glass towers, followed by a string of modern, postmodern, classical buildings: The Ocean Center, the Villa Riviera, the International Tower, the Galaxy all reach for the sky before things settle down along the bluff, bordered on the north by stately summer "cottages"-turned-fulltime, multimillion-dollar residences.

Turn inland, you'll find beautiful buildings some business, some residential (some business converted to residential) along Pine Avenue.

And it goes on and on down every street and boulevard: striking and diverse examples of just about every style in the architectural portfolio.

We could name them all and cite 100 examples, but we'd merely be lifting them straight out of the pages of "Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis," by architectural writers Cara Mullio and Jennifer M. Volland (Hennessey & Ingalls, $39.95).

There's been a shelf full of books written about Long Beach some looking at its history, most just looking at its sights in scrapbook/photo album formats. "Long Beach Architecture" is the first we've seen to so thoroughly and enjoyably present the architecture, and the history of the architecture, in a perfect balance of photographs and analysis.

Mullio, who was born in Long Beach, and Volland, who lives in downtown's Walker Building, have documented 100 projects residences, businesses, churches, stores, condo complexes, even a bridge some still in existence, some destroyed, some unrealized, all showing the breadth of ideas that give the city its look.

Though there are many of the city's consensus-best buildings in the study the Villa Riviera, Security Pacific National Bank, the Breakers Hotel, the Pacific Coast Club, the Adelaide Tichenor House the book is not a collection of Long Beach's Greatest Hits.

"It's a representative sampling of not necessarily the most important buildings, but of those most indicative of certain styles," says Volland.

The writers don't even like all of them though they like most of them: "I like 99 of them," laughs Mullio, though she's too diplomatic to say which one she doesn't have a fondness for.

"She doesn't like the Skinny House," says Volland.

A quick riffle through the book's high-quality, lushly illustrated pages takes you on a tour that includes brisk studies of the Masonic Temple on Locust Avenue, the Hotel Virginia, the Carnegie Public Library in old Lincoln Park, the Harnett House on Sunrise Boulevard, the Kress Building, the Insurance Exchange Building, the Pray/Dawson House on Country Club Drive, the Gaytonia in Belmont Shore, the Newton P. Rummond House (the "Skinny House'), George's Fifties Diner, Java Lanes, the Elks Lodge No. 888 on Spring Street, the THUMS oil islands, Grace United Methodist Church, The Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Some of those, as you're probably aware, are gone now.

"Long Beach has torn down some amazing things," says Mullio.

"And what's sad," adds Volland, "is what they're torn down for. Sometimes they're torn down for nothing."

And other times it's for, oh, a new set of buildings the Pike at Rainbow Harbor, the Camden at Harbor View, CityPlace's stores and apartments. The writers/critics have nothing kind to say about the architectural merits offered by those projects.

Here's the short version, offered by Mullio: "We would've hoped the city would've set its sights higher than that."

The 276-page book was to have been delivered to stores and online sellers by Oct. 1, but labor shortages in the port have delayed its release. You want to see the book now, go out to Bluff Park and look out to sea. It's on one of those container ships waiting in line.

The projected release date now is Nov. 2.

After that? Well, Mullio and Volland certainly have enough knowledge and material for a Volume Two, but they're zeroing in instead on their next project: a monograph on one of Long Beach's most famous and respected architects, Edward Killingsworth.

Killingsworth, who died in July, was a friend and mentor to both writers and his work is amply represented in "Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis."
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  #75  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2004, 11:03 PM
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Oh God...I've been waiting for a book like that forever!

"Long Beach has torn down some amazing things," says Mullio.

"And what's sad," adds Volland, "is what they're torn down for. Sometimes they're torn down for nothing."


I spent my whole birthday dragging my girlfriend around downtown telling her all about whats been lost in Long Beach...Im so going to order this ASAP.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2004, 11:14 PM
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Gladstone's open in L.B.

LONG BEACH — Gladstone's Long Beach opened Thursday, giving the Pike at Rainbow Harbor another well-known restaurant chain.
The new 9,000 square-foot seafood restaurant is located near the Aquarium of the Pacific and will employ 200 workers. It can seat up to 425, and offers five distinct areas, a bar, a sushi bar, a main dining area, a party room and a deck area.

The restaurant's decor is highlighted by photography of the city's history.

Restaurants now open at the Pike include Island's Fine Burgers, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Outback Steak House, California Pizza Kitchen and Jax Grill in GameWorks.

The Pike, which has been open more than a year, has struggled to find retail tenants, and recently a major anchor store set to go in the mall pulled out. The Pike is managed by Developers Diversified Realty.

Gladstone's also has locations in Malibu and Universal City.

-Don Jergler
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2004, 7:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAMetroGuy
Gladstone's open in L.B.

The Pike, which has been open more than a year, has struggled to find retail tenants, and recently a major anchor store set to go in the mall pulled out. The Pike is managed by Developers Diversified Realty.
Well it doesn't matter to me since I'm not big on seafood. It's sad that The Pike can't seem to attract any retail stores. I know on the weekends the Pike seems to bring in an acceptable amout of people. I know everytime I go up there, the traffic getting in and out of there can be a task.

Do you know what retail store pulled out?
Most people I know would shop there if they had quality retail. Right now it seem like the Pike is catering to the young teenagers. GameWorks is attracting huge crowds, and the restaurants seem to be doing pretty well. We really need top quality retail, and I do believe the people will come.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2004, 7:24 AM
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Any grumblings in LB about Boeing and what could/will happen if/when the 717 ends production and the plant shuts down, and what will happen to the former McDonnell-Douglas plant itself? I've read sketchy reports in aviation industry pubs but I've seen nothing in "mainstream" media about it.

What, if anything are folks in the area hearing?

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, If it ain't Boeing, I'm not going
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2004, 11:48 PM
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Hotel proposed as part of Pike

By Jason Gewirtz
Staff writer

LONG BEACH — The developers of the Pike at Rainbow Harbor have submitted an application to build an eight-story hotel east of the project's parking garage, a city planning official said Friday.
The proposed Sierra Suites Hotel would offer 140 extended-stay rooms at 285 Bay St. in the downtown dining/entertainment/retail Pike complex. The site is bordered by Seaside Way to the north, Cedar Avenue to the west and Bay Street to the south.

Sierra Suites operates 21 hotels nationwide, including four in California, according to the company's Web site. The company's first hotel was built in 1996 in Atlanta.

The project will require an environmental impact report prepared by the city before it moves forward, said Greg Carpenter, the city's zoning officer.

"This is the very beginning," he said.

The Pike project, formerly called Queensway Bay, underwent an environmental review when it was first proposed. The project's developer, Developers Diversified Realty Corp., envisioned a potential hotel somewhere within the project.

But since the previous environmental review did not address the specific new Sierra Suites proposal, a separate review is required, Carpenter said. After the city's environmental review is complete, the document will be followed by a 45-day public comment period.

Carpenter said a final environmental report on the proposal could be "months away."

The hotel chain's other California sites are in San Jose, Santa Clara, San Ramon and Pleasanton.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2004, 7:03 PM
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Hotel may come down the Pike

Hotel may come down the Pike

Area businesses excited by possible project.

By Don Jergler
Staff writer

LONG BEACH — Businesses in the Pike at Rainbow Harbor are stoked about the possibility of a hotel opening up in the entertainment and shopping center, where a lag in customer traffic has caused some worry.
A 60-year lease has been signed for the Sierra Suites Hotel at the Pike, setting the stage for construction of a 140-room all-suite, seven-story hotel with a rooftop pool at a cost of up to $19 million.

Work on an environmental impact report is expected to begin later this week, with a traffic impact study to follow. The project must meet city approval, and be approved by the California Costal Commission.

"Our hope is that we could break ground sometime in late 2005," said Chris Gebert, senior vice president of Wichita, Kan.-based LogeWorks LP, which owns and operates dozens of Sierra Suites across the country.

It's estimated the project would take nine months to complete. Gebert declined to disclose the lease costs for the hotel. Room rates are expected to average between $159 and $229.

LogeWorks executives approached Pike owner Developers Diversified Realty more than a year ago, and have been in negotiations on the deal for the past three months, Gebert said.

The hotel site it's bordered by Seaside Way, Bay Street and Cedar Avenue is a vacant parcel across from the Pike parking structure, according to Gebert.

Proximity to the Long Beach Convention Center, low-vacancy rates at downtown hotels, and nearby tourist attractions and shopping and dining opportunities make the spot ripe for a hotel, Gebert said.

He noted that the Pike is near the water, and has several well-known restaurants, as well as entertainment facilities like GameWorks and a theater.

Some Pike tenants have expressed concern about the lack of customer traffic and retailers at the center, but were decidedly upbeat about news of the hotel project.

"I love it," said Jay Tilles, who owns Long Beach Clothing Co.

One of the few retailers in the Pike, the store features about a dozen clothing brands with ties to Southern California, including a line with the city's name and clothing bearing the logo of the World Famous KROQ, where Tilles works as "Lightning," producer of the Kevin & Bean morning radio show.

"All (hotel guests) have to do is look at the window, and they're sold," Tilles said. "And if it goes in, that hotel would be within 75 yards of my front door."

GameWorks executives say having a hotel as a neighbor would boost group sales, which so far have been a mainstay for the combination arcade, restaurant and bar.

The GameWorks in the Pike is noticeably busier during conventions, said Clint Manny, senior vice president for sales and marketing for the Glendale-based chain.

Because of group bookings at GameWorks, "we're slightly above expectations," he added.

Few mixed-use malls, referred to in the industry as "lifestyle centers," include hotels as a component, though this may the next evolutionary step in the fledgling lifestyle concept, industry watchers say.

"We're beginning to see the lifestyle center concept evolve to include things like a hotel," said Patrice Duker, a spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Out of the 120 lifestyle centers in the U.S., few Duker could name include a hotel, but she said such centers have begun including concepts during the last five years, like large department stores and high-end supermarkets.

"We are thrilled to announce the transaction with Sierra Suites," Dan Hurwitz, DDR's executive vice president, said in a statement. "It's another positive step in the direction of the Pike."

The plan for the hotel is to use the nearby 2,200-space structure for parking, where many lots remain open because of slow customer traffic, something that may force the city to fork out a $1.1 million payment toward a bond for the Pike garage due in May under an agreement with the developer.

However, city officials say parking revenues at the Pike have been going up, a possible sign of increased public interest.
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