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  #281  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2005, 6:58 PM
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Edgewater On Ocean Video, kinda cool!

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  #282  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2005, 7:33 PM
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I spoke to a friend this weekend who just bought a place in Aqua. I guess he moves in sometime next month, but he says they've been delayed for a few months, which has him pretty frustrated. Regardless, he can't wait to move in.
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  #283  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2005, 7:46 PM
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Actually, move in date isn't until Feb/March according to Aqua... so I think your friend will be even more frustrated.
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  #284  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2005, 6:59 PM
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Well, at least he's got SC football to keep him distracted for another two months.
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  #285  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2005, 8:30 PM
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Pine Avenue Entertainment District To Council



By Kurt Helin
Editor

Pine Avenue business owners may get what they want — a special downtown entertainment district, the ability to stay open to 2 a.m. seven nights a week, standardized noise restrictions and an increased police presence — if the City Council approves it this week.

The “Downtown Entertainment District” will go to the council for a vote with the rare combined support of city staff, Pine Avenue business owners and downtown residents.

The proposed new District rules were hammered out in a series of meetings this past summer between city staff and downtown stakeholders, along with a series of meetings downtown stakeholders conducted amongst themselves to get on the same page.

At the heart of the concerns was safety — downtown business owners wanted more police on the street, particularly later at night. This effort got pushed even harder after several shooting incidents on the street earlier this year (that led to a temporary increased police presence).

City officials say they can add one sergeant and six officers seven days per week to downtown to help with security. Currently that many officers are there on Thursday through Saturday nights, with police overtime being used to bring them in.

Those additional officers will cost $905,000 a year, officials said, adding that the money is available in the current year budget from increased money that has come in from the Redevelopment Agency paying off loans and from the Port of Long Beach.

However, the City Council would have to approve spending the money for this purpose. They have said several times in recent meetings that they want money for additional police citywide as well as for libraries and other city services cut in recent budgets. Downtown stakeholders have argued that by giving downtown a regular set of officers, the overtime money being used to bring officers downtown can be used in other parts of the city.

If the additional police are not approved, the staff report recommends keeping downtown entertainment hours until midnight Sunday through Wednesday nights, then to 2 a.m. on the weekends. Second District Councilman Dan Baker and others have said this is unfair to Pine because businesses there compete with the Pike, but are forced to close earlier.

All sides largely agreed upon the rest of the proposed district regulations.

The new noise restrictions will use a “middle of the street” rule — you should not be able to hear the noise coming from an establishment if you stand in the middle of the street facing it. A business could have quieter music and keep its doors and windows open, or have louder music and keep them shut.

One area that will be controversial is music on the rooftop of Smooths (formerly Mum’s, 110 Pine Ave.). The city recommends that only acoustic music be played there, while the residents group said that amplified music there is not a problem and has not been in the past.

The Downtown Entertainment District would be set up as a one-year trial, and then it would have to come back to the council for either an extension or to be made permanent.
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  #286  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2005, 6:22 AM
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West Ocean pic from today.
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  #287  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2005, 10:53 PM
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P-T: City must approve new zoning for site

By Jason Gewirtzand Don Jergler, Staff writer

LONG BEACH — The Press-Telegram has sold its building, a downtown landmark since 1925, to developers who plan to build two high-rise towers featuring 482 residential urban lofts.
To make way for the $138 million proposal, the newspaper will relocate its offices to the Arco Center on Ocean Boulevard in summer 2006, Publisher Mark Stevens said.

"I am pleased that this project will preserve the essential character of our building and our legacy and help with the revitalization of downtown," Stevens said.

The newspaper did not intend to sell the building at 604 Pine Ave. until it was approached by developers interested in the property, he said.

After considering alternatives that included renovating the building, P-T management decided to sell the structure and surrounding land, which covers nearly an entire city block.

"It's an 80-year-old building that's in need of a significant overhaul," Stevens said. "It was determined that it made more economic sense for us to move into newer, more efficient and readily available leased space."

Long Beach-based October Five Development purchased the 2.45-acre Press-Telegram property for $20 million, said partner Jim Brophy.

The sale, which is in escrow, is contingent upon the city rezoning the site to allow for the high-density residential project.

As proposed, the loft project would feature 20-and 22-story towers while keeping the facade and a portion of the newspaper's original building.

The project's name has not been determined but is tentatively called the Press-Telegram Lofts, Brophy said.

"I really think it's going to be a landmark on the north edge of downtown," he said.

The sale includes all but the northwest corner of the downtown block bounded by Pine Avenue, Sixth Street, Locust Avenue and Seventh Street. A deal for the remaining lot could not be negotiated.

The newspaper has signed a lease for 42,661 square feet on three floors about a dozen blocks from its current home, in the Arco Center's west building at 300 Oceangate, across Ocean Boulevard from the World Trade Center.

The P-T's 220 employees, who work in the editorial, advertising, administration, marketing, production, design, finance, human resources and systems departments, will move to the new location in late July at the earliest, Stevens said.

Offices for the Spanish-language Impacto newspaper, currently in the Press-Telegram building, will move into a portion of a fourth floor of the Arco Center, he said.

The deal with October Five is expected to close on April 28, Stevens said.


City approval
While downtown Long Beach is zoned for high-rises and high-density projects, subsections of that zone have height and density restrictions.

The Press-Telegram building falls into the mixed-use classification, which limits projects to 100 feet high and 54 units per acre.

To obtain a zoning ordinance amendment, developers would have to commission an environmental impact report. That process would include an analysis of potential traffic impact, public meetings with nearby residents and approval from the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Other developments have recently received such amendments, including a loft project on the parking lot of the historic Broadlind Building at Broadway and Linden Avenue in the East Village Arts District.

"Our current planning policies reflect that higher density is appropriate downtown," said Greg Carpenter, city zoning officer.

The project may also get a boost from a proposal by City Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal, whose 1st District encompasses the project.

The council on Tuesday approved Lowenthal's proposal to create a "Loft District," which would streamline the conversion of older structures, such as the Press-Telegram building.


Affordable lofts
As proposed, condominiums at the Press-Telegram Lofts would be designed for middle-income, first-time buyers, Brophy said. The majority of the units will be in the 700-to 900-square-foot range. Units of 600 square feet to 700 square feet will likely sell from the high $200,000s and low $300,000s, while units up to 1,500 square feet would sell in the high $500,000s, Brophy said.

Most of the project would be built in brick to respect the style of the Press-Telegram building, he said. John Molina, whose family founded Molina Healthcare, has provided key financing for the project, Brophy said.

If approved, the project would add to a downtown condominium boom that has seen several recent high-rise projects along Ocean Boulevard.

"We believe that Ocean Boulevard is housing for people with a ton of money," Brophy said. "Our goal was to produce housing that was affordable for the middle income."

Joe Magaddino, chairman of Cal State Long Beach's Economics Department, said the project could address that need.

A building stalemate in the 1990s added less than 1 percent to the city's housing stock in that decade. With the anticipated addition of up to 50,000 jobs to the city by 2015, economists estimate 33,000 new units will be required to keep pace.

There is a particular need for mid-income housing, Magaddino said.

"As chair of the Economics Department, trying to attract faculty to the area is a tough sell," he said. "Even though the university pays pretty well, no one pays well enough to get into this housing market."

The project also brings hope to downtown's retail segment, which has lagged as merchants have been hesitant to come to the area until more residents with disposable incomes move downtown, said Kraig Kojian, president and CEO of the Downtown Long Beach Associates.

"The more residential we can develop in the downtown, the stronger we're going to be able to advocate for additional retail," he said.


Arts component
The October Five proposal would also feature 18,000 square feet of non-residential space. The company has been in discussion to provide a permanent home for the Arts Council for Long Beach, formerly the Public Corporation for the Arts.

In addition, the company would also provide space for arts-related programs from Cal State Long Beach, including a lecture hall and gallery, Brophy said.

Gary Reichard, CSULB provost, said the university is in "active discussion" with Brophy and is interested in creating a presence downtown.


New home
For the Press-Telegram, the upcoming move marks a significant new chapter in the newspaper's history. The newspaper that became the Press-Telegram began publishing in 1897.
The P-T has called Sixth Street and Pine Avenue home since March 7, 1925. When the building opened, the newspaper noted that "the structure commands the public notice and its architectural lines are generally admired."

The building's architect was W. Horace Austin, who designed several landmark local structures, including the Long Beach Airport terminal, the downtown Farmers & Merchants Bank and the Poly High School auditorium.

At the Arco Center, the newspaper intends to occupy portions of three floors, including a reception area on the first floor of the west tower, Stevens said.

The newspaper's advertising operation would occupy the building's 12th floor, with the newsroom and editorial offices on the 14th floor.

The newspaper has signed a 15-year lease at the site, with a 10-year renewal option, Stevens said.

Bill Townsend, a principal with INCO Co., which represented the Press-Telegram in its building sale and office lease, said the deal with Arco Center is one of the largest recent commercial real estate deals in downtown.

While the move marks a shift for the newspaper, some of the daily operations have left the headquarters in recent years. Since 1998, the newspaper itself has been printed at a plant in Valencia. The old presses, however, remain in the building.

Brophy said he has yet to find a buyer interested in the machinery.

Executive Editor Rich Archbold said the move will allow the newspaper to operate in a more advanced setting.

"We'll be moving into very nice new offices, but we'll continue to publish the best local newspaper and online information in our market, period," he said.


Scanned archive
One item that won't make the move is the newspaper's clipped archives, which sit in dozens of file cabinets on the second floor.
In their place, the newspaper intends to scan microfiche copies of the newspaper to preserve stories. The digitizing process, expected to cost about $250,000, will make back copies of the newspaper more accessible to reporters and researchers, Stevens said.

The newspaper considered moving the clip files, but the move proved to be a logistical and economic challenge.

"To retrofit the floors to support the weight, the cost was prohibitive," he said. "The conversion makes total economic sense."


Fond memories
Over the years, the Press-Telegram newsroom has played fictional newsrooms in movies and television. With its open space, glass offices and exposed building pillars, the space has retained a traditional look and feel.
Larry Allison, the Press-Telegram's Editor/Editorial Pages, has worked at the newspaper since 1957. While buildings have powerful connections and imagery, he said, the people at the P-T are more important than the structure.

Still, the building holds a special place, he said.

"It's just been a big part of my life for a long time," he said of 604 Pine Ave. "I imagine when it comes to leaving it for the last time, that's going to give me some pause."

The Press-Telegram is owned by MediaNews Group Inc., which bought the building when it purchased the newspaper in 1997. MediaNews Group also publishes the Los Angeles Daily News, the San Gabriel Valley Newspapers, the San Bernardino County Sun, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the Redlands Daily Facts, the Grunion Gazette and the Downtown Gazette.

Jason Gewirtz can be reached at jason.gewirtz@presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1373.
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  #288  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2005, 10:59 PM
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Press Telegram Lofts

20 Story Tower:


22 Story Tower:


Historic Facade Lighting:
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  #289  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2005, 11:03 PM
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Looks real dense. Love the lighting set up.
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  #290  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2005, 7:28 AM
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^ sweeeeet! That'll expand the skyline a good deal northwards with some decent height. If i can arrange for the assasination of a certain Italian stone pine that blocks the view I'd be able to watch them rise. DTLB is going to need some green space the way things are densifying in the area. If the right Art exch proj gets built it will be just incredible.
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  #291  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2005, 8:31 AM
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It's been quite awhile since I last saw a photo update of DT LB. Is chrisla still around there? How about LAMG? If regular camera picture taking is too much work, does anyone have cell phone photo capabilities? Seems like it's also time for another large photo update of DT LA too.
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  #292  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2005, 9:47 PM
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What about citywatch? Does he have a camera? Or a cell phone with a camera?
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  #293  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2005, 9:49 PM
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I wonder when we'll see a 40 or 50 story go up in long beach?
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  #294  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2005, 10:14 PM
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^ That's a good question. The safe answer is probably never, but you never know. Does anyone know if Long Beach has height restrictions?

The Press Telegram Lofts look great, BTW. I'll echo POLA's statement and say that the lighting scheme looks very promising. Reminds me of the scheme for Metro417
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  #295  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2005, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR
I wonder when we'll see a 40 or 50 story go up in long beach?
For the long beach "city hall east site" there are two developers who are proposing two different plans (same site):

"Toll Brothers" is proposing three residential towers:
Tower 1: 42 stories
Tower 2: 38 stories
Tower 3: 21 stories

"Lennar Communities" is proposing three residential towers:
Tower 1: 35-stories
Tower 2: 28-stories
Tower 3: 20-stories


So, maybe sooner than later...
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  #296  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2005, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy
What about citywatch? Does he have a camera? Or a cell phone with a camera?

Nowadays when I want to take pics I buy those disposable cameras that sell for around $9 (my real cameras, which are pretty old, sit & collect dust---i'm too lazy to buy new film for them). And my cell phone is the type that has few frills. Worse, I live pretty far from DT LB & LA, & so I'm even more dependent on others for giving the latest news & pics.

Even though a lot is happening in both DT LB & LA, it seems like the past few wks (or months?) have been kind of slow or quiet on these boards. I think part of that is because there've been fewer major photos updates than in the past. But then again, some of the major projs, esp in DTLA, that I throught would've been completed by now have yet to open, so there does seem to be kind of a holding pattern right now.
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  #297  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2005, 4:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAMetroGuy
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR
I wonder when we'll see a 40 or 50 story go up in long beach?
For the long beach "city hall east site" there are two developers who are proposing two different plans (same site):

"Toll Brothers" is proposing three residential towers:
Tower 1: 42 stories
Tower 2: 38 stories
Tower 3: 21 stories

"Lennar Communities" is proposing three residential towers:
Tower 1: 35-stories
Tower 2: 28-stories
Tower 3: 20-stories


So, maybe sooner than later...
Ahh yeah i forgot about that damn i guess things go so slow you tend to forget. A new tallest will be great for LB and Century City for that matter, it will give these areas a much needed new look.
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  #298  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2005, 8:26 PM
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Olive Court Creates Affordable Homes

By Amy Bentley-Smith
Features Editor





The foundation has been laid for a development intended to level the playing field for those currently being priced out of the home buying market.

Last week, concrete was poured for three of nine buildings that collectively will be called Olive Court. Located on Long Beach Boulevard just north of Pacific Coast Highway on two former used vehicle lots, Olive Court will have a mix of one- to four-bedroom condominium/townhouse-style homes further incorporating urban and suburban settings.

But perhaps more important to its developer, Livable Places, is that Olive Court will make homeownership possible to a range of individuals. The nonprofit developer is in the business of building affordable housing. Olive Court is its first project. Another project, in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights neighborhood, is in the planning stages.

“We should finish the first three buildings in late spring or early summer, and the full project this time next year,” said Claire Bowin, Olive Court project manager and director of development at Livable Places.

In partnership with the city of Long Beach’s nonprofit Long Beach Housing Development Company, as well as several mortgage and construction lenders, Livable Places is offering 80% of the 58 homes that will make up Olive Court to low- to moderate-income individuals and families. The remaining 20% of the homes will be sold at market value, which is expected to be in the low $300,000 to just under $500,000 for the larger homes.

As housing prices have gone up in Southern California, those who fit into the affordable housing category has expanded as well. According to housing experts, the definition of an affordable house is one in which the mortgage is no more than 30% of a homeowner’s income. But with the median income level in the Los Angeles region at $55,000 for a family of four and the median home price at $475,000, a large majority of families cannot get into affordable homes.

Affordable housing developments, where government subsidies are provided to lower the cost of the homes, have always been geared toward low- to moderate-income families. When housing costs were lower, more moderate-income families were able to afford houses without assistance, Bowin said. But with today’s market the way it is, Bowin said those families need help, too. Half of the homes in Olive Court will be available to those in that income range — anywhere from $60,000 for a family of four in the moderate income range to $54,000 for a family of three.

“We don’t want the project to be seen as that affordable housing, low-income housing project,” Bowin said. “It’s very much for working families.”

Aiming to make the homes even more affordable, and at the same time more environmentally friendly, Livable Places is incorporating sustainable building practices in the construction of Olive Court. One example is the location itself, near the Blue Line. Bowin said Livable Places believes building near rail lines encourages alternative transportation methods other than automobile. Other examples include the use of Energy Star compliant appliances, drought-tolerant landscaping and designing the homes with high ceilings and large windows.

“It’s all about working together to improve life here in Southern California,” Bowin said of Livable Places’ philosophy.

Variety also is a hallmark of this project, not only in terms of affordability, but home size and feel. There will be eight one-bedrooms, 30 two-bedrooms, 18 three-bedroom and two four-bedroom homes. Bowin said that mix would attract a variety of homeowners, from single people to families, and so too would the configuration. The homes along Long Beach Boulevard will likely attract those seeking a more urban living experience. Families wanting more of a neighborhood feel will be drawn to the interior units and those along Dayman Avenue.

“It will be a nice mix of family size, cultures and ages,” Bowin said. “We think it’s going to be a really exciting community.”

Interest already exists for Olive Court, which has been in the planning stages for several years. Bowin said several families in the community who currently rent have put their name on the interest list.

People can add their name to the list and learn more about the project by visiting www.olivecourt.com. For more information about Livable Places, visit www.livableplaces.org.
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  #299  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2005, 8:45 PM
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Residential Boom Feeds
Hope For Retail Stores

By Kurt Helin
Editor

While the restaurants have done well and the movie theater has busy weekends, the Pike at Rainbow Harbor has never had the kind of retail stores that get people to hang around the center after they are done eating or the movie credits have rolled.

That is, until next spring.

Borders Books and Music has announced it will formally open a 21,000-square-foot store in the downtown center in the second quarter of 2006. The long-rumored store will be the first large-scale retail store in the Pike.

Will this be the opening of a new wave of retail coming to downtown?

First District Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal said she would like to think so, but the city should probably use new strategies to attract that retail. At a City Council meeting earlier this month, she asked for a report on what strategies the city is using.

“It seems as though the previous strategies didn’t work,” Lowenthal said, noting that Bath & Body Works and Express are leaving at the end of the year. “We need to have strategies that bring in new and appropriate retail.”

Appropriate is part of the key, Lowenthal said. While Borders is a good fit down in the Pike, some of the retail along Pine and through the rest of downtown needs to be something other than the standard chains. Downtown needs stores that are independent and different, she said.

“What is attractive about Pine and the historic lofts downtown is their uniqueness,” Lowenthal said. “So having retail that is not exactly like every other city, that is unique, is important.”

Attracting that retail should be getting easier because of the people filling those lofts.

For years, both city and Downtown Long Beach Associates officials trying to attract retailers downtown ran into the problem of one- and three-mile demographic circles — the majority of people living in those circles did not have the kind of incomes that drew better retailers.

The building boom downtown and the new residents moving into the numerous apartments and condominiums are starting to change those numbers, and with that the city has been seeing more interest from retailers in recent months, the City Council was told.

While attention on how to bring more retail to the whole of downtown continues — and that report will be coming back to the City Council next month — the Pike has other plans.

One of the biggest additions will be the Laugh Factory comedy club, scheduled to open next spring right about the same time as Borders.

Officials with Developers Diversified Realty say that the Pike is now 85% leased and that they have several other retailers expected to sign on the dotted line soon.
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  #300  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2005, 8:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAMetroGuy
Borders Books and Music has announced it will formally open a 21,000-square-foot store in the downtown center in the second quarter of 2006. The long-rumored store will be the first large-scale retail store in the Pike.


That should really help the hood's synergy. I believe the only other large bookstore nearest to that right now is several miles away on Bellflower blvd near the 405, or the Barnes/Noble in the LB Towne Ctr next to the 605.
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