By Joshua H. Silavent
December 4th, 2012 – The Long Beach City Council, as the successor agency to the redevelopment agency, recently gave its approval for the Shoreline Gateway project to move forward after years of starts and stops that left many wondering if the mixed-use residential and retail development in Downtown Long Beach would ever get off the ground. The city’s oversight committee must now also give its nod to the project and so too does the state department of finance.
The proposed development has been halted on several occasions since its inception in 2004, first because of the economic recession, which “really changed the economics of the deal,” Jim Anderson, CEO of Anderson Pacific, LLC, told the Business Journal. Later, as the state moved to dissolve the city’s redevelopment agency, the project was delayed another year as the owner participation agreement with developer Shoreline Gateway, LLC (a subsidiary of Anderson Pacific) had to be restructured.
The project includes the construction of two towers along Ocean Boulevard between Alamitos Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. The initial phase, or East Tower development, faced some public backlash when it was first proposed. But when the recession hit, the envisioned 35-story condo tower was no longer economically feasible, Anderson said.
Now, the West Tower, an 18-story building with 221 multi-family rental units and 9,500 square feet of leasable retail space, will go up first. “That is much more in tune with the market today,” Anderson said. “Our intent is to begin this in the third quarter of next year.”
An original $6 million loan for site plans and drawings for the East Tower development provided by International City Bank has been paid off by the city but remains as part of the latest agreement, Anderson said. He added that as the project becomes successful, Shoreline Gateway would repay the loan, or it could be turned into equity for the city as part of a profit-sharing arrangement. No additional city financing will support the project, Anderson said.