Plan In The Works To Dispose Of 200 Former Long Beach Redevelopment Properties

Tiffany Rider - Senior Writer

January 15, 2013 – Over the past six months, city staff has been putting together a long-range property management plan categorizing a collection of about 200 parcels owned by the former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) to be sold.

The plan is a requirement of Assembly Bill 1484, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last June. The law dictates the process by which RDA successor agencies organize and dispose of real property, including the development of this plan.

“In many respects, it’s a big list,” according to Long Beach Development Services Deputy Director Robert Zur Schmiede. “But we have to break it into these categories. There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing it.”

The categories of the long-range management plan include: properties to be used for governmental purposes (such as Fire Station 12); properties to be retained for future development, or are included in a plan approved prior to AB 1484 regulations; properties to be sold that may not be identified in an approved plan (quite often former blighted properties, according to Zur Schmiede); and preexisting enforceable obligations, such as the Shoreline Gateway project agreement with Anderson Pacific, LLC CEO Jim Anderson.

“There are parcels that need to be disposed of, if you will, based on the dissolution of RDA,” according to RDA Oversight Board Chair Jane Netherton. “However, nothing is final,” she said. “The plan has not been approved yet.”

The RDA successor agency, oversight board and the state department of finance must all approve the plan. But before the plan makes its way to the state level, the city must have received what is called a “finding of completion,” according to Zur Schmiede.

This finding is provided once the state “sweeps the city’s coffers clean” of unencumbered cash balances from both housing and non-housing monies. An agency has performed something similar to an audit, Zur Schmiede said, to determine the total value of these cash balances. The reports on housing cash and non-housing cash balances have been approved by the successor agency, oversight board and are being sent to the state for approval.

“Once they agree then [we] have five days to remit the money to the county,” he said. “Then the county will redistribute it to all taxing jurisdictions that covered the RDA areas. . . . What we’re probably going to do is as soon as we receive our finding of completion, we’ll move forward with [the plan].”

Zur Schmiede has received inquiries from “a lot of people” interested in the properties, who have been added to an interest list and will be notified of their status as the city “goes through the process,” he said.