With the opening of the 55% leased 442 Residences, Ensemble Real Estate Solutions & Investments is one step closer to completing its live-work-play urban campus in Downtown Long Beach. The housing development is an extension of the 15-story 444 W. Ocean Blvd. office building, John Waldron, managing partner at architecture firm Studio T-Square 2’s Long Beach office, told the Business Journal.
“The last component of this campus will be the commercial building out front,” Waldron said of the campus’s third building, which fronts Ocean Boulevard. “When the construction office moves out and the current tenant moves out, it’ll become more of a retail and restaurant space.”
The first phase of the campus was the 2015 interior redesign and exterior re-branding of the office building at 444 W. Ocean Blvd., which is owned by Ensemble. The second phase, the 442 Residences, is a 94-unit, market-rate apartment building that began leasing in March and received its first residents in May. While the project is 55% leased, not all residents have moved into their units, according to Kevin Nemandoust, an associate for Ensemble.
Inspiration for the mid-century modern design of the 442 Residences evolved from Long Beach’s architectural heritage, as well as the adjacent office buildings, Henry Tong, design partner at Studio T-Square 2’s Long Beach office, explained. The five-story residential building is composed of studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 514 to 1,260 square feet. Monthly rents range from about $2,000 to nearly $3,700.
The primary amenity within the building is its roof deck, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Long Beach landmarks such as the Queen Mary. The floor of the deck is made to resemble and pay homage to the decks aboard the iconic ship, according to Tong. The space includes an outdoor movie screening area, a pizza oven and seating. Other amenities include a club room and fitness center adjoined to the roof deck, as well as a business office on the ground floor.
“Our amenities are not the biggest or the largest, but we’ve put a lot of effort into designing them thoughtfully and in a way that we could program [them] to really serve our residents,” Nemandoust said.
“There is also lots of stuff going on around the development site, and that encourages people to walk around,” Tong added. Residents have a short walk from 442 Residences to entertainment and dining at The Pike Outlets and Pine Avenue, as well as the Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Drive restaurants. Nemandoust said work has already begun to create an
outdoor “living room” space just outside the coffeehouse and cafe Aroma di Roma, which is located on the ground floor of the 444 office building. This is another amenity for residents in the 442 Residences, he said, noting the shop will soon have extended hours for people to enjoy coffee, beer and wine into the evening.
Ensemble has three other projects in Long Beach, including The Crest at 207 Seaside Way, a 112-unit mixed-use project also designed by Studio T-Square 2 slated to open later this year. Construction has not begun on Ensemble’s 345-unit 3rd + Pacific or 141-unit Magnolia & Broadway projects, each tentatively named after the intersection at which they are located. Studio T-Square 2 also designed the 189-unit Inkwell mixed-use project by Raintree-Evergreen LLC at 127 E. Broadway and a 146-unit mixed-use development by MKP LLC at 201 Pacific Coast Hwy., neither of which have begun construction.
“One thing we like about Long Beach is it’s one of the last affordable beach communities in all of California,” Nemandoust said. “We feel like Long Beach itself is rare in the sense that it’s urban yet also has aspects of suburban neighborhoods and also is right by the water. We don’t really see that anywhere else. We value being a part of the growth and expansion [in Downtown Long Beach].”