The Long Beach Planning Commission will vote Nov. 2 on whether to approve plans for a 21-story apartment building that would replace the former Long Beach Cafe building on Ocean Boulevard.

Long Beach Cafe, which operated for decades out of a one-story building at 615 E Ocean Blvd., permanently closed in 2020, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the cause.

A 203-unit building could now take its place. It would include 12 affordable units and 191 market-rate units with 261 parking spaces at a fully automated parking structure, according to plans submitted to the city. The project would also include 41 bike parking spaces, common areas built into several floors and a rooftop pool.

A developer has proposed a 21-story residential tower for the former Long Beach Cafe property in Downtown. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The affordable units are required under the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance, but because the project was originally submitted in 2022, the developers are only required to make 6% of the units available to lower-income households instead of the 11% now required under the law.

At 21 stories tall, the project would be one of the taller buildings Downtown, for the moment at least. It would sit just one block west of the 35-story Shoreline Gateway residential building that opened in November 2021.

The project is one of a handful of developments that are currently working their way toward completion in the Downtown area. Work continues on the 23-story, 271-unit Third and Pacific project that developers say could be open in late 2025.

Much of the former City Place shopping center has been approved to be redeveloped into the 900-unit Mosaic housing development. Smaller affordable housing developments are also in the works.

A 64-unit affordable senior housing project has been proposed at the former Long Beach Armory on Seventh Street. A 125-micro-unit development at the site of the Dolly Varden Hotel, which would include 16 affordable units, is also headed to the Planning Commission next week where the developer is appealing some of the conditions imposed on the project by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission in July.

Another large project, the 580-unit Mid-Block development between Lincoln Park and City Hall, has been on hold for years, but officials say the project is not dead. Similarly, a 30-story hotel project that is proposed for the corner of Ocean and Pine Avenue is working its way through escrow, according to city officials.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the 615 E Ocean Blvd. project at its Nov. 2 meeting at 5 p.m.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.