A project slated to build nearly 140,000 square feet of warehouse space near the Los Cerritos Wetlands in East Long Beach was approved by the city Monday afternoon, potentially clearing the way for the project to move forward.

It would bring two 35-foot-tall industrial buildings to the mostly vacant 8.5-acre lot east of the T-intersection of Loynes Drive and Studebaker Road. The total floor space of the buildings would be 139,200 square feet with 211 parking spaces and 12 bicycle spaces, according to plans approved by the city and the Coastal Commission.

As part of the project, the developer will relandscape 1.81 acres of nearby land and give it to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority, a joint powers organization formed to preserve, restore and conserve the wetlands in the Long Beach and Seal Beach area.

The project has been bouncing between the city and the California Coastal Commission for years. It was approved by the Planning Commission in 2019 and the Coastal Commission in 2021, but delays required a new approval. The decision Monday by the city’s zoning administrator can be appealed to either the Planning Commission or the Coastal Commission during the next three weeks.

Approval of the project comes with a series of special conditions such as requiring the site to have electric chargers for vehicles and ensuring that the buildings are bird-safe — in part by building with glass that is visible to birds — as well as limiting the amount of light emitted by the buildings into the surrounding wetlands.

The Coastal Commission also required a traffic plan that mandates trucks entering the facility do so off of Studebaker Road and prohibits them from using Loynes to enter. Truck loading would also be limited to the eastern side of the buildings where the loading docks would be, according to the plans.

Ryan Jones, a regional development manager at Panattoni Development, which proposed the project, said that there are no specific tenants identified for the site. It is currently approved for warehouse use. If it were to be transitioned into a trucking center or similar use the operator would have to apply for a new permit, according to city staff.

Because it is new construction, the Coastal Commission also prohibited the project from building any future sea walls or other structures to protect it from flooding or other water-related issues. If the city or other government agency determines in the future that the site is no longer habitable or roads leading to the site are not accessible, all or part of the project could have to be removed.

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