A rendering of the new rooftop bar at the Breakers Hotel. Courtesy of Pacific6.

Two of Downtown’s most significant historic buildings, the Breakers Hotel and the Ocean Center Building, are scheduled to open within a year of one another after undergoing hundreds of million dollars worth of renovation by their owner, Long Beach’s Pacific6 Enterprises, a group of investors headed by John Molina. The company also owns the Long Beach Business Journal and Long Beach Post.

The Breakers and Ocean Center Building are two historical cousins that have survived some problems since opening in the 1920s, including the effects of the Great Depression, the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the removal of their oceanfront locations when the Pacific Ocean scampered off several blocks to the south to make room for Shoreline Village, Shoreline Drive and other developments, and the city’s occasional tendency over the years to raze its historical buildings.

The buildings are an easy stroll from one another on Ocean Boulevard, with the Breakers at 210 E. Ocean Blvd. and the Ocean Center at 110 W. Ocean Blvd. The 14-story Breakers was built in 1926, and the 14-story Ocean Center in 1929.

The Breakers, after improvements made at a cost of nearly $200 million, is set to reopen as Fairmont The Breakers, making it part of the prestigious Fairmont group of hotels. Now set to open in early January 2024, the Breakers will be the city’s only luxury boutique hotel. About half the scaffolding once surrounding the building has been removed, and the Fairmont and Sky Room signs are visible at the top.

The building remains owned by Pacific6, while the Fairmont family will be the operating manager in charge of all hiring, services and accounting while receiving a percentage of the hotel’s revenue, according to Pacific6’s Vice President for Real Estate & Hospitality Renato Alesiani.

“Initially, we were going to be an independent hotel, but we were asked to consider Fairmont,” said Alesiani. “We liked them immediately. It was love at first sight. We started talks in March and signed with them in May.”

Rates at the 185-room luxury hotel are expected to cost from $400 to $450 per night, with suites running higher.

Amenities include the Breakers Spa, which will also be open to the public; a lobby restaurant, which Alesiani expects to be the finest modern Italian restaurant in the city; two ballrooms and a dedicated kitchen for banquets; a terrace pool overlooking the Terrace Theater Plaza to the east; a jazz club, likely to be called Club 210 after the hotel’s address; and the hotel’s jewel, the famed and majestic Sky Room, which will retain its name and expansive views. “We’re not going to reinvent the wheel,” said Alesiani.

The hotel will have a soft opening in January to allow the staff and kitchens to get running smoothly—Alesiani estimates the hotel will provide jobs for more than 230 full- and part-time employees—followed by a grand opening two to three weeks later.

“And that’s going to be a party,” said Alesiani.

The Ocean Center Building, originally designed for offices, has been converted to apartments at a cost of nearly $80 million. Set to open on May 1, the building will feature 80 luxury apartments, each equipped with modern appliances and other features.

The apartments will range in size from 625-square-foot studios leasing for about $3,500 a month to the two-story, top-floor 2,158 square-foot penthouse which is expected to go for about $17,500 a month.

Pacific6 is still in talks with potential business owners about what sort of retail establishments will occupy the ground floor of the building, including the large venue inside the arcade off South Pine that was once the entryway to the Pike.

Amenities for tenants include three rooftop terraces including one with kitchen and barbecue facilities, covered and secure parking space availability, bike storage and a private fitness center.

“The two buildings are the most beautiful ones in Long Beach in my opinion,” said Alesiani. “The Ocean Center is going to be gorgeous, and the addition of the Breakers as the only luxury hotel in Long Beach will elevate the guest experience for visitors. In the past they’d have to go to other cities like Laguna Beach or San Diego. Now they’re going to come here.”

Editor’s note: Pacific6 is the parent company of the Long Beach Business Journal and Long Beach Post. To learn more about our ownership and ethics policy, visit our transparency portal.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email tim@lbpost.com, @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.