The Long Beach City Council at its meeting on November 17 approved amending a lease contract for the city-owned Queen Mary, allowing Los Angeles-based Urban Commons, LLC to take over as the master leaseholder of the ship and adjacent shore side property.


The previous master leaseholder, Garrison Investment Group, LLC, took over control of the Queen Mary master lease in 2009 and has since spent over $13 million on preservation, renovation and other capital improvements to the ship’s hotel, exhibits and attractions, according to city staff.


Additionally, Garrison’s management company, Evolution Hospitality, modernized operations, improved retail and restaurant offerings and brought new events to the ship, city staff said.

According to city staff, the new lessee was vetted by both Garrison Investment Group and the city to take over control of the master lease.


With “experience and commitment to innovative development,” Urban Commons, a real estate investment and development firm, has a “successful track record of developing, re-positioning and rebranding a wide array of property types throughout the United States,” city staff said.


City staff added that the firm is also known for working closely with municipalities, communities and neighborhoods to create “thoughtful development plans that optimize each property while delivering valuable public benefits.”


The amended and restated master lease provides necessary modifications to attract new development, while also providing stronger support for the preservation and maintenance of the historic ship. According to city staff, Urban Commons will be squarely focused on future shore side development while having “robust and stable stewardship programs in place for the Queen Mary.”


The recently formed Queen Mary Land Development Task Force is expected to meet on January 6.