(Editor’s note: To see a map and list of downtown development projects, please click here)

 

Of the 25 major developments underway or planned in Downtown Long Beach, none is as large or as expensive as the Long Beach Civic Center project by the City of Long Beach and their partners, Plenary-Edgemoor Civic Partners (PECP).

 

The $520 million public-private partnership project consists of twin 11-story buildings serving as the city’s new city hall and port administration building, as well as a new council chambers wing, library and Lincoln Park. Once these elements are completed, PECP will develop a mixed-use project that could include residential units, retail and office space, and a hotel on the site of the current city hall building.

 

“I anticipate they will finish pouring the 11th floors some time toward the end of January,” Long Beach Public Works Director Craig Beck said. “Then the curtain wall system will start to be installed. I’m guessing in the May or June time frame we’ll see the buildings with the skins on.”

Business Journal photograph by Evan Patrick Kelly, December 6, 2017

 

According to Beck, the two towers are scheduled to be completed by June 2019. He explained that the buildings will have more of a modern office layout that is open with plenty of natural light and amenities to help employees do their jobs more efficiently and comfortably. The most notable design feature inside the city hall building is the likely decrease in personal space to allow for the inclusion of more meeting space, which Beck said is hard to come by in the current building.

 

With more collaborative space, Beck explained that additional technologies will be utilized such as Microsoft Surface laptops in conference rooms to maximize and ease the use of digital presentations and other content. Aside from meeting space, Beck said the new building will have formal break rooms for employees on every floor, which the current building lacks.

 

“There will be a new data center constructed in the new city hall, new fiber lines that will ensure that our network is secure and can accommodate the growing amount of data that is being exchanged,” Beck said. “And a digital imaging system is going in, basically converting from the paper-driven business processes that we have today in the city to a more digitally driven business process.”

 

The new 92,500-square-foot main library is on the same schedule as the city hall and port buildings – contracted to be completed by June 2019. The steel framing of the structure is complete and Beck expects construction crews to begin placing wood beams in early January. The energy efficient designs include increased access to library materials, individual study and tutoring rooms, a dedicated children’s space and additional services for disabled residents. The library will overlook the revitalized Lincoln Park directly to the south.

 

As for the mid-block development by PECP, Beck said no plans have been finalized, as construction cannot begin until 2020 at the earliest. After the completion of the new city hall in June 2019, PECP could then go through the lengthy process of demolishing the current building. Beck said final plans for the likely residential, commercial and hotel space depend on the markets in those areas at the time.

 

Once the entire project is completed, Beck explained it will be very open, creating a more walkable and accessible civic center. In addition to open space within the project, Chestnut Place and Cedar Avenue will run through the development connecting the now-divided streets.

 

“The civic plaza is going to be a fantastic space that flows through and around the project. The current civic plaza is kind of disjointed space. It is hard to figure out how to access it, where the common zones are,” Beck said. “This new one is going to be much more intuitive. I think the civic plaza is going to be a very special place.”

 

For more information on the Long Beach Civic Center development project, visit www.pecplongbeach.com.

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