Development News

Sares-Regis Group Breaks Ground On Three Developments

Property development, investment and management firm Sares-Regis Group, the mastermind behind Douglas Park, broke ground on three multi-family residential projects in the downtown area on June 1.

“We’ve seen the early signs of what a renaissance looks like in an urban core, and we’ve been convinced for several years that it is happening here in Downtown Long Beach,” Chris Payne, managing director for Sares-Regis, said during the event. “We are happy to be here early, and we hope we’re a good part of what continues the progress the city has really made in changing the dynamic of downtown.”

Irvine-based property management company Sares-Regis Group (SRG) celebrated the groundbreaking of three projects in the Downtown Long Beach area: The Alamitos, located on the northwest corner of 1st Street and Alamitos Avenue, includes 136 market-rate apartments; The Pacific, located on the southwest corner of 3rd Street and Pacific Avenue, includes 163 apartments, 17 of which are affordable units; and The Linden, located at 434 E. 4th St., includes 49 market rate apartments.  Pictured from left: Dave Powers, senior vice president of SRG Residential; Mayor Robert Garcia; Chris Payne, managing director of SRG; John Pinnell, development manager of SRG Residential; and Kelly Peart, president of SRG Contractors LP. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Larry Duncan, Renderings at top of page courtesy of the City of Long Beach)

 

One project, The Alamitos, located on the northwest corner of 1st Street and Alamitos Avenue, began construction last month and is estimated for completion in spring 2019. The seven-story development consists of 136 market-rate apartments and 2,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space along 1st Street. Amenities include a rooftop deck and clubroom, a luxury fitness center, an outdoor kitchen, multiple indoor and outdoor community living rooms, and a bike workshop and storage room.

The Alamitos

 

The next project to begin is The Linden, which is slated to start construction this month, with completion estimated for spring 2019. Located at 434 E. 4th St., between Linden Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard, the six-story building consists of 49 market-rate apartments and 2,550 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The project includes a rooftop deck, a luxury fitness center, an outdoor kitchen, outdoor community living rooms, and a bike workshop and storage room.

The Linden

 

The last project to begin construction is The Pacific, located on the southwest corner of 3rd Street and Pacific Avenue. The seven-story development is scheduled to begin construction in July, with an estimated completion in summer 2019. The largest of the projects, The Pacific consists of 163 apartments, including 17 affordable units. There is no retail or restaurant space, rather ground-floor townhomes will line all street frontages. The building will also feature a rooftop deck and clubroom with kitchen, a luxury pool deck with spa and cabanas, a luxury fitness center, an outdoor kitchen, multiple indoor and outdoor community living rooms, and a bike workshop and storage room.

The Pacific

 

“We need to build all types of housing. So anytime we build a unit in the downtown and are creating more folks that are paying their taxes and supporting the businesses down here is good for the city,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “[The projects] are going to invigorate lots that have been empty for decades. They’re going to bring in new neighbors. They’re going to support the small businesses that are here. And most importantly, I think, is they are going to continue to create a vibrancy of the community.”

 

All three projects are being built on what are now surface parking lots and include two levels of underground parking. Michael Bohn, senior principal at architecture firm Studio One Eleven, said that replacing parking lots with nearly 350 residential units is a positive step away from the previous suburban-thinking, car-centric era.

 

“There is no question that Downtown Long Beach is booming. This is an incredible community,” Garcia said. “I’ve always said that we would measure our success in the downtown by the amount of cranes and jobs and construction and people working on developments, and it’s happening.”

 

City Venture Breaks Ground On Townhome Development

On May 24, City Ventures Inc. celebrated the groundbreaking of Huxton, a development project consisting of 40 three-story townhome condominiums located at 227 Elm Ave.

“Huxton will be a unique addition to the East Village and will enhance the vitality of the downtown,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a press release. “This new community will bring more high-quality housing to the area and increase the diversity of housing options in Long Beach.”

Rendering courtesy of the City of Long Beach

 

The solar-powered, all-electric units will be situated above a garage, and the project will feature a community building room, outdoor courtyards and an integrated pedestrian paseo. The advanced technology and the energy- and water-efficient features “promote a healthy, active and earth-friendly lifestyle.” The project is one of the first single-family condominium housing developments to be built in Downtown Long Beach in nearly a decade.

Site map courtesy of the City of Long Beach

 

“We are excited to take part in the revitalization of the Downtown and work with the City to help create something really meaningful to the residents of Long Beach,” Phil Kerr, chief executive officer of City Ventures, said. “We are not only a leader in the development of infill communities, but as an eco-friendly homebuilder, we pride ourselves on offering solar-powered, all-electric new homes such as here at Huxton.”

 

Early Childhood Education School Breaks Ground

On May 24, community leaders gathered for the groundbreaking of a new Educare learning facility on the Clara Barton Elementary School campus, located at 1100 E. Del Amo Blvd. The new Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach is the first Southern California facility in the company’s network of 22 schools. Construction is expected to carry through 2018 on the $18 million project. Once completed, the site would serve up to 200 students per year by providing learning spaces for children of underprivileged families in the area. Academic features include low student-to-teacher ratios, family-oriented activities and a dual-language program. Operating costs are estimated at up to $3.4 million per year. Prospective students must meet state preschool and Head Start eligibility to enroll. For more information, visit www.educareschools.org.

 

Southeast Area Specific Plan Going To City Council

At its June 1 meeting, the Long Beach Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Southeast Area Specific Plan (SEASP) for the city council’s consideration. The proposed plan includes amendments to height restrictions, the general plan, the Local Coastal Program and zoning codes, as well as three zone changes. The SEASP would replace the current Southeast Area Development and Improvement Plan (SEADIP), which was adopted in 1977. In 2006, the city council directed staff to update SEADIP regulations to better meet the needs of residents and property owners in the area. In June 2013, the city council accepted a $929,000 grant from the California Department of Conservation to update SEADIP, of which the current proposed plan is a result. The plan is meant to “bring regulations in the southeast part of the city into conformity with today’s vision for the area, to comply with state requirements for more compact mixed-use development and to provide the range of mobility options the public has expressed a desire for and are mandated under the city’s Mobility Element as well as state law,” according to city documents. The plan is also meant to rectify current environmental shortcomings, including adding protections to the surrounding wetlands. If approved by the city council, the plan would still require the approval of the California Coastal Commission.

 

Broadway Bike Lanes

In an effort to continue Long Beach’s bike and walkability improvements, it is proposed that the 1.5-mile stretch of Broadway between Temple and Alamitos avenues be next to be placed on a road diet. The proposed plan would reduce the street from four lanes down to two and include the addition of bicycle lanes featuring high-visibility green pylons seen in other parts of the city. Though the environmental impact report has yet to be certified, City Engineer Sean Crumby said the Public Works Department could begin work as early as this fall.

 

Real Estate News

24-Hour Mental Health Facility Approved

At its May 23 meeting, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to reject four appeals and approve the city’s first ever 24-hour mental health urgent care facility, developed by Stars Behavioral Health Group.

 

Located at 3200-3220 Long Beach Blvd., the 24-hour facility would be capable of admitting up to 12 adults and six adolescents. The building would also house a crisis walk-in center, which would be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Rendering courtesy of Stars Behavioral Health Group

 

Stars Behavioral Health Group is headquartered in Long Beach and will run the operation on contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Advocates for the center claim such facilities ease the burden on law enforcement and reduce rates of incarceration and hospitalization, while connecting patients with appropriate treatment.

 

Appellants were not opposed to a mental health facility but had safety concerns for residents in the surrounding neighborhood. However, the conditional use permit approved by the city council includes a requirement for security guards to be present at the facility at all times.

 

The project is a reuse of a 14,409-square-foot medical office building already located at the site. Improvements to the site include parking lot repaving and restriping, security lighting and cameras, a 6 1/2-foot block wall along Elm Avenue and 32nd Street, landscaping, and improvements to surrounding sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

 

Stepp Commercial Completes $10.55 Million Sale

Stepp Commercial principal Robert Stepp represented a private investor from Signal Hill in the $10.55 million sale of a 56-unit apartment portfolio consisting of three Long Beach properties (one of which is pictured at upper left). The three properties include a 20-unit property at 765 Cerritos Ave., a 24-unit property at 731 Orange Ave. and a 12-unit property at 933 Alamitos Ave. “This portfolio offered the buyer a solid mix of one- and two-units with rental upside and ample parking,” said Stepp. “Additionally, this is the downleg for the seller in a 1031 exchange who wanted to sell its smaller assets and trade up into a larger, single, turnkey apartment community for easier property management functions. Overall, this increased the seller’s cash flow and provided the buyer with a value-add opportunity in a non-rent controlled market.” Robert Stepp also represented the buyer, Corona Del Mar-based Mandek 10 Property Partners LLC.

 

United Pacific Moves Into New Headquarters

As of May 30, United Pacific, operator of 375 gas stations and convenience stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada, is fully moved into and operational at the company’s new 41,000-square-foot headquarters located on the southeast corner of Cover Street at Worsham Avenue in Douglas Park.

 

“We’re thrilled to be in Douglas Park. It’s a great area,” United Pacific President Joe Juliano said. “Our employees are just ecstatic to be here, excited to be in a new space – walking around with smiles and a little bit of a bounce in their step. We’re just really excited to be in Long Beach.”

On May 30, Joe Juliano, president of United Pacific, operator of 375 gas stations and convenience stores, and his 125 employees moved into the company’s new headquarters located on the southeast corner of Cover Street and Worsham Avenue in Douglas Park. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Larry Duncan)

 

The company relocated from Gardena and chose Long Beach due to its central location to its 125 employees. Juliano explained that the company chose Douglas Park specifically for its proximity to Long Beach Airport and the 405 Freeway.

 

The company currently occupies about 36,000 square feet of the new space, with plans to lease the remaining 4,000 square feet. Juliano said that ultimately the space will be for company expansion in the future.

 

Juliano describes the facility as state of the art and ultramodern, with Google-esque type amenities. The lobby of the building is a mock gas station and convenience store – car and gas pumps included. The workspace is an open-air environment with areas for employees to collaborate. The facility also includes a gym, game tables, an outdoor patio area, a terrace, vibrant colors and outdoor water features.

 

“We have been doing business here for a long time, and now it’s the place we call home,” Juliano said. “We see the city as being progressive and going through a bit of a transformation for the better, and we wanted to be a part of it.”

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