With the symbolic demolition of Long Beach Plaza, Developers
Diversified Realty Corporation (NYSE: DDR) "DDR" began construction Monday of a mixed-use development that will create a new urban village in downtown Long Beach and give the city an economic boost.
Led by Mayor Beverly O’Neill, city leaders joined company officials in tearing down a mock wall at Long Beach Plaza and unveiling the name of the project that will rise in its place. CityPlace will include approximately 475,000 square feet of retail space, 328 residential units (258 rental units, 70 loft condominiums), a 138-room suites hotel and parking for 2,900 vehicles. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2002.
CityPlace is expected to generate $1.9 million per year in new sales tax, property tax and hotel tax revenues. The development is expected to create approximately 850 new jobs, not including the temporary jobs created during construction.
The development site covers eight city blocks now occupied by the Long Beach Plaza, an enclosed mall opened in 1982 and closed in 1999, and vacant city-owned land. Long Beach Plaza will be demolished and Fourth and Fifth Streets will be returned to the original city street grid, creating a pedestrian-oriented shopping district with a lively street scene.
"By reintroducing the city street grid and placing ground-level retail below housing units, we will be creating a new urban village in downtown Long Beach," said Eric Mallory, DDR’s senior vice president of development. "There will be neighborhood-serving businesses for current and future downtown residents, as well as retailers and entertainment activities that will draw people from other parts of Long Beach and from
throughout the region."
Mayor O’Neill praised DDR for its work.
"Downtown revitalization would not be complete without the re-birth of the Plaza, now called CityPlace." O’Neill said. "DDR has worked with the community and the City to develop a project combining retail and housing that will be both successful and a vital part of our urban fabric. CityPlace will strengthen the central core of our City."
DDR has agreements with Wal-Mart, Sav-on and Albertson’s to open stores at CityPlace.
Negotiations are continuing with tenants of all sizes in a wide range of areas, including specialty apparel, electronics, books, linens, sporting goods, footwear and restaurants.
CityPlace was designed by Jerde Partnership of Venice, CA., one of the nation’s leading urban architectural firms and the architects for well-known and successful projects including Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Universal CityWalk in Universal City, and Horton Plaza in San Diego.
According to Mallory of DDR, numerous design enhancements were made over the past two years to ensure that the project blends into the urban fabric. These included reintroducing the street grid, mixing street-level retail with residential units, and shielding parking areas. In addition, Wal-Mart has modified its prototypical building to include a corner entrance, mock display windows and an art deco façade.
CityPlace is owned by Coventry Long Beach Plaza LLC, a partnership between DDR, Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) and Coventry Real Estate Partners.
DDR, based in Cleveland, Ohio, is a fully integrated national real estate firm actively developing, acquiring, managing and investing in income-producing retail shopping centers. The company's portfolio includes 208 shopping centers in 40 states representing more than 49.2 million square feet of leasable area.
PREI provides global real estate money management services to clients in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. It manages more than $13.8 billion in assets on behalf of 325 institutional clients as of June 30, 2000. PREI is part of The Prudential Insurance Company of America, which, with more than $366 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 1999, is one of the largest life insurance companies in the
United States and is among the largest financial institutions in the world. Prudential serves more than 17 million individual and institutional customers in over 30 foreign countries, offering a variety of products and services, including life insurance, automobile and homeowner insurance, securities brokerage and financial planning, mutual funds and annuities, asset management, retirement services, retail banking, real estate and relocation services.