We'll update you when new hearing is scheduled. We’re a group of residents opposed to City Hall building the project just north of beach sand in SE LB because of future sea-level rise (the beach site is expected to flood in 30-50 years), the cost ($82 million, from Tidelands Funds) and the fact that there’s already an existing outdoor pool at this site installed 5 years ago when the old Belmont Pool was demolished in 2015. There are places in Long Beach with a greater need for recreation and sports facilities
The entire City of Long Beach has only 3 public pools. Long Beach needs more community pools, but not on the beach. This pool should be built in a neighborhood where more Long Beach residents can easily reach it to enjoy the benefits of swimming and recreation.
Paid for by Long Beach residents who think there’s a better place in Long Beach for a public pool. Contact us: ABetterPlaceForAPool@gmail.com
|(December 11, 2020, 5:10 p.m.) -- The City Council is scheduled to hold a December 15 session (closed to the public and the press) regarding "lease amendment terms" pertaining to the Queen Mary and the City's lessee/operator (and adjacent property developer) Urban Commons.
The agenda item cites CA Gov't Code section 54956 as the basis for the 4:30 p.m. scheduled closed session "regarding a conference with the City's real property negotiator [City Mgr. Tom Modica] regarding "1126 Queen's Highway, commonly known as the Queen Mary." It identifies the negotiating parties as the City of LB and Urban Commons Queensway, LLC.
The agenda item indicates: "Under negotiation: lease amendment terms."
November 1, 2016: The City Council votes 6-1 (motion by Pearce, seconded by Andrews, Price dissenting, Richardson and Gonzalez on SCAG trip to China) to approve a lease with Urban Commons that included spending up to $23 million to perform a list of what the City acknowledged were urgently needed Queen Mary ship repairs. That sum is now entirely depleted without performing some of the repair items, as the City says the cost of dealing with the ship's fire protection system cost millions more than expected.
During Council discussion, Interim Director of Economic and Property Development, Kathryn McDermott, disclosed that the Queen Mary somehow requires over $200 million in repairs, and indicated this was known as a result of a survey on the ship' condition conducted by its previous lessee (Garrison) and its current lessee (Urban Commons). Additional details were described in a city management agendizing memo here.
Auditor Doud said she has a duty to express her concerns, said she'd like to examine the long term plans for the QM and voiced concern over the size of $200+ million in QM repairs that staff now contends are needed. The Council declined to agree to a request by Councilwoman Price to give City Auditor Laura Doud 14 days (Price initially sought 30 days) to review the proposed transaction.
No Councilmember(s) asked publicly how that magnitude of repairs was allowed to accumulate or who (by name) was responsible for letting this occur. To date, those details haven't been publicly addressed by LB's Mayor or the city's policy-setting City Council.
[Scroll down for further.]
Nov. 4, 2019: City management sends LB's Mayor and City Councilmembers a memo indicating that the city's QM ship/adjacent land developer lessee, Urban Commons, had responded on Oct. 22 to the City's request for plans to address chronic vessel maintenance and repair issues and provide certain financial documents. The memo the City's Director of Economic Development, John Keisler, to Assistant City Mgr. Tom Modica for transmittal to the Mayor/Council provides a generally upbeat response to the lessee's plan. It idicates that certain maintenance items (painting. water intrusion, rust inhibitors) are being funded right now by Urban Commons.
However city management's management memo also attaches a document -- Attachment B -- signed by Urban Commons Queensway LLC's Taylor Woods which indicates that the estimated cost of certain needed repairs is approximately $5M to $7M. In that document, Mr. Woods states that "Urban Commons remains dedicated to its partnership with the City of Long Beach and to the long term preservation, maintenance and development of the historic ship on behalf of the residents of and visitors to the city" while recognizing "that historic preservation will be costly and that it will require certain creative partnerships to develop the funding to make needed repairs."
City management's memo to the Mayor/Council leaves uclear exactly what, if any, "creative partnerships to develop the funding" to make the needed repairs city management may now be discussing with Urban Commons (which at some point could presumably come to the City Council for approval.).
City management's memo indicates that Urban Commons has contracted for certain exterior paint and joint repair work, developed a "supplemental maintenance plan" to "remove standing water, investigate and repair water intrusion sources, and reapply rust inhibitor where needed" and indicates that Urban Commons will fund these items without tapping City-funded "Historical Preservation Capital Improvement Plan [roughly $23 million, now depleted, from a debt bond plus reserves], part of the transaction to which Council agreed in November 2016 when it authorized (Price dissenting) entering into a 66-year year-lease with Urban Commons to operate the ship and develop its adjoining land into "Queen Mary Island."
City management's memo says Urban Commons has a "bid" of $4.8 million from an independent contractor to perform certain additional critical side-shell repair work and life boat removal. City management's memo says the City will work with an independent engineering firm to confirm the scope of work, timing and cost and said the "City is confident that Urban Commons now has a plan in place to resolve the remaining structural issues identified in the Marine Survey..."
In an attachment to city management's memo, Taylor Woods of Urban Commons states that his firm "will work with the City to explore using funds based on the ongoing income sources created at the outset of our lease and that the "estimated cost of all the items above is approximately $5M to $7M based on the scope of work provided" and adds:
"Although the organization has learned a great deal about the challenges associated with maintaining a historic asset such as Queen Mary, Urban Commons remains dedicated to its partnership with the City of Long Beach and to the long term preservation, maintenance and development of the historic ship on behalf of the residents of and visitors to the city. We recognize that historic preservation will be costly and that it will require certain creative partnerships to develop the funding to make needed repairs."
Urban Commons also submitted to city management a Feb. 2018 report for the ship's hull and tank top which it says "continues to support the fact that the ship is structurally safe and in no danger of being unsalvageable."
City management also tells the Mayor/Council that it has hired an independent firm to conduct a peer-review of inspection reports provided (for roughly twenty years) by a city-retained engineer [whose monthly reports have grown increasingly critical of the ship's maintenance and condition.] The memo indicates the "peer review" is expected to be completed in mid-November.
December 2019: :Long Beach city management terminates the City's contractual relationship with an independent engineer (tasked for over 20 years to perform monthly Queen Mary inspections) who'd become increasingly critical publicly of the ship's maintenance and the City's record in addressing maintenance issues.
January 2020: Mayor Robert Garcia uses his "State of the City" message to declare the Queen Mary was part of LB's past and present, said the ship "isn't going anywhere" and references future plans by lessee Urban Commons for development of "Queen Mary island."
Jan.15, 2020: Urban Commons issues a statement regarding the future of the Queen Mary.
[Urban Commons Jan. 15, 2020 release text]
Oct. 5, 2020: The City of Long Beach issues an official statement regarding the Queen Mary and the arrest of current and former Eagle Hospital Trust (EHT) manager/directors in Singapore.
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