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Hear LB Mayor/Councilmembers Justify/Commend Spending $6.5 Mil -- Part Of $9 Mil Total Cost -- From State Taxpayers' Tidelands Funds To Build A New Downtown-Adjacent Beach Concession Stand (Incl. Public Bathrooms, Kids Play Area, Bldg To Rent Beach Items) is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(March 8, 2019, 2:30 p.m.) -- provides on-demand audio below of what was said by LB Mayor Robert Garcia and four of LB's nine Councilmembers (Jeannine Pearce [made motion], Suzie Price [seconded motion], Rex Richardson and Al Austin) before the Council voted 9-0 to approve spending $6.53 million (includes 15% contingency) in state taxpayers' Tidelands funds to build a roughly 4,200 sq. ft. concession stand at Alamitos Beach (the closest remaining sand to downtown Long Beach) with a rooftop deck, an adjoining children's play area/playground, a public restroom and a side building to rent recreational items.

Image source: March 5 city staff agendized report

Councilmembers Gonzalez, Supernaw, Mungo, Andews and Uranga didn't speak but joined their colleagues in voting "yes." Audio begins with the item's title read by the City Clerk after which city staff describes the project.

To launch audio, click here.

The $9.0 million cost for the concession stand and adjacent "amenities" is several times more than the sums allocated to build three other new concession stands further eastward (away from downtown.)is in addition to $2.5 million previously budgeted for [March 5 City Council agendizing memo text] "consulting services, design, plan check and permit inspection fees, utility fees, construction support, project labor compliance, and related project support."

Image source: March 5 city staff agendized report

At the Council meeting, city staff presented Power Point graphics with additional artist renderings (at this link.)
March 5 City staff PPT presentation

[Scroll down for further.]

The roughly $9 million cost will come from LB's Tidelands, a strip of state-owned lands along/adjacent to the shoreline that the state lets the City of Long Beach administer from which the City can tap Tidelands revenue (mainly from oil operations) for state-allowed purposes ranging from Port operations to beachfront/recreational items. A three-person state agency, the State Lands Commission (SLC), is responsible for overseeing uses of state lands and state taxpayers money from it. The SLC consists of the Lt. Governor, state Controller and the Governor's Finance Director.



On April 19, 2018, the Alamitos Beach concession stand plus the three other less extravagant LB concession stands came to the State Lands Commission for approval. They were part of a single item listing 12 LB Tidelands projects (including Naples sea walls, Belmont Pier repairs and others) totaling roughly $32 million. The item was part of the State Lands Commission's "consent calendar" on which no Commission discussion took place.

At that time, the SLC consisted of then-Lt. Governor (now Governor) Gavin Newsom, state Controller Betty Yee and then-Governor Brown's Finance Director, Michael Cohen. The $8.25 million for the four concession stands was described in a single paragraph

Alamitos, Bayshore, Granada, Junipero Concessions Stands

On December 17, 2014, the Commission reviewed an expenditure [$3.15 million for design/permitting] for the renovation of four aging beach restroom and concession stand facilities. The City requests the Commission review an additional expenditure for $6,830,535 to fund the project into the construction phase. The Bayshore, Granada, and Junipero locations will each receive an additional $633,922; the $4,928,769 will fund the Alamitos location. The Alamitos Beach Concession building has three sections: food concession (including a commercial kitchen), recreational beach rentals (such as bikes, paddle boards, etc.,) and public restrooms. The building design capitalizes on the views and allows for food and recreational concessions to the public.

The vote was 3-0 to approve with Newsom, Yee and Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez as Alternate for Finance Director Cohen all voting "yes."


The $8.25 million approved on that vote is in addition to $3.15 million previously approved by the state body in December 2014 for design/permitting of the four concession stands. It was likewise a consent calendar item (four LB projects totaling $11.7 million) in which the concession stands were described as:

Beach Restroom & Concession Rehabilitation: Renovate aging concession stands and beach restrooms. The design and permitting for the renovation of the beach restroom and concession stand combined facilities, which are located at Bayshore Avenue, Granada Avenue, Junipero Avenue, and Alamitos Beach, will be initiated in 2014. Funding is also being set aside to plan, design and implement minor & major nodes throughout the shoreline, which are intended to include public art and wayfinding signage components. Preliminary Schedule: Design and Permit: December 2014 -- September 2015 Construction: December 2015 -- June 2016. Estimated expenditure: $3,150,000")

The SLC Dec. 17, 2014 consent calendar vote was 2-0, all by Alternates: Kevin Schmidt, Policy Director voted for Lt. Gov. Newsom; Eraina Ortega; Chief Deputy Finance Director voted for Director Cohen. (Alan Gordon, Deputy Controller, didn't vote on the consent calendar.)

The three other less extravagant LB concession stands, more distant from downtown, haven't yet come to the LB City Council for final approval but are expected to do so soon.



Between the April 2018 SLC voted action and the March 2019 LB City Council voted action, the cost of the Alamitos Beach concession apparently grew from $4.9 million (SLC approved figure) to $6.53 million (Council approved cost figure.) To this, Long Beach city staff's memo to the Council said: "The SLC will be notified of the additional expenditures required based on the bids received at the next scheduled meeting."

The new concession stand will replace a roughly 2,200 sq. ft concession/restroom building at the western end of what used to be Long Beach's longer beach. Over a series of decades, former Long Beach City Halls erased the downtown portion of what was once the "Queen of the Beaches" for landfill that suited developers and downtown interests (hotels, a convention center, the Long Beach Aquarium and a retail center (that wasn't a Tidelands approved use, requiring LB City Hall to make a public admission that the Tidelands development parcel had become basically useless for Tidelands purposes while under the City of LB's trusteeship.)

Graphic created by Dan Gutierrez, from SoCal Stair Climbers Facebook page, used with permission.

The multi-million-dollar concession stand will be built across Shoreline Dr. eastward from a Convention Center surface parking lot planned for temporary use as a venue during the 2028 Olympics. It's basically the same area where some believe a major league baseball stadium should be built if the Angels were to relocate to Long Beach from Anaheim.

A city staff agendizing memo described the $9 million Alamitos Beach concession stand as follows:

The Project is aligned with the existing pedestrian and bicycle paths east of the site, creating a promenade area in front of the Project site, facing the beach. The main cafe and concession building will consist of a 4,240-square-footbuilding with a first floor and rooftop deck to maximize beach views and the visitor experience. A large outdoor deck will wrap around the south portion of the building where a concession window will offer more traditional "grab and go" type snacks or other food options. Adjacent to the concession area will be an outdoor play area and a separate playground for smaller children. Further west, new public restrooms and a recreational rental building will be built for beach visitors. The Project will also include onsite pedestrian scaled lighting, drought tolerant coastal native plants, a shade structure, wayfinding signage, improvements to the public beach parking lot, and hardscape improvements.

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