|(Mar. 19, 2019, 8:20 a.m.) -- Taxpayer-owned City of Long Beach property next to the Convention Center, locally known as the "Elephant Lot" because circuses once used it, has now become central to discussions/negotiations involving City officials regarding possible relocation of the CA Angels of Anaheim to Long Beach. LBREPORT.com recaps below some recent actions involving the publicly-owned land.
June 24, 2016: LB Mayor Robert Garcia Tweets filmmaker George Lucas suggesting that the Elephant Lot might make a good site for the filmaker's museum. Mr. Lucas chooses an L.A. site instead.
[Belmont Pool EIR text] ..The site was considered because of its location in the Downtown area and proximity to existing public use areas, such as the LBCC, the Long Beach Arena and the Aquarium of the Pacific. However, Jehovah's Witness currently leases this parking lot site to accommodate parking demands during the annual convention at the LBCC. The lease expires in 2030 and requires 3,000 parking spaces in two different lots, currently the "Elephant Lot" provides over half of these parking spaces (1,915 spaces)...[A]ny loss of parking for Jehovah's Witness or the LBCC would require additional mitigation. Special events, such as the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach, also use the parking lot for events and staging. This alternative site would not represent the highest and best land use for the area adjacent to the convention center, which should be reserved for convention or hotel uses...[The EIR cited a number of other reasons, then stated] For the reasons stated above, the "Elephant Lot" site was rejected as a potential alternative site and was not considered further.(Source: EIR Chapter 5, p. 5-6 and 5-7)
Feb. 25, 2019: The City of Long Beach issues a carefully written statement that effectively indicates the Elephant Lot has been the subject of discussions invovling publicly unidentified City of Long Beach officials over an unidentified time period related to the CA Angels possibly relocating from Anaheim to Long Beach for a speculated stadium someone will pay to build on the Elephant Lot.
March 12, 2019: A publicly agendized closed session of the City Council is scheduled March 12, 2019 at 3 p.m. citing the Brown Act exception to open meetings to conduct discussion with city management on "price and terms" for "lease and/or purchase" of the Elephant Lot. [UPDATE: Mar. 19, 8:26 a.m.: Kevin Lee, City of LB Public Affairs Officer emails LBREPORT.com: "The Closed Session item...is related to the ongoing conversations with the Angels regarding a potential sports venue in downtown Long Beach." [end UPDATE] The agendized item lists an LLC and not the Angels as the party with whom negotiations are taking place. LBREPORT.com raises Brown (open meetings) Act issues on the agendized item at this link.
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