|(March 13, 2019, 1:05 p.m.) -- As carried LIVE on LBREPORT.com, the City Council voted
The Gondola, dubbed the "Wave" by its proponents (retired LB Harbor Commissioner Alex Bellehumeur (Statewide Development) and Clay Standidge (Muni Fed) -- were joined by Mayor Garcia and multiple Councilmembers in describing the proposal as a transportation/mobility project.
In response to questioning by Councilman Al Austin, Assistant City Mgr. Tom Modica indicated that Queen Mary Island lessee Urban Commons is currently putting together its development proposal and as part of its master development is examining all possibilities for getting people to the site (as part of CEQA process.) Mr. Modica indicated city staff is looking at using some transportation dollars "in a very low amount" [for the feasibility study] but staff hasn't made that determination yet.
Asked by Councilman Austin if Tidelands funds could be used for the feasibility study; Assistant City Manager Modica indicated funds could possibly come from Prop A transit funds or from Tidelands funds and at this point it was a small amount. Mr. Modica added that if the Gondola develops into a full project -- and stressed that it would be an Urban Commons project and not a City project -- the City would then look for grants and Metro in larger dollar amounts to support it. When Councilman Austin underscored that point, Mr. Modica added: "I would not imagine that we would ask for General Fund for this."
Later in the meeting, Mr. Modica indicated that with Council approval to pursue a feasibility study, city staff will work with Urban Commons which would "help identify some of the stakeholders...and then start talking about what the cost could be, whether there's appetite for investing and then I would imagine provide a report [and] we'll let you know what we would recommend for a City contribution and if there was one and how we would pay for that."
Mayor Garcia said he's long supported the Gondola concept, saying "it isn't just an innovative project, it's a transit project" and at the proper time he's prepared to bring the LB Gondola to the Metro board.
In an agendizing memo, Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, joined by Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez, Suzie Price and Rex Richardson asked city management to:
1. Request City Manager to work with Urban Commons, The Wave team and other key stakeholders to determine the cost of a Feasibility Study pertaining to the development of a Gondola System connecting Downtown Long Beach with Queen Mary Island.
In their memo's narrative, the Councilmembers wrote:
[Scroll down for further.]
[Agendizing memo text] As Long Beach's Downtown continues to grow with new developments for housing, business, and entertainment, more mobility solutions are needed. One possible solution is a gondola system to transport residents and visitors from Downtown Long Beach to Queen Mary Island.
In early 2016, retired LB Harbor Commissioner Alex Bellehumeur (1990-1996), owner of State-wide Developers, Inc. and (now in his 80s') a perennially spry developer and inventor, delivered a presentation on the aerial tram concept titled "The Wave" to the advisory (now former) Queen Mary Land Development Task Force. In that presentation, Mr. Bellehumeur offered Power Point slides indicating the potential involvement of Doppelmayr (a leading manufacturer of cable cars, ropeways, ski lifts and the like) that described "The Wave" as an aerial tram connection from areas such as the Convention Center to the Queen Mary.
One of the 2016 PPT slides indicated that "although Project Feasibility does not depend on the new development of the Queen Mary site, it will provide the developer of the acreage a transportation system that will serve up to 4500 visitors per hour, with no bottlenecks, and assist in their raising capital privately, institutionally, and through State and Federal grants."
At a Sept. 14, 2018 breakfast meeting of the Long Beach Commercial Real Estate Council, Clay Sandidge, President/CEO of Muni-Fed Energy, delivered a presentation on the concept of an aerial tramway -- "The Wave" -- to better connect downtown Long Beach with the city's waterfront.
LBREPORT.com covered the 2018 event with extended VIDEO below:
The 2018 event description stated
[Event description text ] ...A proposed implementation of an aerial tram (or alternative solution) to connect the downtown to the waterfront has the potential to:
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