Developer seeks to swap out larger units for smaller ones at Pine Avenue development

The "Queen Beach" housing project was originally slated for 69 large apartment units but now could be approved for 140 smaller living units.

Developer seeks to swap out larger units for smaller ones at Pine Avenue development
The defunct Queen Beach Printing facility on the corner of Pine Avenue and 10th Street already is approved fo 69 units of housing. The Long Beach Planning Commission, however, is slated to consider an amended proposal for 140 units. Thursday, May 9, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A previously approved Downtown housing project could increase its planned units from 69 to 140, including 15 low-income households, as the Long Beach Planning Commission will vote Thursday on a revised proposal.

The Planning Commission approved the project in October which then included 69 units that were to be built at the corner of Pine and 10th Street at the site of the old Queen Beach Printers location. Now, the developer is asking the commission to approve a host of changes to the design of the building that would add 71 smaller instead of the much larger units originally approved last year.

Nearly half of those units (67) will be studios and just 14 units are proposed to have two or more bedrooms, according to plans submitted to the city.

The “Queen Beach” project was originally designed for larger households with a mix of three, four and five-bedroom units spread across the development. But Planning Commissioners could decide Thursday to amend the unit composition to include studios, one, two and three-bedroom units instead.

While the building’s unit composition will likely change, the building is still expected to be eight stories tall, according to a city staff report.

Other changes to the original design include a decrease in parking spaces. The original project was approved with 123 parking spaces, but the new proposal calls for 80 spaces. The updated plan includes 43 more bicycle parking spaces, an increase in ground floor retail space (2,452 square feet), and more storage and balconies for residents.

A rendering of the proposed Queen Beach housing development showing how a mural would look from Pine Avenue while looking north. Photo courtesy of city of Long Beach.

New renderings of the project show two new murals proposed for the building. A smaller mural is planned for the corner of the building at 10th Street and Solana Court, where drivers will access the garage area.

But a larger mural on the Pine Avenue side of the proposed development would be roughly four stories tall and face Ninth Street, according to plans. A city memo said the developer will work with the Long Beach Arts Council to complete the large mural.

The project was originally submitted to the city in December 2020, before the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance was adopted; to adhere to that new law, the developer has added 15 affordable units.

The policy was adopted in February 2021 and was phased in over multiple years but now requires 11% of rental units in Downtown and Midtown areas to set aside units for very low-income households.

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Earlier this week, the City Council voted to ask city management to look at expanding the inclusionary zoning citywide as part of a request from Mayor Rex Richardson as the city looks to increase the production of affordable housing in the city.

According to a city memo published this week, the inclusionary housing ordinance has resulted in just 168 affordable units being built since 2021.

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