Land originally part of planned North Long Beach village to be listed as surplus again

The Long Beach City Council could approve the listing of three parcels totaling nearly 30,000 square feet as surplus land Tuesday night.

Land originally part of planned North Long Beach village to be listed as surplus again
A screenshot of a Google image of the vacant building located at 620 South Street that the city could list as surplus land before possibly selling it

City-owned land that was supposed to be part of a revitalization project in North Long Beach could be re-listed as surplus land Tuesday after the developer pulled out of the project last fall.

The Long Beach City Council could declare three of the roughly two dozen parcels that were to be returned to the city after “The Beat,” a proposal that included new retail, open space and an “artist colony” along the Atlantic Corridor in North Long Beach, fell through.

Tuesday night, the council is being asked to approve the listing of a vacant building at 620 South Street as well as a vacant lot behind it at 5705 Lime Avenue as surplus land. Together, the parcels are 29,375 square feet but before the city can try to sell the properties they’ll have to be offered to affordable housing providers or entities looking to develop more open space.

Jason Ruiz has been on strike from the Long Beach Post since March 21, yet he’s still covering city hall without pay. Thank him for his reporting.

The parcels will have to be made available for at least 60 days before the city is able to move on with a potential sale of the land.

Long Beach originally sold the parcels along with dozens of others in the area in 2016 for $7 million dollars in a deal with LAB Holding LLC, which sought to develop the area in a village with housing, retail and other additions to the area that is littered with closed storefronts.

But city officials said COVID-19 and other economic factors led to much of the project being abandoned by the developer. An 84-unit townhome project known as “Rhythm” is under construction.

City officials are optimistic that the sale of the properties this time around could generate more than the $7 million they sold them for eight years ago. Economic Development Director Bo Martinez said in October that the combination of Rhythm, other projects being proposed by Long Beach City College in the area and the current real estate market could contribute to a larger sale price.

LBCC opened its North Long Beach Higher Education Center in March and is proposing to build a 36-bed affordable housing project near the Michelle Obama Library. The projected cost of that project is over $32 million and the college could turn to bond proceeds to help finance the project.

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