A New Civic Center for Long BeachRelease Date: 2014-12-15
Last week, Long Beach went big and approved a project team to build a new downtown Civic Center. After many months of public meetings, careful study, and healthy debate, Plenary-Edgemoor Civic Partners was unanimously selected by the City Council. This is great news for our city: We are going to get a new Civic Center and revitalize our Downtown.
The project includes a new Main Library, Lincoln Park, City Hall, Port Headquarters, and new housing, retail and a hotel. The project creates thousands of local construction jobs for a decade and will increase revenue for the city so we can reinvest dollars in our neighborhoods and fix more sidewalks and alleys.
Retrofitting the existing facilities is prohibitively expensive and would be impossible without finding new financing through bonds or taxes. Partnering with this team to build a new Civic Center is the right decision, and provides an opportunity to add residential development and other uses to the site, and to create a modern, sustainable project that will last for generations, without additional cost to our residents.
I want to thank our Harbor Department for partnering with us on this project. The Port's participation means savings for the City and greater efficiency from shared facilities. It also means our Civic Center - and downtown - will be that much more active thanks to their participation.
I want to thank the City Council for their hard work moving this forward. I also want to thank the many City staff who put years of research and planning into this process. I especially want to thank all the residents who came to Council meetings, sent emails and letters, and spoke to me personally about your hopes and ideas for a new Civic Center. Your input was valuable, and I want to encourage everyone to continue participating in the process as we move forward. The design for the Civic Center won't be finalized for many months, and input from residents is essential.
The new Civic Center is a great contribution to the continued revitalization of downtown, and will give our city and our residents a shared home we can really be proud of. Bringing new residences and retail, and the Port's headquarters, downtown is a new chapter for Long Beach, and will completely change the landscape downtown. It's a very exciting time for our City.