Developing the land around the Queen Mary and restoring the ship is a top priority for me and the City and extremely important to our community. That's why, last year, we initiated the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force to make sure the community has a voice in the process.
Last night, the Task Force presented its recommendations to the City Council. The Queen Mary’s new operator, Urban Commons, is beginning to plan a design for the 43 acres that surround our City’s greatest icon. That land is one of the most important undeveloped areas in the entire City, with the potential to bring great arts, entertainment, and economic opportunities to Long Beach.
The members of the Task Force brought an incredible depth of experience and knowledge to their ten public meetings and residents were also able to offer input and ideas to the Task Force. The result is a set of “Guiding Principles” that will help guide the City and Urban Commons moving forward, ensuring we develop that land in a way that brings the best possible benefits to Long Beach.
The Guiding Principles are:
- The Queen Mary must remain the focal point of development and be restored to its original grandeur
- Development should include authentic, quality architecture appropriate for a maritime setting
- There should be easy public access to the area
- There should be improved transportation to connect the area to the rest of the City
- The area should be a multi-purpose, multi-use district and incorporate sustainable design
- There should be iconic design features
- It should be a world class outdoor entertainment venue
These principles are an excellent guide for Urban Commons as it completes its design plan for submission to the City.
The Task Force did an outstanding job in developing these principles, and I want to thank all of them for their thoroughness, insight, and hard work. The Task Force members are:
Michael Bohn, AIA, Chair, Senior Principal and Design Director, Studio One Eleven
Jeff Hoffman, Vice Chair, President, Jeff Hoffman & Associates
Ryan Altoon, Executive Vice President, AndersonPacific, LLC.
Stuart Ashman, Former President and CEO, MOLAA
Becky Blair, Founder, Blair Commercial Real Estate
Julia Huang, Founder, Imprint Venture Lab; CEO, interTrend Communications, Inc.
Kathleen Irvine, Willmore City Heritage Association
Kenneth McDonald, President and CEO, Long Beach Transit
Cheryl Perry, President, Long Beach Heritage; President, Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage
Kelly Ruggirello, Executive Director, Long Beach Symphony
Steve Sheldon, Director of Entertainment Events, Queen Mary
Jan van Dijs, Principal and Founder, JR van Dijs, Inc.
My thanks to all of them and to all the residents who gave input and ideas to the Task Force.
Now begins the exciting work of creating an iconic public space that will attract visitors from around the country and also offer a great experience to residents.