What kind of Long Beach do you want? City vs. Suburbia. FIGHT!

There are a lot of comments on this blog over what Long Beach should be. Long Beach is a city (incorporated in 1922), but it’s surrounded by suburban culture. Some of you are for development, while others want open space and less people. Then, there is that third category: I don’t care, as long as I can park. Lets break this all down:

City vs. Suburbia

with the sub-categories of:

Development vs. Open Space vs. Parking lots

To break it down even further, we argue (FIGHT) over the following issues:

  • Hotels (The Allegria): A great asset for Long Beach vs. Those damn valets are taking up all the parking spots!  FIGHT!
  • Superblock development: A convention center, hotel, condos, retail & food on the boardwalk. vs. I want nothing, but a large parking lot. FIGHT!
  • Bay area development (between Long Beach Blvd & The LIRR Tracks): A much needed marina, more housing & retail opportunities vs. More traffic & who needs it. FIGHT!
  • Bike Lanes: I want to be safe when I ride my bike vs. Bike riders are dangerous and don’t pay attention to cars. FIGHT!
  • DecoBikes: Great for visiters vs. Too many bikes, it won’t work & what about our local bike stores? FIGHT!
  • Retail & Restaurants on the boardwalk: A great idea vs. I don’t want Long Beach to look like Coney Island. FIGHT!
  • Major events (Quiksilver Pro, Beach Tennis USA):  Entertainment & putting Long Beach on the map vs. Traffic, headaches & fear of large crowds. FIGHT!
  • Local events (Polar Bear, Irish Day, Fireworks): Civic Pride vs. traffic & parking issues. FIGHT!
  • The conversion of dilapidated buildings to expensive condos (See: Aqua): I want to live there & it increases the value of my house vs. Too expensive for Long Beach and we don’t need the traffic or parking issues. FIGHT!

Some of these issues/ developments are ongoing, some are in the works, some are still a pipe dream. This is your SimCity (by the sea). What kind of Long Beach do you want? A quiet suburban beachside sprawl, or a walkable metropolis-by-the-sea?  

Get off your silent platform and speak up.  

FIGHT!

 

COPY AND PASTE (& FIGHT!!):

Hotel –

Superblock –

Bay Area –

Bike Lanes –

Decobikes –

Retail/Restaurants –

Major Events –

Local events –

Conversion of old buildings –

 

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40 thoughts on “What kind of Long Beach do you want? City vs. Suburbia. FIGHT!”

  1. Hotel – Get its act together and stop trying to be “beach chic”

    Superblock – Build, baby, Build

    Bay Area – Great Idea – not in this lifetime though

    Bike Lanes – Need em on Park and Broadway – good luck getting rid of those parking spots

    Decobikes – You’re not Lance Armstrong. Biking on the boardwalk in the summer should already be a lazy affair, bring on the tourists

    Retail/Restaurants – Bring ’em back. No better way to improve the hotel than give it competition. Going to be a tough sell with noise. Lots of new residents on the boardwalk since the last time there were shops/bars there

    Major Events – Bring ’em on. City needs to have better planning and transparency though.

    Local events – essential to LB. Not going, nor should they.

    Conversion of old buildings – Hoffman Manor needs to go the way of the King David.

  2. Hotel – They will NEVER get their act together. PERIOD

    Superblock – Leave it a LOT, why kill the view of the beach? DUH!

    Bay Area – Who cares?

    Bike Lanes – NO! They are a pain in the ass already

    Decobikes – Bad, Bad, idea, we have enough crap on the Boardwalk,

    Retail/Restaurants – Bring ‘em back. Yes.

    Major Events – Bring ‘em on. City needs to have better planning and transparency though. YES!

    Local events – essential to LB. YES!

    Conversion of old buildings – Hoffman Manor needs to go the way of the King David. YES!

    We need to get someone that knows and cares about Long beach to run thing with residents in mind.

  3. Hotel – its still in a growing stage, and like it or not, is good for the city

    Superblock – build, build, build….things to do for kids would be great there…restaurants,bowling, etc.

    Bay Area – a marina could be nice

    Bike Lanes – yes!

    Decobikes – yes its a good thing!

    Retail/Restaurants – people will definitely spend money to eat on the boardwalk so do it

    Major Events – always a good thing

    Local events – even a better thing

    Conversion of old buildings – yes, hoffman manor needs to go.

  4. Hotel – Hotel agreed to certain concessions to receive their COs, city needs to enforce it! The lack of care of the council really shows it was just a dog and pony show to appease the masses.

    Superblock – Let’s revisit… I don’t see much happening here with Quiksilver already booked for 3 years.

    Bay Area – The entire North Park area needs to be revamped/ You shouldn’t be on welfare and live at the beach…

    Bike Lanes – Bike lanes is a horrible idea. Too much traffic on Park for them to be effective. They will just cause accidents.

    Decobikes – Another horrible idea if it isn’t operated by the local bike shops. Someone already has shown a link between Deco bikes in Miami and a City Council member (it was on Patch I think).

    Retail/Restaurants – Bring ‘em back… but do it right! The few that existed just a couple years ago on the Boardwalk near National were dives. They were run down and did horrible business.

    Major Events – Bring ‘em on. City needs to have better planning and transparency though. – YES!

    Local events – essential to LB. Not going, nor should they. – YES!

    Conversion of old buildings – easy to say but it’s not going to happen until the real estate market rebounds and more builders want to come in and build. The 2nd newest building that I know of (after the Aqua) is the one located across from the superblock. They were unable to sell many of the units and had to turn to rental.

  5. I guess It’s my turn, since I wrote the damn article..

    Hotel – The Allegria doesn’t effect me either way. I live too far east of it.

    Superblock – sure, why not. I’m tired of looking at the empty lot.

    Bay Area – I would love a marina and fishing boats. My dream is to bike to a party boat last minute to spend the day fishing.

    Bike Lanes – A bike is my primary form of transportation when I am home. I vote yes, but not sure if they will work on Park, unless it’s converted to 2 lanes each way.

    Decobikes – sure, why not. it doesn’t effect me either way.

    Retail/Restaurants – on the boardwalk.. hmm.. only if done right and limited. I guess this would be part of the super block development or that lot next to the allegria.

    Major Events – YES!

    Local events – DOUBLE YES!

    Conversion of old buildings – Like some comments that were written here already, the RE market will dictate this.

  6. Hotel – Best thing to happen to LB… People in dumpy apartments across the street complain to much

    Superblock – outdoor swimming pool, mini golf, etc all family friendly stuff

    Bay Area – get rid of section 8 clean that area up! Marina, restaurants and shops along a nice walkway

    Bike Lanes – yes biking community

    Decobikes – don’t think it will work

    Retail/Restaurants – less nails, phone, and dollar stores please

    Major Events – yes

    Local events –yes

    Conversion of old buildings – the manor needs to go and the drug/mental place on lindell needs to go too

  7. Hotel – The Allegria doesn’t effect me either way. I live too far east of it. And we probably won’t see more hotels for a long time.

    Well You don’t live near it so you don’t have the horrors that the people that DO live have day in and day out. If they obeyed the laws of the city it may be different, but they don’t!

    Superblock – sure, why not. I’m tired of looking at the empty lot.

    Same as above, if you lived there you wouldn’t

    Bay Area – I would love a marina and fishing boats. My dream is to bike to a party boat last minute to spend the day fishing.

    A agree

    Bike Lanes – Horrible idea.

    Decobikes – sure, why not. it doesn’t effect me either way.

    Just because it don’t effect you is no reason.

    Retail/Restaurants – on the boardwalk.. hmm.. only if done right and limited.
    Do it, the heck with the Allegria we need better Restaurants and better choices. For example we could use a good steakhouse and a seafood restaurant.

    Major Events – YES, but without the Circus !

    Local events – YES!

  8. Laura, I agree regarding the hotel.
    If I lived near the Allegria it would effect me more. I hear the horros that people are saying with the parking and I do feel bad. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t think it’s bad for the city. They should be better neighbors though.

  9. Hey Anthony,

    Putting the whole blog into one article? Interesting tactic. I fell in love with Long Beach the way it is. That being said, here’s my 10 cents (to allow for inflation):

    Hotel – The service at the Allegria is marginal at best and atrocious at worst. I’ve stayed at luxury hotels all over the place and this isn’t one of them. Paying $399 a night for a hotel doesn’t make it upscale. Treating guests like royalty does. I don’t care if we get hotels of this nature on the boardwalk as long as they’re required to have parking for guests as with all new developments. Not a fan of that loophole.

    Superblock – I live a block from the beach. Know what I do when I want an ocean view? I walk down the block. People who live in the buildings across Shore Road paid a lot for that view and don’t want to lose it. Convention center? Wherever I go for business the convention center is located in the worst part of town. Why? It brings prostitutes looking for the businessmen who are looking for fun while away from home. Prostitution brings drugs. Develop those empty lots into mixed use retail/residential with, again, required parking.

    Bay Area – Don’t have much of an opinion on this one just yet.

    Bike Lanes – I’m a triathlete. I also ride my regular bike around town to get places. Bike lanes wouldn’t make a difference. You’ll always be taking your life into your own hands when riding a bike or crossing a street. We can discuss this one when they do something about the speeders and those who feel stop signs are optional, like the woman who nearly plowed into me this morning at Maple and Walnut trying to make the light on Park. Tabled.

    Decobikes – I saw these in a city somewhere in my travels (either Miami or San Francisco…very different, I know). The stations were covered in graffiti and I remember thinking how ugly they were. Let’s leave the bike rentals to the local shops.

    Retail/Restaurants – We could use more concessions/shops on the boardwalk. Maybe a little shop or three like they have at Field 6 at Jones Beach. No problem with that at all. I don’t want the boardwalk to be full of too much shopping though.

    Major Events – I’m insanely frustrated with the lack of information for residents for the Quiksilver with regards to crowd control, traffic control and, naturally, parking. It’ll be great for the local businesses but hell on the residents who are staying for the duration. I’ll reserve final judgement until after the event. Tabled again.

    Local events – I love the local events, especially since the vast majority of them benefit a lot of non-profits. Plus it really gives a sense of community.

    Conversion of old buildings – I would not want to see expensive luxury condos. The cost of a one bedroom condo in Long Beach is already absurd without putting hefty price tags on new ones. I laugh when I see the Aqua change its sign from “condos starting at $1,200,000” to “condos starting at $999,0000” and then back up again. The older buildings do need to be renovated into something livable. I’ve looked at expensive apartments with appliances from the 1970’s. Not only are they ugly, they are not energy efficient. 30 years worth of paint on paint and bug problems. Absolutely unacceptable for a $1200 a month studio but shame on those people who pay it.

    That’s what I have for now and reserve the right to change my opinion 😀

  10. Retail/Restaurants – on the boardwalk.. hmm.. only if done right and limited.
    Do it, the heck with the Allegria we need better Restaurants and better choices. For example we could use a good steakhouse and a seafood restaurant.

    YES! We need beach-type establishments on the boardwalk for food and drinks… not some overpriced chic hotel with bad food and slow service. Vito’s should be allowed to expand onto the beach somehow…

  11. I live near it (can see it from my front door) and it doesn’t effect me one bit! Only seems to effect the dumpy apartment building across the street

  12. Hey Tracy. Great comments! Yeah, this post basically sums up every article I’ve written in the past three years…

    By the way, I heard about your ankle and I am sorry! I gave you bad luck when I yelled “GOOD LUCK” at you the other day…

  13. Its a lot more than the parking, the hotel is really bad news, I was there twice and both times it was very, very poor. The food was marginal at best, the service was the worst in Long Beach by far. Slow, and bad. No training, no manors, and no experience. and the prices were out of line.

    They get away with breaking laws because of their connections and that sucks as well. And they get $15.00 plus a tip to park your car to eat there? That’s what I call CHUTZPA

  14. true, but it’s the hotels problem if the food and service sucks. you know enough not to go there anymore.

    But if they are breaking laws with parking and their connections.. well, that is another story.

  15. •Hotels (The Allegria): I also live on the East End, so I am not aware of the problems the Allegria has produced, but I ultimately see its development as a positive step in the right direction. I love the fact that ppl can get married in LB, and out of town guests can stay locally instead of having to go to RVC or Uniondale for a decent hotel. perhaps it needs some fine tuning, but I enjoy seeing ppl eating brunch/hanging out enjoying LB and the boardwalk…

    •Superblock development: Should be turned into a few random shops/restaurants on the boardwalk and then reserve the rest as an open paved parking lot for events (concerts, surf tournaments, carnivals, fairs, etc).

    •Bay area development – Would LOVE LOVE this…if done correctly it could be a BOOM to an area that greatly needs it. I also say get rid of the hospital, turn it into a large urgent care facility and extend the marina down there. A long promenade with gardens, quaint shops, restaurants, etc.

    •Bike Lanes: Much needed.

    •DecoBikes: I think it is another step in the right direction, as long as it doesn’t hurt local bike business.

    •Retail & Restaurants on the boardwalk: Yep in moderation. Along those same lines LB should follow what Hoboken, NJ did a few years back and renovate our main street (Park Ave). The neon signs and plastic signage everywhere needs to go…some stores are such an eye sore.

    •Major events – Absolutely!

    •Local events – Absolutely!

    •The conversion of dilapidated buildings to expensive condos (See: Aqua): I don’t think they need to be on the same level as the Aqua, but the older buildings need to be renovated for safety reasons too.

  16. Retail & Restaurants on the boardwalk: Yep in moderation. Along those same lines LB should follow what Hoboken, NJ did a few years back and renovate our main street (Park Ave). The neon signs and plastic signage everywhere needs to go…some stores are such an eye sore.

    I AGREE 1000000%. But our long beach downtown is starting to look worse and worse… none of the new buildings even match the decor of the city.

  17. Oh, it wasn’t my ankle. I finished the race but lost the soles of my shoes in the mud! My friend Emily ended up with a nasty sprain and is on crutches. It’s always more fun with a trip to the ER, right? Hehe…

  18. •Hotels The Allegria need to get their act together or “GET”: I live near this monstrosity so I am aware of all the problems the Allegria has produced, and there are many. The parking is only part of it.

    •Superblock development: turning it into a few shops and /restaurants on the boardwalk and then redo the rest as an open paved parking lot for events is a good idea. Like someone else said, we have many restaurants, but we lack the real good ones and upscale places, the kind of places that you want to take your wife out on a Sat. night..

    •Bay area development – A long promenade with gardens, quaint shops, restaurants, etc sounds like a plan to me..

    •Bike Lanes: forgetaboutit. The bike riders are a pain in the azz as it is, we don’t need more of it. Let them obey the traffic laws as they should but don;t.

    •DecoBikes:.. No way Jose, see the above.

    •Retail & Restaurants on the boardwalk: Yep in moderation. I agree.

    •Major events – Absolutely, bit in moderation, nothing like the travesty thats going on right now.

    •Local events – A few in moderation as well.

    •The conversion of dilapidated buildings to expensive condos .. I DO think they need to be on the same level as the Aqua, the Aqua is beautiful and upscale that is exactly what we need.

    One more thing… Get waldbaums to clean up their mess. The produce and meat selection is terrible. The lines can get long and the aisles are cramped, many of the staff do not speak English and the check out girls tend have conversations in Spanish while your paying .

  19. DOES ANYONE KNOW THAT THE ALLEGRIA HAS THEIR OWN PARKING LOT NOW??
    Been that way for about 2 weeks.
    I live across the street from the hotel…guess we need a new topic ?

  20. First off, the Hoffman Manor is a clean place that is well taken care of. No need to close it. Second, you can’t improve a hotel that wasn’t built right to begin with. I would love to see shops on the boardwalk and also eateries for families on the beach (dogs, burgers, fries, ice cream, pretzels). I LOVE CONEY ISLAND and the different people it draws to the boardwalk! Don’t have to go all the way, but pick it up a notch and bring the fun back. Parking is what it is.

  21. Thank God we don’t have to listen to that apartment building on Broadway complaining about the hotel now! Maybe the hotel should start complaining about them and not having parking and taking up spaces on Broadway

  22. From my understanding, that’s not “their” lot. They’ve been using part of the superblock as parking for more than a year with a valet shuttling back and forth. They may have put a sign up, but that’s part of the superblock and will again be off limits to them during the competition. The fence was not put up by them, but during construction in the superblock. The sign is really just to keep other people from parking there.

  23. STOP THE PRESSES! You are telling me that the Allegria has either purchase or rented a piece of the superblock?

    I just drove past that area this morning looking to take a photo of this new Allegria Valet Lot, i didn’t even bother looking at the superblock/foundation block. Especially with the Quiksilver stuff going on…

  24. NO, NO, NO, NO, Your story is ALL wet and full of holes.
    the Hotel has gotten permission for the OWNER of the lot to use a “SMALL” potion of the lot that has been fenced in for their parking.

    BUT! and a big BUT, these dumb wise asses that call themselves valets move the fence to make it larger whenever they need to.
    By the way, I’m a Co-Op owner that lives in that apartment building on Broadway who is always.complaining!

    Maybe if you lived here you would also.

  25. NO, NO, NO, NO, Your story is ALL wet and full of holes.
    the Hotel has gotten permission for the OWNER of the lot to use a “SMALL” potion of the lot that has been fenced in for their parking.

    BUT! and a big BUT, these dumb wise asses that call themselves valets move the fence to make it larger whenever they need to.
    By the way, I’m a Co-Op owner that lives in that apartment building on Broadway who is always.complaining!

    Maybe if you lived here you would also.

  26. so they are parking in the lot… be happy with it Joey and stop complaining or just move! I love living near the hotel and stopped by sat. night for a drink before walking my 1 min walk back to my house and loved every min!

  27. Hotel – Who cares.

    Superblock – Doesn’t need to be developed in the sense of tossing up hotels/condos, but it would be nice if SOMETHING was there rather than a bunch of trash.

    Bay Area – Put up a marina, boats are fun.

    Bike Lanes – I bike all the time and have no need for bike lanes.

    Decobikes – Does this actually work anywhere?

    Retail/Restaurants – Put up places to drink on the boardwalk. Food and retail are a far second to that. And don’t give me that Allegria crap, way too expensive and a total doosh-zone.

    Major Events – Love them, bring them on. Might be a good idea to toss up a few more lanes on the bridges.

    Local events – Always fun.

    Conversion of old buildings – Expensive condos: no; Apartments that aren’t total crap: yes.

  28. I grew up in Long Beach. When I was a kid and a teenager, between Magnolia and Edwards, the boardwalk had custard stands, ski-ball, penny arcade, rides, restaurants and a few upscale places to shop and eat at. In short something for everyone. It was great to go to for fun, food, amusement and meeting friends. Yeah there were also some skeezy carny type places and I can see why the City later wanted to clean it up as things got worse in the 70s and 80s. But I surely do miss having at least some places to go and eat. The City allows the Allegria restaurant and that crap food stand on Riverside now. They should open the Boardwalk to more, planned establishments, that fit the area and vibe: a place for good coffee in the morning, a healthful, tasty lunch. Maybe a small surf or running shop.

  29. Hotel – FOR

    Superblock – FOR, it’s an eyesore now.

    Bay Area – FOR, great idea!

    Bike Lanes – FOR, biking is healthy and fun.

    Decobikes – FOR (so far)

    Retail/Restaurants – FOR

    Major Events – FOR (within reason)

    Local events – FOR

    Conversion of old buildings – FOR, but strongly believe what historic building Long Beach has left should be preserved and carefully rehabiltated, rather than torn down.

    ADDING:

    Dog Parks – FOR

    Dogs on Beach in Off Season – FOR, Long Beach is a dog-loving town!

  30. COPY AND PASTE (& FIGHT!!):

    Hotel – Need More of them

    Superblock – Definetly need something like this with a parking garage on top a place for everyone not just senior citizens and kids which is what LI is built for leaving nothing to do for everyone else

    Bay Area – Expand Park Land and add more recreational facilities for the public put the super block here. In the abandoned area between the Long Beach Bridge and the railroad bridge in this hevaly industrial area

    Bike Lanes – Yes along Broadway, National Blvd, Washington Blvd, Bay Drive , Bay Drive Park, West Pine Street with a bridge over the LIRR to Park Place, East Pine Street East Of Long Beach Blvd to Lincoln Blvd., Lincoln Blvd. No on Park avenue to busy and would take up to much parking space

    Decobikes – Whats a Deco Bike?

    Retail/Restaurants – for the boardwalk is a necessity instead of putting them in new buildings renovate the boardwalk facing floor of existing buildings . Make a rule that limits noise to inside after 9:00 PM. Sell Parts of the beach(about 50 feet nearest the boardwalk) to restaurants on decks.

    Major Events – Don’t really need major events save it for the coliseum

    Local events – Love the idea as long as there not to crazy let them be designed by a community board by and for the community

    Conversion of old buildings – Needs to be done especially along the west part of the boardwalk where the buildings are so decreeped they ruin the boardwalk mood

    Dogs Banned from boardwalks and park – FOR, Long Beach is a dog-hating town!

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