Who wants very tall building development in Long Beach? (a curious question)

BtHsN1uCAAA-TCe(image by Pete Donahue)

Just a simple question: Who wants ‘tall building’ development in Long Beach? Surely there must be somebody out there who wants to see Long Beach as a full-fledged vertical city.

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71 thoughts on “Who wants very tall building development in Long Beach? (a curious question)”

  1. That picture simulates the way it would look on a winter day, sun shining from the south, from over the ocean of. On a summer day, the sun would be to the north of those buildings and the whole beach would be in the shade. A little more photoshop, please?

  2. Bob, are you in Long Beach California? When does the sun move east to west via a northerly path behind the boardwalk?
    Anyway, I’m all for tall buildings. Lots of them. Owning a car and having a place to park is overrated as is sun cascading through windows. Our only source of drinking water, the Lloyd Aquifer. will most likely be OK for my lifetime. Lord knows Island Park has benefited from Long Beach ocean breezes for long enough. I’ll go so far as to demand long term tax abatements to any development over 20 stories. Think about it, all those people will eat at the food trucks and no doubt play mini golf and that greatly helps out the resident’s quality of life.

  3. The sun appears further north in the sky all summer. It’s not very obvious in mid-day. But if you’ve ever looked, the sun sets over the Bay in summer, while the sun sets over the ocean in the winter. On the first day of autumn, the sun rises and sets due east and west. This is what we call “seasons” around here. I know this may not be obvious from your cave, but if you come outside and look at the shadows, maybe you’ll figure it out. No, this is not some government plot or chemtrails. I know you’re just trolling for the thrill of reading your words online. I would post pictures of the sunsets, but don’t like to feed trolls. Or around the equinox, the 23rd, look west down Beech or Park, and you’ll see the sunset nearly straight down the middle of the street.

  4. I really don’t have an issue with tall buildings – it’s not my preference, but I don’t think the world needs to build around my preferences. But that’s not really the issue; the issue is that there were laws in place to prevent these from being built and the laws got rewritten to the highest bidder. But that’s the way of the world, I guess.

    The other issue is that the city isn’t equipped to handle the influx of people, when you consider how congested it is now. I don’t see how this is going to work.

  5. Bob, try this link – http://www.sunearthtools.com/dp/tools/pos_sun.php?lang=en and plant your cursor on the beach at National Blvd. Under the mode category select “path + rays”. On June 20th we have the suns rays from 9am-5pm before it would edge north behind any building. On 7/20 from 9am-5:45pm. 8/20 it’s from 8am – 6pm. On Sept 22nd (the Autumnal Equinox) it’s from 7am to 7pm. Each time you change a parameter hit “execute”. So, in June shadow WILL creep across the boardwalk and the beach starting at 5pm but those shadows actually lessen towards toward to the peak of summer and continue to lessen as summer wanes. Still, I hate the idea of tall building and Long Beach can’t sustain an increase in population.
    Oh, and trolls have feelings too you know.

  6. For all of you who have no issue with tall buildings: How do you feel about not being able to park your car on the street? How do you feel about traffic jams on Broadway and Shore road? How do you feel about overcrowded filthy beaches? Spend a day on Coney Island and let’s see how you feel about tall buildings in our city.

  7. How safe would any of these tall buildings be? Long Beach is essentially sand so you can’t really dig down and find a solid surface to build on. The 6 story building I live in has shifted over the years and especially after Sandy, creating floors that are not level and cracks in walls. The higher you go, the more damage is noticeable. How would they protect a 20 story building from shifting?

  8. Don’t worry iStar is gonna find this out real soon. When they start boring to see how deep they need to go for those 15 story towers and realize building that high on the shore is gonna require serious excavation, pilings and concrete.

  9. What about our crumbling infustructure, which totally can’t take these buildings? Our limited water supply? Our failing sewer treatment plant? Our pot hole riddled roads? Our beach, which will be much shorter once the army core builds the super-dunes? We are a sand bar, damn it. This is not Manhattan, that has a foundation of bed rock.

    We need to limit the over development now! We are the last line of defense for the next generation. And like someone said above, go to coney island and walk around and then come back to LB and tell me you want tall buildings. And if you really do, then I will tell you move to coney island, LB is not for you. Many of us live and moved here because we either work or lived in the city and don’t want that lifestyle. If that’s what you want move to the city and enjoy yourself.

  10. I want an urban planning department, and one that is experienced and has worked in other coastal cities. I want the architectural review board and planning commission to be a part of all zoning decisions. I want our neighborhoods to retain their unique characteristics and I want the overdevelopment to stop. I want clean streets, classy signage and a vibrant downtown that attracts people year round for dinner and shopping. I want our beaches to retain their beauty without ice cream trucks leaking oil at my beach entrance. I want community driven planning where real estate transactions like istar don’t get passed so easily. I want less advertising and more flowers. 🙂

  11. Here’s an idea for tall building lovers – Build a gigantic (I’m talking at least 30 stories) building at Waldbaums with at least 2, maybe 3 floors of commercial space on the ground floor and least 2 commercial on the top that would have ridiculous ocean and bay views and an ability to see the whole of the barrier island. Expand the municipal[al parking garage several stories, clean up that hell hole of a train station an have an overpass from the garage to the resident floors and the commercial floors. ALONG WITH THAT make the center dividers down Edwards and Riverside beautiful pedestrian and bike paths to the Boardwalk. AND (this is a big AND) deny all future development along the boardwalk and ensure the use of the little remaining open space for park/cultural/green etc space.

  12. The mutts you elected hired a full time urban planner. She’s a 23 year old political hack’s daughter and you are paying her $93,000. She of course has no experience in anything except perhaps doing her nails.

    Keep electing the Democrats. They gave us 6-story apartments on Shore Road in the 1950’s and went to jail. The sold off the narrow streets on the beach in the West End in the ’60’s. They ran the hospital into the ground by looting it. And now they are giving you at least six 20 story rentals.

    Keep voting for them, you fools.

  13. I actually like this idea haha. Maybe not 30 stories… but I think a large apartment building in waldbaums with commercial street level would bring some life to our downtown, would be smart development, walkable (LIRR next door too) and wont make a major impact to parking by the beach. Plus it will increase our tax base, something this town needs to do or it will die.

  14. Jessie, thanks for one of the most thoughtful comments I’ve seen on this blog. Nice to hear someone who has a positive, improved vision of Long Beach’s future, not tinged by party politics.

    I’d love to work with you to achieve the vision. Hopefully others will too.

  15. I like this too! lol…not 30 stories though, but make downtown a true downtown! I also say knock down City Hall and move them into the old Lancer Building, and make Kennedy Plaza a true park plaza where concerts and community events can happen on GREEN space. Oh a girl can dream!

  16. @ B, I disagree. Next tot the LIRR is a great place. Little to no train noise. Separate elevator up to the catering hall on the roof. Parties arriving by train for weddings and concerts/cultural events. Stay a walking distance to the Allegria. Make Edwards, Riverside and even National sort of an esplanade or extension of the boardwalk (and lined with the trees). They’ll be ample parking the new multi-story parking garage. Have an Bike-share kiosk at the building and apartment dwellers wouldn’t even need to own a car to live in Long Beach. And Jessie, great idea to utilize the grounds at City Hall.

  17. Sorry Anthony but mathematically it does not work because to get the benefit you seek, you would need to add way more to the tax base than we can realistically handle (as someone mentioned above we only have so much water in the acquifier) . And each added unit has carrying costs associated with them that reduces what you would think is “gravy”. On top of the fact that we need a wholesale infrastructure overhaul which adding more units will exacerbate without contributing to sufficiently fund.

    The real solution is to stop the waste and streamline this our city government where ever we can. There is tons of waste and inefficiencies that are kept out of site or “Turned a blind eye towards”. Or people say we can’t do that… Lets get the fiscal house in order cause these guys are doing a lot of borrowing but I am not seeing a great deal of solid infrastructure improvements. Government needs to live within its means like we do, or go bankrupt like so many other cities. And dont think it cant happen to us.

    Now the elevated “boardwalk” running down Edwards connecting to the real boardwalk is actually a really good idea that would be safer and not impact traffic or parking one bit. Good idea Caveman! Trolls can be smart too.

  18. Wait the kid that has less than one year of experience is getting $93k!!! Well there’s the problem right there. How many others are being grossly overpaid for their positions? Aside from the lbpd of course.

  19. Cave Dweller is the (Citizen Against Virtually Everything)… Shame on him for coming up with a great innovative idea! The area around City Hall needs some renovating. A big high rise near the railroad will undoubtedly attract young NYC workers. The tax base would go up because many new residences would be created thereby pleasing City Hall. Of course this won’t solve our Lloyd Aquifer water shortage problem, but it sure is a better place than the boardwalk for a humongous hi-rise.

  20. that according to seethroughny, she makes a whopping $20,026. If i understand correctly, but she and her boss hold positions that are paid through 2015 by grants. so yeah, your entire post seems to be a bunch of malarky, “Wendy”.

  21. Transit-oriented development is sexy for those young professionals so actually, yeah you would increase your tax base but squeeze out affordable housing. Do we want to support that kind of planning or shall we discuss this first…

    Developments like the one suggested over Waldbaums would do very well for attracting city workers however what tends to happen with such transit oriented development centered ongentrification is low- to moderate-income housing moves further away and seeing as there is no other affordable area in Lg Beach besides the North side of Park, there will be some serious displacement.

    Now I love TOD and it’s general use in increasing access to economic opportunity and increasing housing supply (which technically should lower cost of living. Technically.) Ithink an apartment building makes sense in that Plaza more than on the waterfront but we have such little protection here against real estate exploitation. This would be gentrified, obviously, with skyrocket rates and no room for those who require affordable housing.
    Now if there were protections I place to secure a portion of the development for affordable housing then yeah, and if there was some form of rent stabilization for existing renters then definitely.

    Reality in LB is realtors and realty lawyers have run this city and it’s piss poor development for too long. We have demonized low income housing and will never get a break for renters here unless you have the money. Hey, that is fine for some people but not so great for the families who are not so privileged.

    I’m just thinking out loud.

  22. @ Sis Boom, I’ve changed, I’d like to think of myself as more Concerned About Virtually Everything. lol. I’m really glad people are starting to talk about the Lloyd Aquifer. I’ve been slipping it in to other posts so it becomes part of our psyche.It could very well become the biggest problem we’ve ever seen. However, a large building, in the location I proposed, will have no greater impact than what WILL get built on the boardwalk unless we mobilize the civic associations. We need to address the water issue in a comprehensive, barrier-island-wide, and beyond approach. Limit lawn watering and car washing to specific days, in-home hot water circulator pumps, rain water catch basins (If you get about 10-inches of rain over the course of the spring and summer, an average, 1,360-square-foot roof would yield 8,160 gallons of rainwater!), Stop putting in more damn astroturf fields in town and propose permeable surface area construction. Waldbaums is a prime location as the new sewer water will flow directly to the Bay Park plant when the LB plant closes. People will reverse commute. Get the Hospital opened. LB lost over a 1,000 direct jobs and more than 2000 ancillary jobs. A 250,000,000 dollar hit to the economy. Build a gorgeous tall building with commercial floors, an esplanade to the Boardwalk and stop all this bulls@#$ with mini-golf, hot dog trucks, and metal garbage can ad-revenue. We’re putting band-aids on a leper for God’s sake. (Sorry, flashback to my old self)

  23. the opportunity is there for mixed-use and mixed-income housing. it’s not entirely unheard of, even on Long Island. i’m not sure lb has anything on the books to facilitate such development though.

  24. I used to live about half a mile from the train and I could hear the ding of the doors. But, if sound isn’t an issue, wouldn’t the low income housing right behind Waldbaums keep people away?

  25. How about the “Commissioner of Public Works” who eked through high school and is related to the Brookhaven hacks. Never had a real job, but the Democrats are paying him $163,000 with a $23,000 expense bonus for Sandy.

  26. Wendy, you throw out the term “hack” and make other disparaging comments regarding our Public Works Commissioner. Do you have any facts to back up your negativity? Is there something the Commissior and his team either did or didn’t do that rankles you? Have you ever met with him, or tried to work with him? Have you ever attended a City Council meeting to voice your concerns?

    I’ve met with him, worked with him, and found him to be dedicated and competent. And, I’m not a member of his party, just a person who makes assessments based on actual performance.

  27. Well there is part of the problem, we have a great deal of very upset voters who are not partaking in the amazing system our founding fathers created. Instead, they sit on the sides and just bitch on blogs. I mean I understand why the local republicans have been sitting out, with a city council that is 5 clubhouse democrat players they would never be listened to anyhow. Except for a few non GOPers, the general electorate is annoyed but apathetic and apathy and complacency always favors the ruling party.

  28. Wendy couldn’t be more correct.

    Only a licensed Professional Engineer could competently fill that position, as they do in virtually every municipality in America. Only Long Beach would consider appointing a non-educated, non-engineer to a six-figure position responsible for the engineering safety and welfare of its residents. Filling this technical position with a political appointee is a first, even for Long Beach Democrats.

    So State law requires Long Beach to pay an outside engineer to review everything at $500+/day because this guy’s not qualified.

    It’s your money that’s feathering this nest.

  29. A Comment to Keep LB – I agree with your general thesis — apathy. But there is no justification for local republicans — and I assume by local republicans you mean the actual political types who would seek office or be active in campaigns — to “sit out”. If the welfare of Long Beach is nearest and dearest to their hearts they should be at City Council meetings expressing their views and questions. Sitting out is not leadership.

  30. Eddie, let’s review your comments. You state that only a licensed Professional Engineer could competently fill the Commissioner Public Works position, as they do in virtually every municipality.

    Suggest you check the web site of the American Public Works Association for similar job openings. While some require/prefer an Engineering degree, most do not. Instead, they emphasize and focus on the need for a good leadership, problem solving, public presentations, collaborative work.

    That brings us back to my earlier question: has the Commissioner done a good or bad job? My experience has been very positive, but I’m open to hearing other opinions (with facts please).

    And, you mention the $500 per day cost for a professional engineer. How much was spent on this cost in 2014? That will help us better understand the real cost to us.

  31. Long Beach DOES need a Licensed Professional Engineer. Ed, I hope others check the reference you posted from the Public Works Association. The places which did not prefer/require a PE were places like exurbs of Kansas City and small towns where the job covered roads and parks, but not buildings. And some of the towns’ highest buildings were the school gym. Again, I hope folks look at your comparisons – http://www.apwa.net/workzone/vacancies/1/director-public-works/jobs

    Ed, as for your statement that things are going well now- I know you can’t believe that. I saw you on your hands and knees trying to save a City Park. It’s convenient to blame Sandy, but look at the places that were in disrepair before- City Hall, the Bus Depot, many roads. A real licensed PE might have even stopped in at our crumbling LBMC and saved it from destruction. Of course, issuing building permits here is a mysterious process and a whole other story…

    I hope folks think through your implication that we don’t need a PE any more than the towns in your job listings- like Foster City California, Grand Forks North Dakota, or Storm Lake Iowa. None of those places are filled with mold-damaged apartment buildings, none have our intense population density, a major railroad terminal, access limited to an aging drawbridge, or a Boardwalk, or hurricanes, or an infrastructure that’s in need of serious attention, from bulkheads to the water supply. Only someone as thoroughly trained as a Licensed Professional Engineer could pull all this together.

    Yes, it it very true that many cities – including ones similar to Long Beach- do just call in a PE to stamp approval for buildings and projects for a fee. Long Beach could certainly continue doing things piecemeal like this. But all corners are shouting out the need for professional urban planning on the barrier island. Considering the state of things now, I think our area really could benefit from a PE involved in the larger scope of things, not just one bridge at a time. Ed, I know you sincerely care about our area, so I hope you’ll think this one over a little more. Why *not* have a Director of Public Works who is a Professional Engineer???

  32. Bob S, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree with you regarding the need for a professional engineer, it’s just a question of whether that is a requirement of the Commissioner, or if the engineering tasks could be best handled on a pay-as-you-need basis.

    The greater urgency after Sandy was someone who could lead and manage our city in difficult times. That’s worth millions of dollars, far less than the hourly cost of hiring a great engineering consultant.

    And I agree with you that there is a need for professional urban planning. But, because both the management and engineering needs were so significant, don’t be too quick to believe one person could handle two full-time jobs, or do both with the quality they demanded.

    And let’s not fault the Commissioner for working with volunteers to get work done. Heck, it would be nice if we had more of that.

    And, he has a budget…and if the budget didn’t include money to repair City Hall or every paved road that’s not his fault.

    Sorry if I sound like a “rah-rah everything is perfect” supporter of everything the administration does. That’s not my feeling at all, and I voice concerns at City Council meetings and other planning sessions (most recently a West End planning meeting). But, I don’t like some bloggers throwing out “political hack” comments, particularly if they haven’t tried to work with the Commissioner.

    Hope to see you at a future City Council meeting (October?). It would be good to work together to push for a professional urban planner.

  33. “But, if sound isn’t an issue, wouldn’t the low income housing right behind Waldbaums keep people away?”

    Not everyone is a racist douche who thinks “low income” = contagious, diseased and criminal.

  34. Yes. Vote Republican if you want Jim LaCarrubba fired. The Republican Council will fire Jack Schnirman and Jim LaCarrubba. That is the reason why the Democrats won last November. The only people who want Schnirman and LaCarrubba fired are the Republican leader, his family members and their friends who will have jobs or other favors. Notice the most politically connected Republicans are the ones who make the nastiest attacks against LaCarrubba and Schnirman.

  35. Allison stop pretending like there is no difference in the environment over there.

    Sure there are plenty of upstanding citizens who have fallen on hard times, but there are also a large number who present an increased hazard. I’ll go as far as saying, percentage wise there is a higher crime rate in that area than the rest of long beach.

    Stop making it seem like everyone is a racist for pointing out that low income housing typically comes with a higher hazard for person and property.

  36. No political connections here. I would just like to see a Supt. of Public Works who is licensed, as they are in most cities and a City Manager who did not lie about his education on his resume.

    I’d like to see a Council who did not lobby for 20-story development and plunge us into $115,000,000 of new debt while giving dozens of appointees “bonus” payments.

    Tax increases of 50% didn’t sit too well with me either, nor did their killing hundreds of healthy trees.

    I love the way they rebuilt the boardwalk and funded it, and how they rebuilt sewer pumps at no cost to us.

    Just imagine what qualified people could get done!

  37. I may be stating the obvious, but am I the only one who thinks “Wendy Rattigan” is the most recent mom de plume of a former Republican council member? Here is a hint, write in the voice of the person you are claiming to be. Women don’t use terms such as mutts when referring to other people.

    We had a licensed PE under the last administration. The roads were just as badly surfaced, the infrastructure as neglected etc. so IMO, that isn’t such an imperative for getting projects done on time and on schedule and on budget.

  38. “a City Manager who did not lie about his education on his resume”…

    DO TELL… did Jack Schnirman not graduate from Tufts and Harvard as his resume suggests? Are you obtaining your information from Jimmy Hennessy’s reliable Republican blogs?

  39. So wanting qualified professionals is bad thing? I’m very confused by The Clown. You sound very on edge and angry, perhaps you take a Xanax and lay down for a while. And last time I checked, Eddie is usually right with many of his statements, engineers know the danger of not checking their facts.

  40. Sorry Homey, I am with “Eddie” or whoever he is a man or a woman. The City of Long Beach has been “taken over” by “out of towners.” I am 100% of the opinion the current administration is totally inept and in above their heads. They never made the choice on their own to move to Long Beach because it is the best little city to possibly live-in. They came here for MONEY!! The job descriptions have been rewritten to hire who they want to hire and not who is best suited for the job. In the current economy there was not 1 single person, with an engineering degree, to fill an engineering position EXCEPT for a former coworker of the current City Manager? Come on Homey? Seriously? Not one other qualified person in the country except an associate of Jack? And City manager is NOT A MAYOR!! He is supposed to be a “property manager!” keep the streets clean and safe, have a handle on borrowing and spending and stay out of POLITICS!! but NO the City Council hires the former head of the Suffolk County Democratic Election Committee, or whatever the name is. Come on Homey, stop being such a clown and start connecting some dots…..
    Why should ANthony ban someone that sounds so intelligent like “Eddie” when he can just ban a “clown” like Homey…..

  41. Thank you, Love. At a time when so much could be gained from professional management, we have a gang of incompetent hacks borrowing us in bankruptcy and simply throwing millions to consultants.

    The taxpayers are the losers here. Too bad that only one in five pay any attention. They cry about their healthy trees ripped out, but never ask why a three-time indicted felon was hired to assess them. They cry about taxes but don’t question $280K cop salaries. They complain about e coli in the drinking water but don’t ask why the $160K job of protecting the water was given to a guy with no degree or license. Most haven’t even heard that new 20 story projects will be their neighbors.

  42. Hey Clown, what you describe is the exact thing this democratic administration did when it took office. So isnt that the “pot calling the kettle black”. It was like a blood bath when they took office and they fired not only republicans but democrats they deemed not worthy. And then everyone who was deemed worthy got treated real nice (just take a looks at the sweet contracts the PD got!!!). SO please cut the BS.

  43. Will someone make the list of all the appointees, their list of degrees, and their job experience? I would love to see the comparison of the Republican hacks and the Democratic hacks to find out who was more educated and experienced.

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