Superblock & LWRP updates?

Ah, an article that slipped right by me. This is from the July 24, 2009 issue of the New York Times – Building Projects Shelved.  The article mentions the two major Long Beach projects which are currently on hold due to financing and the economy: The Superblock & Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). Both will drastically change Long Beach as we know it;  including a major hotel, retail on the boardwalk, a new marina, two-story towers, an amphitheater.

From the article: Sometimes, the developer ends up defaulting regardless. In Long Beach, for example, after nearly two decades, plans were approved in 2007 to redevelop the Superblock, a waterfront parcel between Riverside Boulevard and Long Beach Road. But the only movement on the urban renewal site since then has been its use as a parking lot during a nearby fireworks display this month.

Charles T. Theofan, the Long Beach city manager, said that the lender for Philips International, the developer, “evidently defaulted,” creating a state of limbo for the two 10-story towers and their 100 hotel rooms, 325 condominiums, conference center, health club and retail stores. “They did not get the funding to develop it,” said Mr. Theofan, adding that the deed to the land had been taken over by IStar Financial, a Manhattan-based real estate investment trust.

Andrew G. Backman, an IStar senior vice president for investor relations and marketing, said that “as a matter of corporate policy,” the company would not comment on “individual assets in the portfolio.”

The urban renewal guidelines still determine what the development will ultimately be, Mr. Theofan said. But the city has started talking to other developers. “We have people chomping at the bit,” he said. “The negative effect is that it remains vacant,” but then “it has been vacant for the past 20 years.”

As always, I will post updates on these two projects as soon as I get more info.