Shortly after a former Harbor Commissioner pitches the idea of an aerial tram that hauls people to and from DTLB to the Queen Mary, the organization that will take over the master lease of the land surrounding the iconic ship have released details on what they hope will bring tourism to the area: a $250M overhaul that includes an entertainment and retail complex. Oh, and possibly a Ferris wheel (which would be the second one in DTLB).
Urban Commons, chosen by the City of Long Beach last year to take over the marine complex, officially took over the lease this week under a 66-year agreement.
Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons, has told media outlets ranging from the Los Angeles Times to the Press-Telegram that hopes are high: boat slips, a marina, an 200-room boutique hotel landside, restaurants, retail, possibly doubling the footprint of Carnival Cruises’ port, and major updates to the ship itself that will complement the historic aspects of the Queen—updates that are expected to debut by mid-next year.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to transform a beloved Southern California icon into a beloved world-class destination,” Woods said.
Of course, this is easier said than done because it is on Urban Commons to deliver what other groups—like the Queen’s last master of the lease, Garrison Investment Group—failed to do.
Urban Commons, according to the lease agreement, will be required to make an annual rent payment of $300K (including 10% of operating revenues). The percentage payment would be delivered to City Hall to the extent that amount exceeds Urban Commons’ minimum rent obligation.
Woods said Urban Commons will spend $10M to $15M to renovate the ship itself while an additional $250M will be needed to develop the surrounding land—monies that Woods claim Urban Commons can raise itself.