- Operators of the Queen Mary hotel and tourist attraction in Long Beach, CA, are hoping a 65-acre, $250 million Gensler-designed entertainment complex will generate enough cash to pay for an estimated $289 million, five-year upgrade and maintenance plan for the iconic ship, according to The Los Angeles Times.
- Urban Commons, which leases the ship from the city, unveiled plans for Queen Mary Island, a British-themed development that will include a 2,400-foot boardwalk next to the luxury liner, a small-boat marina, a 200-room hotel, an amphitheater, dining and entertainment venues, 700,000 square feet of retail space and a 150,000-square-foot Urban Legacies complex.
- The privately funded project still must secure approvals from the city and California Coastal Commission before it can proceed with more concrete plans and is expected to see construction start in about two years.
Some Long Beach officials have expressed optimism that the project can also provide a significant economic benefit for the city and have gotten behind Urban Commons' plans.
One of California's biggest assets is its coastline, and private developers and municipalities alike seek to utilize it when they can. In fact, developer Protea is currently navigating the approval process for a redevelopment of San Diego's waterside Seaport Village into the new and revitalized $1.2 billion Seaport San Diego.
The development reportedly will feature a 1,077-room Virgin Hotel — which will incorporate a 350-microroom Yotel — retail, dining and entertainment, space for port-based businesses, a charter school, a 480-foot observation tower, an Odysea aquarium and a park next to the beach. Developers will also modernize the port facilities that commercial fishing operators and personal watercraft use.
Protea secured approval from San Diego Unified Port District in November but still must get the green light from the California Coastal Commission.