Construction continues on city's largest development, including rebuilding shell of Acres of Books to make way for food hall

The developmental boom continues in Long Beach: As Shoreline Gateway, the city's tallest tower, nears opening its doors to new residents (at least those that can afford rents ranging from $3,090 for a studio to $13,000-plus for its penthouses), an influx of other developments are well underway or have broken ground.

by Brian Addison

After months of delay due a water main interference, construction workers have quickly provided form to the city's largest development project, the $215 million Broadway Block.

Taking over the entirety of the west stretch of Long Beach Blvd. between Broadway and 3rd Street, the most obvious being the beginning of what will be a 23-story, 252-foot high mixed-use residential tower.

Accompanying it to the south will be a seven-story, podium-style, mixed-use residential building. Also known as platform- or pedestal-buildings, podium-style buildings use a "podium," typically made of concrete or steel, with light wood frames constructing the stories atop it.

From left to right (gallery): Various angles show how the project is to look upon completion. Renderings courtesy of Onni.

In June of 2020, plans were approved that permitted Onni—the developer which bought the entitlements to the project from Cliff Ratkovich in 2018—to add 32 more units, eight of those going toward the high-rise on 3rd Street and 24 going toward the mid-rise tower on Broadway. This was achieved without increasing the square footage or height of each building by breaking up four- and three-bedroom units that were eventually scrapped to make way for the additional residences.

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This brings the project's total housing units to 432, all of which will be market-rate. Since the project was entitled before the city passed its inclusionary ordinance, it is not required to have any of the units set aside for low-income families.
From left to right (gallery): Construction continues on the Broadway Block as seen on Sept. 6, 2021. Photos by Brian Addison.

The former Acre of Books site—whose facade was deemed a historic landmark and therefore could not be destroyed—will have its shell re-built to make way for a 9,300-square-foot food hall a la Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Details, as of now, remain slim but it will serve as part of the public paseo being designed that will allow passersby to walk through the property and around the buildings.

Onni has yet to respond to this story.