Paving the way for what could become the two tallest structures in Long Beach, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a plan Thursday to build luxury apartment towers on the long-vacant Superblock property.
With a plan to build the two high-rise apartments — and the first mix of retail shops along the boardwalk in recent memory — Manhattan-based developer iStar Residential went before the zoning board on Jan. 23 and asked for a height and density variance to develop a new mixed residential and commercial development on the 6-acre parcel between Riverside and Long Beach Boulevards, East Broadway and the boardwalk, saying that it would revitalize a property that has remained vacant for 30 years.
The board voted 5 to 1 to pass the variance; zoning board Chairman Rocco Morelli, who could not attend the meeting, announced his support for the project in a statement that was read to the public.
The project includes two 15-story buildings — approximately 50 feet taller than the city’s current height limit of 110 feet — with 522 one- and two-bedroom luxury rental apartments, along with 11,000 square feet of retail space for a handful of shops along the boardwalk. With rents starting at over $2,000 per month, the apartments would be marketed to young professionals and empty-nesters. The project is expected to attract 800 to 900 new residents and generate $4.8 million in tax revenue per year for the city and the Long Beach School District, iStar officials said.
Additionally, a 6,000-square-foot promenade would “integrate” with the new boardwalk and be devoted to public space with café tables, benches and other amenities.
City officials and the Chamber of Commerce lauded the board’s decision, saying that the project will generate tax revenue, create jobs and offer the first mix of retail shops on the boardwalk in decades. Construction could begin this summer, iStar representatives said.
There's movement on the development front for one of the largest blank-slate parcels in San Jose, and one result could be a new Costco coming to the southern end of the city.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding for the so-called "iStar parcel," a 76-acre site in Edenvale near the intersection of Great Oaks Parkway and Highway 85. (IStar is a large investment firm that owns the property.) The MOU spells out, in broad strokes, how the site would be developed and is the first step in reaching a formal development agreement that would allow construction to commence.
I updated you on the project's progress back in May, before the MOU was hammered out, and not much has changed. We're still talking 260,000 square feet of office, 150,000 square feet of retail and 720 housing units. Also, as noted in my story back then, developers reportedly have a letter of intent with Costco to locate on the site. That store would be just east of the vacant police station on Great Oaks Parkway. The iStar parcel is the remaining piece of the massive Hitachi Global Storage Technologies campus redevelopment.
The whole thing weighs in at about 300 acres along the east side of Cottle Road, where IBM once built hard drives. Hitachi took over that business in the early 2000s, and later decided it didn't need so much land. The city envisioned the area as an "urban village," with a mix of jobs, housing and retail near several mass transit connections.
Today the land to the east of the iStar-owned parcel is under construction, with retail and homes sprouting up. But the iStar site has been stalled as the city and the owner worked to get on the same page. Early proposals several years ago called for housing only on the site, while the city wanted to maintain commercial uses.
The MOU envisions office/R&D on 12 acres and retail occupying 15 acres, with housing taking up 22 acres. One side effect from the development of the site will be money for the San Jose Earthqua