Monday, April 22, 2024

City Council approves 21-story, 203-unit Downtown Long Beach development


The Long Beach City Council approved plans for a proposed 21-story 203-unit residential Downtown Long Beach development that is also set to include 13 affordable units at 615 E. Ocean Blvd, as reported by Urbanize LA.

The design, led by Long Beach firm Studio One Eleven, was first shown in 2022 and then additional ones showcasing the full scope of the project in November of 2023.

Where is this Downtown Long Beach development going exactly—and why so few affordable units?

Taking over the parking lot and building where Long Beach Cafe used to be before closing mid-pandemic in 2020, the geometrical, protrusion-brick design will reach some 257 feet in the air (slightly above the 240 limit for which it will ask for an exemption) should it not only reach entitlement at today’s Planning Commission meeting but also find the capital to break ground.

“I’m excited to see an abandoned, underutilized site that will be transformed into dense housing to further activate our downtown,” said Studio One Eleven Principal Michael Bohn. “In terms of innovation the project proposes mechanized parking and the building’s open space is dispersed and articulated at grade, mid-level and the roof.”

While the 13 units set aside for affordable housing seem measly for a Downtown Long Beach development project of this size, there would have been zero were it not for the City’s inclusionary ordinance; even more, also due to that ordinance, all 13 in this project will be reserved for Very Low Income households.

A further look at this Downtown Long Beach development’s details

The Downtown Long Beach development will be flanked by the 17-story Current complex to its east and the historic, eight-story Artaban condo complex to its west and welcomes a much needed dose of diversity in a downtown that is becoming increasingly slathered in steel and glass design. (Though, admittedly, it is astounding how much taller than the Current the building appears in the renderings given it is only four more stories taller.)

The project calls for 261 parking spots for cars and 41 spots for bicycles in a building that will have 24 studio apartments (three of which will be affordable), 96 one-bedroom apartments (six of which will be affordable), 76 two-bedroom apartments (four of which will be affordable), and seven three-bedroom apartments. About a third of those apartments will have balconies.

Amenities include outdoor decks, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, lounge rooms, a game room, and a club room.

The parcel was listed for sale and went into escrow in 2021 for $6.25M after Long Beach Cafe, the Greek-meets-American diner opened by brothers Nick and George Stanitsas in 1988, shuttered.

The loss of the space is bittersweet: On one hand, it waves au revoir to one of DTLB’s few old-school diners in a very formal way but also welcomes some much-needed housing units in a space that was (outside the nostalgia) inefficient in the name of a downtown area.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


  1. Again, not enough low income housing. They providing housing for people outside of Long Beach, not for the people of Long Beach. This means that rents will be increasing, the homeless problem will become worse, and Studio One Eleven will make more money at our expense.

  2. We cannot afford more rent increases. It is rediculously high enough already. Then last thing we need is anything that will cause more homeless people on the street. this whole building ought to be low income that might make a substantial dent in our problem.

  3. This development has 261 parking spots for cars and only 41 spots for bicycles. We need these numbers to be swapped. How is the city allowing new developments that don’t even have one bicycle spot per unit? I see so many brand new developments around DTLB with the balconies being used as bicycle parking.


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