Thursday, July 18, 2024

MacArthur Park in Long Beach readies for its renovation—and why that’s important


The long-planned renovation of MacArthur Park in Central Long Beach took its first tangible step toward fruition after crews broke ground on the space formally this month.

Bitech Construction Company began minor construction at MacArthur Park back in April 2024, with major construction starting this month. The park is scheduled to open by summer 2025, barring weather or other unforeseen delays. While the park itself will be closed, the MacArthur Park Community Center and Manazar Gamboa Community Theater will remain operational.

What will MacArthur Park look like upon completion?

The concept behind the new MacArthur is a reflection of its surrounding Cambodia Town residents, particularly those that migrated here following the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime. A riverine landscape will be implemented that acts as ode to the Mekong River in Cambodia, along with other Southeast Asian flairs.

The playground will be the park’s most dramatic feature and noticeable upgrade, incorporating older equipment with new. New play equipment will have thatch roof-inspired shades, graphical fencing, and thematic animal climbers. Those climbers will include an Irrawaddy dolphin and baby Asian elephant, installed as play sculptures, as well as a giant mosquito-looking see-saw. The former is a freshwater dolphin found in the Mekong River, the running heart of Cambodia. And this makes sense given the river-lined-with-lilypads theme the printed groundwork for the playground has.

Regrading will take over the northern end MacArthur Park, brining with it a new lawn that will host a multi-purpose field, fitness stations, and a waking loop. will be regraded and have a new lawn installed to create a multi-purpose field that will include a walking loop and fitness stations.

And not just that: A new basketball court will be part of the future space.

How was the park funded?

The $10.5M project was funded largely through the State of California, whose budget sets aside certain amounts for park projects and which Long Beach was granted $8.5M in 2021. The remaining $2M will come from the city and county’s split for the Elevate 28 budget attached to the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympics.

Per the City of Long Beach, Bitech Construction Company is scheduled to perform work Monday through Friday from 7AM to 3:30PM. Parking impacts for residents is not expected. Efforts will be made to minimize inconveniences and minimize construction activities during scheduled park sports activities.

To facilitate construction, portions of the MacArthur Park parking lot will be made unavailable and will be enclosed by the Contractor’s temporary perimeter construction fencing. The parking stalls adjacent to the Gamboa Theater will remain open and available for public use. However please note, the parking lot may be intermittently closed during work hours for loading and unloading of critical equipment.

A street parking space along Gundry Avenue will be temporarily designated as a blue curb zone and will be made available for the duration of the project. The space will be converted back to a regular parking space upon project completion.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe to The Insider

Get weekly updates on Long Beach's evolving culture, urban development, and food scene. Become a Longbeachize Insider today

By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to receive weekly newsletters from Longbeachize and accept our Privacy Policy posted on our website.

Read more

Popular Tags

More From Long Beach