Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Part of Broadway in Downtown Long Beach to clear after years of blockage

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After breaking ground in 2021 and part of the scaffolding coming off back in June, the Aster Long Beach will finally complete its roadwork on Broadway that was part of its contract to build in the coming weeks.

And the clearing will likely garner cheers from drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike.

So what does this mean for Broadway in Downtown Long Beach?

The purpose for the long closure of the south side of Broadway, having to force pedestrians to zig-zag along it while pushing cars into one lane? Well, there’s the south-facing side of the Inkwell residential development that borders Broadway’s north side. And then there is the required street improvements that the Aster construction crew was required to do in order for the project to become entitled.

Not only is the street being entirely repaved along the project’s front-facing stretch between Long Beach Boulevard and The Promenade, the southwest corner of Broadway and Long Beach Boulevard will receive a much-needed bulb-out that will provide a buffer between pedestrians and traffic.

downtown long beach aster
Construction workers repave Broadway between The Promenade and Long Beach Boulevard in Downtown Long Beach. Photo by Brian Addison.

So what are the details behind Aster Long Beach?

The eight-story mixed-use building at the southwest corner of Broadway and Long Beach Boulevard, just east of the historic Psychic Temple building, is a podium-style building.

Designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm Carrier Johnson + Culture, the building is a welcomed addition to what had long been a sad surface lot—and while it felt like the building would be dwarfed by the neighboring Pacific Towers and the (actually towering) Onni East Village high-rise up near 3rd Street, the building looks at peace and in piece with its surroundings (thanks to the not-so-towering eight-story building south of Onni East Village’s 24-story tower).

The Aster has two below-ground parking levels with two additional floors of parking above ground, providing 312 spots, along with 44 bike parking spaces and 7,292 square feet of retail space along the ground floor.

In addition, 218 residential units are now officially able to be rented: 32 studio units, ranging from 470 to 525 square feet; 123 one-bedroom units ranging from 610 to 1,000 square feet; 61 two-bedroom units ranging from 885 to 1,335 square feet; and two three-bedroom units at 1,435 and 1,700 square feet.

Those 470-square-foot studios begin at $2,390 per month; one-bedrooms beginning at $2,745; two-bedrooms beginning at $3,950; and three-bedrooms requiring private inquiries in regard to cost.

There will be no affordable units attached to the complex as the project was entitled before the Long Beach City Council passed the final version of its inclusionary ordinance in January of 2012; that ordinance requires certain projects in certain areas to have a limited amount of affordable units set aside in their development.

In fact, when the Downtown Plan—the guiding document that oversees development in our most dense neighborhood—was originally being drafted, then-9th District Councilmember Steve Neal fought for an inclusionary ordinance but was ultimately shot down; had it have been included and depending on its requirements, millions of dollars or several new affordable units would exist in DTLB, curbing what many see as a steep increase in housing costs citywide.

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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Shame that everything has to be current, except what the city allows in the downtown area. We don’t need more $2300 studio apartments. What’s needed is affordable housing.

  2. Just another modern ugly, boring steel and glass building. Bring back ornamentation and outside fire escapes. Make the city interesting again! Haven’t we seen more than enough of this? 🤮

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