Mayor Robert Garcia has announced his 12 appointments to the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force, which was proposed by him and Vice Mayor Lowenthal and approved by the City Council in June. The 12-member body will make recommendations for the development of the 43.8 acres of property around the historic ship, which includes Queen Mary Events Park, Sea Walk Village, several parking lots, and vacant land.
“We have a historic opportunity to reimagine and revitalize the 43 acres surrounding the Queen Mary,” said Mayor Garcia. “I am confident this task force will provide important community input and creative direction.”
The city has been meeting with Garrison Investments, the ship’s operator and adjacent land lease holder, to develop a timeline and process for creating a new master development. The task force—comprised of representatives from downtown neighborhoods, as well as experts in tourism and hospitality, architecture and design, economic development, and historic preservation—will kick-off the community process and provide important feedback to the City.
According to Vice Mayor Lowenthal, whose Second Council District is home to the Queen Mary and surrounding properties, “This project holds great potential to improve our waterfront and tourist industry, adding to the revitalization of downtown and strengthening the connection with our south shoreline.” She added, “I truly look forward to hearing from the community about this tremendous opportunity.”
The task force members, who do not require Council approval, in alphabetical order, are:
Ryan Altoon is Executive Vice President with AndersonPacific, LLC, a company focusing on projects that are transit-oriented and sustainable, and managing more than $1 billion in projects throughout California, including co-developing “The Current”, a 17-story residential building at the corner of Ocean and Alamitos. With more than 12 years of experience in strategic planning, project management and finance. Mr. Altoon is a LEED Accredited Professional, Chair of the DLBA Public Realm Committee, and Advisory Board member to Toluca Lake Beautification Partners.
Stuart Ashman has been President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art since 2011. He was previously an Expert Advisor for the United States Peace Corp, and worked for eight years as Curator and then Director of the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts. Raised in Cuba, his education and professional career have been in the United States.
Becky Blair founded Blair Commercial Real Estate in 1983 and has more than 30 years of experience in Long Beach commercial real estate. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board of Directors, the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the City of Long Beach Planning Commission (as Chair), the Long Beach Symphony Board of Directors, and many others. She holds a B.A. and an M.S. from California State University, Long Beach.
Michael Bohn is design director for Studio One Eleven, and coordinates the Studio’s design efforts and strategies for innovative, context-driven, environmentally responsible projects. His focus is on transit-oriented development, mixed-use urban infill, multi-family housing and education. With more than 20 years of experience, he has led design teams on award-winning developments such as 4th+Linden, Senior Artist Colony and Central Market at Del Mar Station. He serves as an architectural and urban design advisor to Long Beach Heritage and the City of Long Beach, and is a licensed architect.
Eric Carr, a resident of downtown Long Beach, is Director of Product Management at Custom Building Products, and Account Director at the Taproot Foundation. A seasoned executive with an extensive background in marketing and product development, he was the recipient of a 2014 Spirit of Downtown Award from the Downtown Long Beach Associates, and is former President of the Downtown Residential Council.
Jeff Hoffman is President of Jeff Hoffman and Associates, a global corporate citizenship, philanthropy, and civic engagement firm. He is also Program Director for the Global Science Investing Council of The Conference Board, and worked for the Walt Disney Company for 31 years, most recently as Vice President of Worldwide Outreach. Jeff is also on the Board of Directors for Points of Light, the world’s largest volunteer service organization, and is a fourth generation Long Beach resident.
Julia Huang is the founder of Imprint Lab, and CEO of interTrend Communications, Inc., one of the most innovative and fastest growing advertising and marketing agencies focused on the diverse and expanding Asian communities in the US, with its office in downtown Long Beach. She was closely involved in bringing the POW!-WOW! art event to Long Beach in 2015. Fortune Magazine named her as one of the 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs in 2014.
Kenneth McDonald is President and CEO of Long Beach Transit, a position he has held since August 2013. He is also Chair of the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ Public Safety Committee, and a member of the Long Beach Rotary and the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and, for 20 years, in a variety of roles at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
Cheryl Perry has been a Long Beach resident for 22 years, and currently serves as President of both Long Beach Heritage and the Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association. She previously served as President of the Willmore City Heritage Association, and was a member of the 2006 Downtown Visioning Committee, and has 18 years of professional experience in commercial property management.
Kelly Ruggirello is the Executive Director of the Long Beach Symphony, a position she has held since March 2013, and has led the Symphony to a fiscal surplus, the first in more than a decade, and recruited sixteen new Board members. She has been a Long Beach resident for 27 years and is a member of Long Beach Rotary and a former teacher with the Downey Unified School District.
Steve Sheldon is the Director of Entertainment Events for the Queen Mary, managing event productions including CHILL, Dark Harbor, and many others, driving nearly half a million attendees annually to the property. He was previously Marketing and Special Events Manager for the Downtown Long Beach Associates. Steve is a 15 year resident of Long Beach and a cofounder of LGB2 Network.
Jan van Dijs
Jan van Dijs is Principal and Founder of JR van Dijs, Inc., a respected industry leader in real estate development. He has more than 30 years of experience in urban redevelopment, adaptive reuse and historical restoration. He was the winner of the Long Beach Heritage Foundation Award in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012, and was closely involved in such notable Long Beach projects as the Art Theater Long Beach, Douglas Park Medical Offices, Edison Lofts, Temple Israel, and the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House.
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