Long Beach, CA
Shooshani Developers today announced that the retail area between Long Beach Boulevard and Pine Avenue from 3rd Street to 6th Street currently known as City Place is intentionally being un-named.
“We are going to allow the six-block area between 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, 6th Street, Pine Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard to self-identify and not give it an official name to better be a part of and integrated into our thriving and evolving Downtown,” said Tony Shooshani, managing member of Shooshani Developers and owners of the former City Place. “From today, we can start referring to the ground level of the six-block area as ‘The Streets’ and that each street will develop as micro destinations with a unique personality based on the tenant mix.”
Joining Tony Shooshani, Studio One Eleven and Retail Design Collaborative for the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Dr. Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, Lena Gonzalez, 1st Council District of Long Beach, Michael Bohn, Senior Principal at Studio One Eleven, Alan Pullman, Founding Principal at Studio One Eleven, and Steve Ruth, CEO at Retail Design Collaborative.
“The Downtown is well on its way to realizing its full potential in so many different facets,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “And leading the success in the heart of Downtown is the re-imagined six-block area that is providing newfound energy and enthusiasm with its new restaurants, retail and businesses.”
Studio One Eleven and Retail Design Collaborative are leading the way with transformative urban design and facade improvements. They repurposed the former 34,000-squre-foot Nordstrom Rack as their new office, which they designed as a playful and at the same time highly functional environment that beautifully expresses the firm’s design-centric culture. With more than 135 employees, they are fully occupied and operational and their presence is already felt in the heart of downtown. The scale of the area is visibly improved; there is a ton of energy and activity progressively happening in this spot.
“We had to envision something beyond a shopping center, which was to integrate our six-block footprint into the adjacent downtown, and reimagine the area as a vibrant mixed-use district – a hub of unique restaurants, businesses and retail for all the residents and visitors of Long Beach to enjoy,” said Tony Shooshani. “We have been so inspired by shopping and restaurant districts in other cities, considered the ‘cool streets’ such as The Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, Hayes Valley in San Francisco and Miami’s Design District. What each of these urban districts or ‘cool streets’ do so well is embrace lifestyle and experience.”
It was also announced that two new projects emphasizing the ‘cool streets’ concept are moving first onto 4th Street with an innovative, parklet dining area in front of Milana’s New York Pizzeria, Mitaki Japanese Restaurant and Fresh Kabobs, followed by a proposed new parklet on Pine Avenue in front of several retail locations including The Pie Bar. The 4th Street parklet will pay homage to Long Beach’s music legacy and the Pine Avenue parklet will feature connections to Long Beach’s Sister cities. The parklets are the kind of place-making environments that customers are asking for in the area.
New lease agreements have also been signed with several new tenants including Burgerim, Creative Crepes, Party Monkey, Poke Cat, Romeo Chocolates, Table 301 and The Plant Junkie.
In addition, Shooshani Developers will soon break ground on a new 20-unit mixed-use urban development on the parcel of land across from the old Walmart location. This will provide for additional housing in the heart of downtown and add a variety of new retail spaces to support the current demand. The residential component will complement the surrounding complexes while providing new residents the opportunity for urban living in a downtown seaside setting.
Most noticeably spread throughout the 350,000-square-foot mixed-use district will be distinct crosswalk designs painted at the entry points at Pine Avenue, Long Beach Boulevard and 3rd Street; new monument signage will highlight major entrances; and creative wall graphics will be applied to several highly visible locations.
“We envision each of our streets, avenue and boulevard – 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, 6th Street, Historic Pine Avenue, Long Beach Boulevard – taking shape as unique and cool destinations within the urban fabric,” added Tony Shooshani. “We have worked very closely with City officials to cultivate our vision, incorporate their suggestions and the needs of their constituents and listen to what the surrounding community is saying about our Downtown.”
The new marketing campaign leverages the City’s grid within the former shopping center’s footprint and will allow the area to self-identify as a multi-faceted destination offering a variety of mixed-use services including professional, residential, retail and restaurants that will serve residents and visitors alike. The vision is that over time this entire six-block area and beyond of Downtown will be known as “The Streets.” This will be further developed with a variety of strategic initiatives utilizing “The Streets” in e-blasts, website, social media, newsletter, merchandise and hashtags.
The creative concepts, brand strategy and marketing campaign for the former City Place was designed by Air Conditioned, a Santa Monica-based design studio.
The overall footprint of the six-city block mixed-use district is accentuated by the current redesign of Harvey Milk Park, which is nestled on 3rd Street between Pine Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard.