The owner of the Superblock will officially propose a new development at the long-vacant property this week, while the City of Long Beach seeks to settle all litigation pertaining to the six-acre parcel.
Follow Long Beach Patch on Facebook.
Shore Road-Long Beach Superblock LLC, a subsidiary of the property owner, Manhattan-based iStar Financial, has submitted an application to the Long Beach Zoning Board of Appeals seeking a height and density variance for a mixed residential and commercial development on the Superblock property that is bound by East Broadway, Riverside and Long Beach boulevards and the beach.
While the zoning board’s hearing on the application is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, iStar representatives will first unveil their plans for the new development at the Chamber of Commerce meeting schedule for Park Sports Bar & Grill, 20 W. Park Ave., at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The plans include two 14-story residential luxury apartment towers with a total of 500 units and 950 parking spaces, as well as a promenade adjacent to the boardwalk with shops and restaurants, according to the Long Beach Herald.
For the proposal to move forward, however, the city must first settle a lawsuit filed against iStar and the property’s former developer, Pilevsky and Philips International, which also owns the Long Beach Cinema 4 at the northeast corner of East Park Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard.
According to the city, the City Council first held a meeting on a new development of the Superblock in February 1979, which was followed by 35 years of meetings, public hearings, planning and litigations while the property has remained vacant. Under current circumstances, millions of dollars in undetermined condemnation costs and legal fees still need to be paid as part of an agreement with Pilevsky. In 2011, the city filed suit against iStar, Pilevsky and Philips International’s subsidiaries. But last April a State Supreme Court judge denied parts of the city’s claim and pushed the municipality to settle with iStar and Pilevsky, the Herald reports. City Manager Jack Schnirman said:
“After decades of litigation, we believe that the city’s longstanding lawsuit against the current owners of the Superblock, iStar, and the former owners of the Superblock should be settled. The Superblock project is one that has been talked about for decades, and we are extremely hopeful that this privately owned vacant lot will finally be developed into something that benefits our entire community.”
Toward this end, the City Council on Wednesday will vote on a resolution to have the city’s corporation counsel settle outstanding litigation with all the parties involved, including iStar and former owner and developers of the site — Janow Associates, LLC, Shore Road Development Partners, LLC, Shore Road-Long Beach Superblock, LLC, and Philip Pilevsky — for $5.2 million paid to the city.
The resolution notes that the settlement would include construction and installation of new sewer and water mains from East Park Avenue south to Riverside Boulevard at the Superblock, the reopening of the Hurricane Sandy-damaged movie theatre, and “any additional fees and charges required by the city.”