Governor Jerry Brown Signs Long Beach Civic Center Bill

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Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown

Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Long Beach Civic Center bill into law. Authored by State Senator Ricardo Lara, SB 562 clarifies existing law by placing various sections of State law and case law governing the public-private procurement process into a single section of State law for the Long Beach Civic Center project.

“The Long Beach Civic Center Project is a once-in-a-lifetime project that will transform Downtown Long Beach. I’d like to thank Senator Ricardo Lara for his leadership in the California Legislature to make sure that this iconic public-private partnership continues to move forward with broad support,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

SB 562 combines existing State and case law applicable to lease-leaseback public-private partnerships, and Design-Bid-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) public-private partnerships. In doing so, SB 562 codifies a hybrid DBFOM/lease-leaseback public-private partnership model, specific to the Long Beach Civic Center Project.

“Long Beach residents are closer to seeing significant revitalization and modernization in downtown come to fruition thanks to SB 562. The Civic Center is at the core of Long Beach and the expansion project will benefit residents for years to come,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “This bill is about smart investment to keep Downtown Long Beach thriving for residents, business, tourists and the community at-large.”

The Civic Center project will generate more than 3,700 direct and indirect jobs in Long Beach. Jobs associated with the construction of the Civic Center project will follow a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). SB 562 is supported by the City of Long Beach, Port of Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Trades Council of California.

“The Port of Long Beach made a pledge to find a permanent home downtown and return to the waterfront when it moved to its temporary headquarters a year ago,” said Lori Ann Guzmán, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President. “This bill helps bring us a step closer to that, and as a department of the City, we’re pleased to be a part of the Civic Center project.”

The public portions of the Long Beach Civic Center Project include a new seismically safe Long Beach City Hall, Port of Long Beach Headquarters and Main Library, along with a redesigned park. The private portions of the project include transit-oriented mixed-used developments, high-rise condominiums and retail. All new developments will be built on 15.87 acres of land in Downtown Long Beach, and in accordance with the City’s award-winning Downtown Plan (Plan). Developments that meet Plan requirements are able to utilize an expedited Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) review process, which reduces the cost and time associated with entitlement, and ultimately project delivery.

Without SB 562 the City can still legally deliver the Project, as the Civic Center procurement process is consistent with existing State regulations. However, this procurement process has been used only for infrastructure, and not specifically City Hall buildings. The Civic Center project benefits with SB 562 special legislation as it reduces the risk of legal challenge to the project, and enables the City to invest a greater amount of resources into the tangible aspects of the development rather than financing costs.

The Civic Center Project is necessary, as the existing City Hall and Main Library have been found to be seismically deficient. The enactment of SB 562 provides greater project stability for this groundbreaking public-private development.

The Civic Center project is designed to keep the City’s annual payment at approximately the same amount that the City currently pays for Civic Center maintenance and operation, as well as off-site leases.

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