Land swap for new Long Beach courthouse approved
2009-10-16 · By Editor
Plans for the new Long Beach courthouse took another important step forward this week when the State Public Works Board approved the land exchange agreement between the the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the State of California. The state’s Public Works Board met on October 12 in Sacramento and approved the acquisition, which will pave the way for the development of the new Long Beach Courthouse.
“This approval is a major milestone not only toward breaking ground on the new courthouse, but also for the continued revitalization of our Downtown,” said Craig Beck, Executive Director of the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency. “The courthouse will be a new civic landmark that will be designed to reflect the unique characteristics of the surrounding Long Beach community, and we’re thrilled to see it moving forward.”
The new Long Beach courthouse is the first where the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is using an innovative public-private arrangement called “performance based infrastructure” — also referred to as P3s. In this type of public-private collaboration, a states or municipalities selects a team to develop and construct a project, and then leases back the facility to the government for 20 or more years. In Long Beach, the lease will last 35 years.
Three development teams — Perkins + Will; Hellmuth, Obata & Kassanbaum; and AECOM — are vying for the opportunity to finance, design, build and maintain the new courthouse. The State anticipates receiving proposals from the competing developer teams by late October and finalizing their selection process in early 2010. The land exchange with the RDA will then be closed, and execution of the developer agreement will take place in April 2010.
Construction is expected to begin within four months of the closing date, and construction of the new courthouse should be complete in fall 2012.
The new courthouse will be located in Downtown’s West Gateway area. Plans call for a seven-story building with 31 courtrooms, retail space, commercial offices, a basement with controlled entry and in-custody holding facilities, and renovation of the existing parking structure. The 6-acre site between Broadway and 3rd Street, West of Magnolia Avenue will replace the outdated facility located at 415 Ocean Boulevard.
In addition to local residents, Long Beach Superior Court serves citizens from San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City and Harbor Gateway.
(*Editor’s Note: You think this delay to build a new courthouse is long? The last courthouse was approved the day after the Long Beach quake of 1931, but didn’t open its doors until October 21, 1958! Don’t believe me, read this.)