Developers of historic Ocean Center adaptive re-use project seek to add more units

Pacific6, the developers behind the adaptive re-use of the Ocean Center building at the southwest corner of Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, will add six more units to make for a total of 80 units in the development.

In the original proposal, Pacific6 had planned on creating seven two-story loft units that would require cutting through the concrete of the second level of the building. They wish to now leave the floor intact, creating the space for six more units: one studio, one two-bedroom, and four one-bedroom units.

The plan was approved by the Planning Commission yesterday.

The project followed years of speculation over what to do with the 14 stories of Spanish Revival architecture sitting at 110 W. Ocean Blvd. The Ocean Center Building, standing 197 feet tall, had gone through proposal after proposal, from residential proposal to empty to hoteliers seeking out the famed building.

After an $18-million acquisition, Pacific6—the crew behind the massive renovation of the Breakers Building just east of Ocean Center—have purchased the building in the hopes of creating 70 to 80 new residences, keeping in line with the 74 residential units designed by Los Angeles firm David Lawrence Gray Architects back in 2014, while also offering something beyond more food in the Downtown area.

With terra cotta tiling on its roof and impeccable wood interiors, Ocean Center represented the grandeur of a time now past after breaking ground in Long Beach on January 25, 1929 at a cost of $1.1 million.

Designed by Raymond M. Kennedy under the famed Meyer and Holler firm—responsible for Hollywood’s iconic Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian theaters—the building is quite unusually shaped. Formed by an octagonal tower and surmounted by a pyramidal-roofed penthouse which contained the elevator and ventilation equipment, it was originally home to some 190 offices (with garage space for 160 cars underneath).

At the time of its opening, its north and east-facing facades were fronted on major streets, the southern overlooked the waterfront, and while the west face was bounded by the Pike amusement zone, which was accessible through the 15-foot Ocean Way tunnel that still runs beneath the building.

Editor’s note: Pacific6 is the parent company of the Long Beach Post.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at brian@lbpost.com or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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