The highly anticipated 2ND & PCH retail center celebrated its grand opening with city officials, developers and hundreds of residents in attendance on October 24. As of November 1, 19 stores have opened their doors, and dozens more are to follow. The more than 215,000-square-foot project in Southeast Long Beach comes after two decades of tenacious efforts by property owner Raymond Lin and city staff, who went through three other development pitches before 2ND & PCH was ultimately approved.

2nd & PCH Ribbon Cutting
The long-awaited 2ND & PCH retail center celebrated its grand opening on October 24. Pictured from left during the ribbon cutting ceremony are Barret Bradley, development associate with CenterCal; Fred Bruning, CEO for CenterCal; 2ND & PCH General Manager Samantha Lopez; 3rd District Councilmember Suzie Price; Mayor Robert Garcia; Jean Paul Wardy, president of CenterCal; Long Beach Development Services Director Linda Tatum; Raymond Lin, property owner; Randy Gordon, president of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce; and Maureen Gitto, vice president of brand experience for CenterCal. (Photograph by Brandon Richardson)

“It’s like a dream coming true,” Lin told the Business Journal. “You wish for something and work toward that vision for so long and so hard, and 20-some years later it finally happened . . . bigger and better than I could [have] ever asked for. I’m very grateful.”

Lin purchased the lease for the SeaPort Marina Hotel, the former structure on the site, in the early 1990s, followed by the land purchase in 1998. From then on, Lin worked with the city and developers on plans to demolish the run-down hotel and redevelop the site. Previous plans included residential, retail and/or hotel components, but all faced an onslaught of pushback from the surrounding community.

“A lot of people don’t like change. But I feel that if you don’t change, you’re actually going backward,” Lin said. “It was frustrating at times, but I couldn’t give up this dream.”

2nd & PCH Opening Crowd
Crowds of residents attended the grand opening celebration for 2ND & PCH. (Photograph by Brandon Richardson)

Ultimately, Lin teamed up with developer CenterCal Properties to create the vision for 2ND & PCH. CenterCal President Jean Paul Wardy told the Business Journal that hundreds of smiling faces during the grand opening celebration were a sign that his company’s work over the last several years was a success.

“We heard a lot of really great comments and people [were] really excited about being able to come and spend time here with their families,” Wardy said. “For the spaces that are left – it’s only a couple very strategic spaces – we’re really focused on finding the right operator. We’re being very particular about those final tenants.”

As of November 1, AT&T, Athleta, Boba Guys, Border Grill BBQ, Free People, gorjana, HSBC, Johnny Was, Linne’s Boutique, lululemon, Pacha Mamas, Nike By Long Beach, Sephora, The Shade Store, TSG Wealth Management, Tuesday’s Sweet Shoppe, Warby Parker and Whole Foods have opened for business. To date, around 40 retail, restaurant and service tenants have been announced, and will open their doors in the coming months as individual store build-outs are completed. Once fully leased, the retail center will have at least 65 tenants. Construction on all common areas is completed.

2nd & PCH Opening Event
As of November 1, 19 tenants have opened for business at the 2ND & PCH retail center, with dozens more to follow. (Photograph by Brandon Richardson)

“We’re a small mom-and-pop candy store and we definitely had an interest in expanding, but didn’t know exactly how we wanted to do it because we didn’t want to lose that neighborhood feel,” Tuesday’s co-owner Michael Roiff, whose shop has over 160 types of candy, said. “So far we love being in Long Beach. [CenterCal] encouraged us to be us and not to just morph into some sort of corporate giant to fit into this kind of center.”

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, long-time business partners in the restaurant industry, have opened not one, but two fast-casual food concepts at 2ND & PCH, with a third on the way. Border Grill BBQ and Pacha Mamas are already serving up dishes out of two small kiosk spots in one of the center’s common areas, and the pair’s dessert concept, Twist, will be opening soon.

“We were trying to think what would fit near the marina with outdoor seating. We knew they were going to be small spaces, so we felt like it would be really great to do three concepts that complemented each other,” Feniger said. “I lived in Belmont Shore when I first moved to L.A., because I thought Belmont Shore was Los Angeles,” she added with a laugh. “I loved it; it was so fabulous.”

LBX Adds More Eateries

Latin-American-inspired fast-casual eatery Plancha Latin Kitchen celebrated the grand opening of its first location on October 30 at the Long Beach Exchange (LBX) retail center. The menu curated by Consulting Chef Katie Sutton includes items such as sweet and savory empanadas, patacones, arepas, cubanos, layered bowls, craft beers on tap, Latin wines, house-made sangria and organic sodas. “This restaurant has been in the works for years,” Endie Widjaja, owner of Plancha, stated in a press release. “We had our team solidified, menu conceptualized, and marketing strategy buttoned-up – all we were waiting for was the perfect spot to debut our first location. Long Beach is the middle ground between Orange County and Los Angeles, and [with] this opening under our belts, we plan to expand the concept throughout Southern California and beyond.” Earlier this month, seafood fast-casual restaurant Wahoo’s Fish Taco also opened its doors at LBX. According to property management, only six out of 61 spaces are vacant at the retail center, including a small pop-up space inside The Hangar and the large retail space formerly occupied by Orchard Supply Hardware. Some of the vacant space may be combined or divided depending on future tenants, the property management team noted.

$80 Million OC Portfolio Purchased By Long Beach Firm

Long Beach-based office investment firm Harbor Associates acquired a two-property Class A Orange County office portfolio totaling more than 365,000 square feet for approximately $80 million, the company announced last week. The purchase includes the 10-story, 195,000-square-foot Anaheim City Centre in Downtown Anaheim and the six-story, 173,000-square-foot Crown Cabot in Laguna Niguel.

“While both submarkets are very different, they each represent an opportunity to provide high-quality office environments where few opportunities for the same currently exist,” Harbor Associates Principal Rich McEvoy stated. “The projects are also well located to serve the needs of office tenants, in their respective communities of Northwest and South O.C., who are searching for space in close proximity to well-populated neighborhoods rich with employee talent.”

Harbor will begin renovations immediately, including lobby enhancements, building exterior work, new signage, move-in ready suites, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting retrofits, and restroom and corridor updates. The acquisition comes on the heels of the firm’s recent purchase of the three-building, 211,000-square-foot Create Tustin campus near Interstate 5 and Jamboree Road for $72.5 million.

Over the last five years, Harbor has acquired 25 assets in Southern California totaling 2.75 million square feet. The firm has a goal of purchasing $250 million worth of additional assets over the next 12 months.

Anaheim City Centre
Long Beach-based Harbor Associates recently purchased a two-building, $80 million Orange County office portfolio, including the 10-story Anaheim City Centre property. (Photograph courtesy of Harbor Associates)

Private Long Beach Investor Buys $5 Million Belmont Shore Property

Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a Corona Del Mar-based real estate brokerage and advisory firm that specializes in retail property sales, announced the sale of a two-story, Spanish Colonial Revival architecture-style building in Belmont Shore for $5 million.

“We generated multiple competitive offers within two weeks of marketing this property,” Hanley Executive Vice President Kevin Fryman stated. “We identified a local buyer who understood how valuable the location was and was comfortable with the challenges associated with this beautiful building’s historic designation and the restrictions of the property.”

Located at 5354 E. 2nd St. on a 0.3-acre site, the nearly 9,000-square-foot building is 100% leased, according to Hanley Investment Group. Arthritis National Research Foundation, Jonnum Media, The Flynn Group and FEA Consulting are the current tenants. Citibank has a lease agreement through fall 2021 for 5,900 square feet on the ground floor but has vacated the space, allowing the new owner to re-lease the space to a new tenant.

“Many investors were attracted to the value-add opportunity of re-leasing the ground floor while receiving a stable cash flow,” Hanley Executive Vice President Carlos Lopez stated.

Fryman, Lopez and President Ed Hanley represented the seller, a private investor from Jackson, Wyoming. Nathan Holthouser, senior vice president of CBRE’s Newport Beach office, represented the buyer, a private investor from Long Beach.

The sale included 20 dedicated parking spaces on the property, which is adjacent to a 16-space public parking lot. Built in 1952, the property is one of the few Belmont Shore commercial buildings that has retained its original architectural appearance, according to Hanley Investment Group.

Commission To Vote On Planned Industrial Development

The Long Beach Planning Commission is voting on November 7 on a site plan review and local coastal development permit for the construction of two concrete tilt-up industrial buildings with surface parking at 300 Studebaker Rd. The 6.69-acre project site in Southeast Long Beach is currently vacant except for existing concrete pipeline infrastructure and asphalt roadways along the northern and eastern borders, according to a staff report. Approved plans include a 91,700-square-foot building and a 47,500-square-foot building, as well as 168 surface parking spaces. Plans also include 43 optional parking spaces to accommodate any future change of use. Combined, the buildings will total 118,200 square feet of industrial space, suitable for light manufacturing, warehousing, assembly and distribution, and 21,000 square feet of office area. The project also includes 1.81 acres of open space across Studebaker Road on two parcels divided by Loynes Drive, which meets city regulations that require 30% on-site open space. Single-family residences are located across the Cerritos Channel, 400 feet west of the project’s open space and 630 feet from the development site, according to the staff report. The development site was previously occupied by Loynes Tank Farm, which consisted of two aboveground storage tanks filled with heavy fuel oil. The tanks were removed in 2010.

Long Beach Has Second-Highest Rents Among Mid-Sized U.S. Cities

Long Beach has the second-highest average rent prices for residential units of any mid-sized city nationwide, according to a new study by RENTCafé, utilizing data from apartment information service Yardi Matrix. The average asking rent for all unit sizes in Long Beach is $2,073, second only to Oakland, where it is $2,953. The other top five most expensive mid-sized cities are Santa Ana at $1,951, Anaheim at $1,827 and Miami, Florida at $1,705. The five mid-sized cities with the lowest rents were Wichita, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Tucson, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Lexington, Kentucky. The average rental rates in these cities range from $657 to $916. According to the report, the national average rent decreased for the first time since February 2017, down 0.1%, or $1, from August to September. In Southern California, none of the 95 largest cities had rent decreases year-over-year, and only Pasadena remained flat with an average rent of $2,553.