The vacant site that served as a City library for North Long Beach for more than 60 years is getting a new owner that will turn the property into a modern affordable housing development.
On November 13, 2018, the City Council unanimously approved the sale of the property located at 5571 Orange Ave. to The Long Beach Community Investment Company (The LBCIC) for conversion into a proposed six-unit development. The LBCIC, the City’s nonprofit housing agency, will purchase the property for $729,000. The development will provide quality affordable housing and complement the surrounding residential neighborhood.
“Housing is one of the biggest issues facing not just Long Beach but many other cities around the state,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This new development will be another example of our continued progress in providing great affordable housing, and improving the quality of life for our residents.”
The City Council’s action means that The LBCIC will acquire ownership of the site for affordable housing development. The LBCIC — with its mission to help fulfill the City’s goals of creating economic opportunities, providing affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods — has a successful record of creating and maintaining affordable housing for the City with numerous developments. These developments include Century Villages at Cabrillo, the Daisy and Banner Apartments, and The Beacon, which is currently under construction.
“The Council’s approval action is an important step for the neighborhood to move forward with the former library site that’s been closed for two years,” said Eighth District Councilmember Al Austin II. “The LBCIC’s proposal will provide much-needed affordable homes as Long Beach maintains its commitment to addressing the housing crisis.”
While the development process moves forward, The LBCIC will enter into an 18-month lease agreement with the City to have the vacant 7,300-square-foot building used by the Health and Human Services Department’s Center for Families and Youth (CFY) and other community health programs. CFY, which provides a variety of family support programs and services, will use the building while its current location at Houghton Park undergoes repair.
“We are happy to do our part to help the City continue its good work of providing more affordable housing for residents,” said John Thomas, Chair of The LBCIC Board of Directors.
From 1951 to 2016, the Orange Avenue property served as the home of the North Neighborhood Branch of the Long Beach Public Library system. It was closed and replaced by the new Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library on Atlantic Avenue.
At its upcoming November 20, 2018 meeting, in keeping with the City’s tradition of providing a winter shelter for those experiencing homelessness, the City Council will consider a proposal to have the vacant library used as a short-term shelter prior to CFY occupying the site and before its permanent development as affordable housing. The temporary shelter would be funded by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and operated by United States Veterans Initiative through an agreement with the City. If approved, the shelter would be in operation this season from December 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach Development Services
Serving residents, businesses, and the community at large, the award-winning Long Beach Development Services sets a standard for high-quality, innovative urban planning and livability efforts that create more progressive and sustainable communities within the diverse City of Long Beach, CA. Through a variety of development, code enforcement, housing and neighborhood services, and building activities, the Department builds a better future for the City while also honoring its unique past. For more information, visit www.lbds.info. “Like” our Facebook page and “follow” us on Twitter.
About The Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC)
In pursuit of the City’s goals to eliminate blight, create economic opportunities, provide affordable housing, and revitalize neighborhoods, The LBCIC advises the Long Beach City Council regarding delivery of housing and neighborhood revitalization services, use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and ongoing administration of the City's affordable housing funds.