FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM: 111815
City of Long Beach Welcomes New Master Lessee to the Queen Mary
Last night, the Long Beach City Council approved an Amended and Restated Queen Mary Master Lease and subsequent assignment to a new Master Lessee, Urban Commons, LLC, for the City-owned Queen Mary and adjacent shore side property.
“I would like to thank Garrison Investment Group for the significant improvements they’ve made, including the world-class exhibits and events,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We now look forward to developing a home run project with Urban Commons and our new Queen Mary Land Development Task Force.”
In 2009, Garrison Investment Group, LLC, (Garrison) assumed control over the Queen Mary Master Lease and has been a good steward of the Long Beach icon. Garrison has spent over $13 million dollars on preservation, renovation and other capital improvements to the Queen Mary hotel, exhibits and attractions. Additionally, Garrison’s management company, Evolution Hospitality, modernized operations, improved retail and restaurant offerings, and brought new and exciting events to the iconic ship.
“I’m pleased to welcome Urban Commons to the City and look forward to the future of the Queen Mary and plans for the surrounding property,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.
The new Lessee, Urban Commons, LLC, was vetted by both Garrison Investment Group and the City, and is highlighted by their experience and commitment to innovative development. Based in Los Angeles, Urban Commons is a real estate investment and development firm with a successful track record of developing, re-positioning, and re-branding a wide array of property types throughout the United States. The firm is also known for working closely with municipalities, communities, and neighborhoods to create thoughtful development plans that optimize each property while delivering valuable public benefits.
“The Queen Mary is a true crown jewel for both Long Beach and Greater Southern California, and we are excited to step in to help shape the future of such a storied landmark that has fascinated visitors for decades,” said Taylor Woods, Principal of Urban Commons. “Once we assume the lease, we are eager to work collaboratively with a renowned group of consultants and the greater community to lay out a vision for a dynamic entertainment and dining district. We all want to see the best possible use of this historic icon, so we are focused on creating a careful, thoughtful plan that honors the rich history of the Queen Mary and revitalizes the surrounding 45 acres.”
The Amended and Restated Lease provides the necessary modifications to attract new development, while also providing stronger support for the preservation and maintenance of the historic ship. Under the new agreement, Urban Commons will be squarely focused on future shore side development while having robust and stable stewardship programs in place for the Queen Mary. In addition, civic partnerships such as the Queen Mary Heritage Foundation and the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force will provide opportunities for community involvement and support.
The 12-member Queen Mary Land Development Task Force will meet on January 6, 2016.