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Photos: A Peek At The $250 Million Entertainment Complex Proposed For 'Queen Mary Island'
The venerable Queen Mary in Long Beach is owned by the city, but it's operated by a separate party via a lease agreement. The current operators, real estate firm Urban Commons, took up the reins last year and announced intentions to erect a $250 million entertainment complex for the 65 acres of waterfront surrounding the Queen Mary. Now, those proposals are coming into focus, as Urban Commons has released a set of renderings for the complex.
Dubbed "Queen Mary Island," the sprawling project will include cafes, bars, a 2,400-foot-long boardwalk, a 200-room hotel and nearly 700,000 square feet of retail space, according to the Long Beach Post. There'll also be an amphitheater for concerts, as well as a 150,000-square-foot "multi-activity concept" designed by the London-based Urban Legacies, which specializes in cutting edge playgrounds with a penchant for extreme sports. According to a release, the complex could incorporate an "ice climbing wall," as well as surfing, skydiving, and zip lining (author's note: you'll find me at the Cinnabon).
The aim, it seems, is to establish an attraction not just for locals, but also for tourists from far-flung places (San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf comes to mind). Planners hope to break ground within two years, and the project is slated to take several years to complete, so the whole thing is still a far way off.
The announcements come after a rather dispiriting report on the Queen Mary's current state. Experts said that the ship is in dire condition, and is even in danger of flooding and sinking. It's estimated that as much as $289 million is required to complete the necessary fixes.
As such, it may seem like bad timing for Urban Commons to announce a (very expensive) entertainment complex. But, as planners maintain, this will actually be a positive for the ship's future, as it may generate the needed revenue to help revitalize the ship. As noted at the L.A. Times, the ship generated $11.6 million from room rentals in 2014, as well as an additional $3.4 million in events. Urban Commons says the complex would vastly increase the revenue stream, but they have yet to provide any specific estimates.
"Queen Mary Island embodies everything that is great about Long Beach," Jeannine Pearce, a Long Beach City Councilmember, said in a release. "It brings the great history of Long Beach's most iconic landmark to life while stimulating our thriving local economy."
Here's an announcement video for Queen Mary Island: