April 24, 2008

Lyon West Gateway Project Makes Grade in Long Beach, Calif.

By Joe Segura, Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif.

Apr. 24--LONG BEACH -- Economic storm clouds haven't dampened the Lyon West Gateway project, which is set to bring more housing and retail downtown.

The grading is on target and the foundation should be under way soon, according to Craig Beck, director of Development Services for Long Beach.

"They're moving full-steam ahead," Beck said Wednesday, of the $55 million Lyon Realty project, which will include 291 residential units and retail space on a 3.5-acre parcel bordered by Third and Broadway, between Chestnut and Magnolia avenues.

There was a minor bump recently on the work, however, when workers unearthed remnants of a cellar with a small cache of bottles from around the time of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

Richard S. Garcia, superintendent of Hill Contracting, which is working on the project, said the bricks covered an area of 100 by 40 feet, and appeared to be a "basement cavity" near the southeast corner of West Third Street and Magnolia Avenue. The grading had only gone a few feet down, he said.

Stan Poe, a local historian, said there were homes in the area around the time of the '33 quake.

Garcia said the only relic pointing to a time was a section of a November newspaper advertising an apartment in Pasadena for $5 per week.

He added that the bottles were taken by workers and history buffs.

Of the 291 apartments being built at the site, there will be 26 moderate- and low-income units, and 15,500 feet of retail space on the main floor.

A subterranean garage will be built for tenants, with more capacity than the required limit for the residents, along with a street-level parking area for retail customers, Beck said.

Beck also said the city is negotiating with state officials for a new Long Beach courthouse just west of the Lyon West Gateway site.

The city should know by mid-May whether that project will get a green light, he said.


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Copyright (c) 2008, Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif.

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