On Tuesday, the Long Beach City Council voted to enter into an exclusive negotiation agreement with Gundry Partners, LP and its partners Pacific 6 and St. Anthony High School to redevelop the Long Beach Armory.
Dubbed the Armory Arts Collective, the proposed project would include 86 market-rate and workforce housing units, a 7,043-square-foot performing arts center and gallery space, 11,400 square feet of offices, meeting rooms and studios, plus an 8,258-square-foot performing arts garden.
The Armory’s parking lot would be improved with a new construction housing complex consisting of studio and one-bedroom units, nearly half of which would be accessible to those earning 60 percent of the area’s median income (AMI).
Adaptive reuse and restoration have been proposed for the Armory building itself, which dates back to 1930 and was decommissioned in 2018. Showcasing Art Deco-style architecture, the vacant building at 854 East Seventh Street is owned by the City and is in need of extensive repairs. The creative venues and offices would be housed in this historically significant, three-story structure.
The project has not yet been given the green light, however. The City and Armory Arts Collective’s developers will have 180 days to reach an agreement. Sergio Ramirez, the deputy director of Long Beach’s Economic Development Department, told the Press-Telegram that terms such as “affordability levels, community benefits and aesthetic improvements” are to be discussed.
Once the agreement has been finalized, Long Beach City Council will vote to approve or deny the development proposal. The 0.91-acre Armory site is located across the street from St. Anthony High School and is part of a largely residential neighborhood dotted with mid-rise apartment buildings.