The company that took over the lease of Long Beach’s troubled Queen Mary last year announced plans to renovate the ocean liner and the land around it. Now, new renderings of the proposed $250 million redevelopment give us a glimpse of what to expect for the 65 acres of waterfront that will be transformed into a destination called Queen Mary Island.
The master plan for Queen Mary Island comes not long after the release of a report that detailed the extensive and costly repairs that the 1930s-era vessel urgently requires in the next few years. So dire is the ship’s current condition that any major flood might sink it into the lagoon where it’s moored. Repairs are expected to cost anywhere from $235 million to $289 million over about five years.
Queen Mary Island aims to have something for everyone, according to the announcement from lessee Urban Commons. It will include restaurants, live music, 700,000 square feet of retail space, and a new 200-room hotel. A 150,000-square-foot structure will house an attraction called Urban Adventure, featuring 20 activities for the thrill-seeker, such as surfing, zip lining, a trampoline park, and an indoor ice-climbing wall (the state’s first, the company said).
The Queen Mary already hosts a number of seasonal attractions that draw big crowds, but Queen Mary Island will host live music throughout the year, with the goal of leveraging the performances to turn the Queen Mary into “the new year-round social epicenter of Long Beach,” the company said.
With hundreds of millions of dollars worth of necessary repairs looming, the redevelopment of what are mostly parking lots into an entertainment and shopping district could be vital in helping to keep the Queen Mary afloat. The Gensler-designed Queen Mary Island is envisioned as a “self-sustaining” revenue generator that could help to fund the much-needed repairs to the ship over time, the company said.
Urban Commons is also planning a comprehensive, $15 million renovation of the Queen Mary’s 346 hotel rooms and nine suites, keeping with the ocean liner’s original Art Deco style.
Taylor Woods, a principal at Urban Commons, told the Los Angeles Times that the company still needs to get approvals from the City of Long Beach and from the state Coastal Commission, but they hope to break ground in two years. The project's expected to take a few years to complete, and Urban Commons will fund the project itself.
- Plans revealed for $250-million Queen Mary Island complex next to the historic ship in Long Beach [LA Times]
- Huge Entertainment District to Surround Queen Mary in Long Beach [Curbed LA]
- The Queen Mary is deteriorating to the point that it could sink [Curbed LA]
- First look at Queen Mary makeover that will polish up its Art Deco glam [Curbed LA]