LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A little more than a week after dire warnings that the iconic Queen Mary could sink if nothing was done to restore her, plans were released Wednesday touting the historic ship as Long Beach’s next entertainment destination.
Under plans submitted to city leaders Wednesday, the 83-year-old ship would become the centerpiece of “Queen Mary Island,” a 65-acre entertainment complex that would include California’s first indoor ice climbing wall, surfing, skydiving, zip lining and a trampoline park.
Detailed plans for the $250 million redevelopment project were submitted by Urban Commons, the Los Angeles-based real estate development firm that assumed the 56-year master lease of the ship in April of last year. City leaders hope re-imagining the venerable tourist attraction will provide a boost to its revenue stream and make it more economically viable going forward.
The iconic ship was envisioned as the backdrop of a fully immersive “island” experience with visitors choosing from several entry points by land, water, and air; a 2,400-foot-long boardwalk, cafes and bars, retail shops, a 200-room hotel and an outdoor amphitheater. Multiple design elements would honor the luxury liner’s glory years of the 1930s and ‘40s, including a main lobby plaza off the freeway.
“Queen Mary Island will hold something for everyone, whether that is adrenaline-inducing activities or simply enjoying live entertainment and dining near the waterfront,” said Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia praised the plan.
“Queen Mary Island will invigorate our downtown core with its re-imagined, urban dining and entertainment experience,” he said.
The project still needs approval from the city and the California Coastal Commission.
A Marine survey released last week warned the historic vessel could sink if millions of dollars weren’t invested to clean up corrosion, and other urgent repairs. Urban Commons is already addressing the ship’s most immediate structural needs, with restoration activity taking place now than there has been in the past 30 years, according to the Queen Mary.
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