Two Development Projects in Douglas Park Preparing for Construction

By: 
Jon LeSage

[Editor’s note: this version of the article contains corrections from the print version on aircraft manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and later by Boeing in Douglas Park and the area beyond.]

Long Beach is going through a transition similar to what the city of Torrance, Calif., has experienced since Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., announced eight years ago it would be moving its corporate headquarters over to Plano, Texas. That would be booming economic opportunities.

Irvine-based developer Sares-Regis Group later acquired the former Toyota headquarters in Torrance for $270 million in 2017, and has been leasing out the space to several large employers. Long Beach-based Urbana Development, and a few other commercial developers, are now playing a big part in all of this coming together in the Douglas Park area of Long Beach.

Douglas Park, a 200-acre spread located near the corner of Carson St. and Lakewood Blvd. in Long Beach, was part of a wider area for McDonnell Douglas and later Boeing that would see built several different airplane models up through the final plant closures of 2015. That land, which extended out to Cherry Ave., would see a broad range of military and commercial airplanes manufactured there, including DC-10, MD-80 series, MD-11, 747, and through the final days, the C-17 miliary cargo plane.

Aviation pioneer Donald Douglas originally acquired the land in 1940 to build an aircraft manufacturing facility, hence the official Douglas Park name.

If you take a drive through Douglas Park, you’ll be amazed to see major corporate offices housing Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit, Relativity Space, SpinLaunch, Turbo Air, Rubbercraft, and several other prominent headquarter and satellite locations. Many of these companies are part of Long Beachs Silicon Beachbringing together aerospace, space travel, and manufacturing companies. Another 93-acres of land west of the airport has gone to a similar venture — Relativity Space — which provides rocket factory and launch services, and metal 3D printers; and will be taking over a 1.1 million-square-foot former Boeing hangar. 

Two Development Projects Greenlighted

As you take a spin around the Douglas Park traffic circle with its golden global statue that was placed there in 2007, you’ll also notice quite a bit of undeveloped land. Five development projects in that zone are either completed or are still under review by the City of Long Beach. Heres a look at whats been happening on these two undeveloped properties lately.

In March, Long Beach’s Planning Commission approved Airway Office Park, which will house two office buildings — one 26,472 square feet and the other 31,528 sq. ft. The building will be open to fourteen individual commercial condominium tenant suites and 230 parking stalls, according to the city.

It’s been temporarily given a sub-address coming from the nearby Courtyard by Marriott location on 3855 N. Lakewood Blvd. location in Long Beach. However, it will be physically located in the northwest corner of McGowen St. and Cover St. Here, you can see gated areas of empty land with a sign reading “Future home of Airway Office Park.”

Urbana Development reports on its company website that office unit sizes can range from 3,000 sq. ft. to about 60,000 sq. ft. Clients will have both leasing and ownership opportunities on the land.

All of the building units will have roll-up glass doors that lead to private patio or covered balcony spaces. It will all be built following CALgreen building codes that will tap into sustainable resources such as recycled content materials, efficient building systems, and indigenous plants.

The company expects that delivery of the available offices will be taking place during the fourth quarter of 2022.

Second Location May Be More Retail-Based

The second location was also given the Courtyard by Marriott address in its temporary designation during the “under review” phase with the city’s development agency. It’s also been given the sub-address of a building across a thru-way that houses a PetSmart retail location.

All of it sits on the edge of the 26-acre Long Beach Exchange (LBX) retail center, and may very well become part of it. It’s right near The Hangar, a 17,000-square-foot structure paying tribute to historic Douglas aviation hangars within the LBX.

The Hangar is home to 14 food vendors and boutique retailers. It’s an appealing entertainment center for a growing number of local residents and office workers.

The city describes this second land development area that’s under review as potentially housing eight new industrial buildings on approximately 47.67 acres. Buildings will range in size from 38,000 sq. ft. to 169,000 sq. ft., according the city’s development department. It was originally filed for review in July 2021.

Visitors to the retail center can enjoy spending time at a Whole Food store, Nordstrom Rack, Ra Yoga, Silverlake Ramen, Ulta Beauty, and several other popular retail chains. The idea here seems to be creating an attractive entertainment and retail center serving a growing workforce in the former Boeing area. It’s also an attractive hub for the increasing population of renters and homeowners in the area; that includes upscale neighborhoods surrounding the Lakewood Country Club, located at the Northwest part of Douglas Park.

Jon LeSage is a resident of Long Beach and a veteran business media reporter and editor. You can reach him at jtlesage1@yahoo.com.

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