Congressional Place project approved by Planning

Artist rendering of proposed 6700 PCH project.

The Long Beach planning commission approved the plans for a six-story mixed use building where the Congressional Place stands, at 6700 Pacific Coast Hwy. across from the Long Beach Marina. Despite some concerns from speakers about things such as increased traffic,  environmental impact and parking, the commission approved the project by a 5-0 vote.

Workers from local unions objected to the fact that there were no requirements for developers to work with local contractors and local laborers in the construction, as required by laws. But city officials noted that since the project was completely private and did not involve any city property or money, those laws do not apply.

Holland Partner Group, the company developing the project has already completed one project in Long Beach, the Volta on Pine apartment complex and are under construction on another project on Third Street and Pine Avenue. The Congressional Place project will be their third and will add 281 apartment units, and 3,100 square feet of retail space. Holland Partner representative conducted community outreach to get feedback from local groups and residents on issues of their concern. One of those meetings was with members of the Seal Beach Yacht Club, which has concerns about traffic and parking, among other things.

“We’ve worked to address some of the concerns and recommendations that were brought up in those meetings,” Clement Tsay, Holland Partner Development Director, told the commission. The project is part of the city’s Southeast Area Specific Plan Program, which is looking to add housing, including low-income units, which are mandated by state laws.

Of the 281 units that this project will add, 13 will be regulated at Very Low Income (VLI). The project will also include a minimum of 507 parking spaces for residents, guests and business patrons. Holland is also required to complete re-signalization of the intersection.

But those on the ground floor of the area say that the statistics don’t give a complete picture of the impact. Joan Palango, a Seal Beach Yacht Club member and Executive Vice President of the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association spoke at the meeting and expressed concerns about the project having only one entrance, as well as increased traffic and parking. She said the plan works well for the city’s 85-acre Southeast Area Specific Plan Program, but doesn’t take all interests into account.

“It’s a little bit different when you get down to the micro level of the 2.6 acres of this project,” Palango said.