Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Long Beach Port HQ Move Delayed

Worried about cost overruns, the Port of Long Beach has pulled back – for now – on a plan to temporarily move its headquarters to a location about a dozen miles inland.

At its most recent business meeting, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously voted to bring to a halt the work an architectural firm had been doing to renovate an eight-story building near the Long Beach municipal airport that the city bought in December 2012.

The port paid $14.25 million for the building, and since March has spent $16.6 million on repairs, upgrades and other costs. The renovations, which include new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning; carpeting; and improved access for the disabled, were originally expected to be complete this fall, but were later pushed back to the spring of 2014.

During its Sept. 3 meeting, the harbor board approved the suspension of work by San Francisco-based architectural firm M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, so that a facilities management expert in the City of Long Beach’s Public Works Department, Del Davis, can take a look at the work done so far, and give suggestions on how the renovation process might be improved.

The eight-story building, which was previously occupied by the Boeing Corp., was built in 1987; Long Beach closed escrow on it Dec. 27. The building is expected to house the port’s administrative staff of about 350 people for three to five years while the port seeks a location for, and builds a new, permanent HQ in or near downtown Long Beach.

The current seven-story administration building, which sits in the heart of the port, is more than 50 years old, overcrowded and doesn’t meet current seismic standards.