One way to save Long Beach's Queen Mary: A $250 million development called 'Queen Mary Island'

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Urban Commons today unveiled a $250 million plan for a “Queen Mary Island” complex. Image courtesty City of Long Beach
Urban Commons today unveiled a $250 million plan for a “Queen Mary Island” complex. Image courtesty City of Long Beach

The operators of the Queen Mary say the only way to save the struggling tourist attraction is to develop the land around it into a waterfront shopping and dining destination capable of generating enough revenue to invest back into the aging ship.

The real estate firm tasked with managing the vessel, Urban Commons, on Wednesday unveiled a $250 million plan for a “Queen Mary Island” complex, complete with an outdoor amphitheater and California’s first indoor adventure park, a 150,000 square foot facility that will offer visitors a chance to go ice climbing, sky diving or zip lining across the dome-like structure.

In the plans, submitted to the city planning department on Wednesday, developers envision a 2,400-foot long boardwalk alongside the Queen Mary, with waterfront cafes, eclectic bars, unique retail and a 200-room hotel.

“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, in a statement. “We are genuinely excited about creating a place for people to connect, interact and make memories and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the City as we bring this highly-anticipated destination to life.”

The development plans come less than two weeks after an engineering study found the Queen Mary needs at least $235 million in structural repairs and restorations in the next decade if the ship is to remain in the harbor for future generations.

The report found a lack of basic maintenance and preservation duties has led to severe corrosion throughout the ship’s steel underbelly, among other concerns.

Long Beach committed $23 million to be spent on critical projects over the next two years, but Woods has said the firm intends to use future revenue from the development to help pay for a significant chunk of the work.

Mayor Robert Garcia said he is excited about the development plans for Queen Mary Island, which he believes will “invigorate our downtown core.”



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