City Place Long Beach spans 14 acres.

City Place Long Beach spans 14 acres.

New York-based Turnbridge Equities, Newport Beach-based Waterford Property Co. and Beverly Hills-based Monument Square Investment Group have acquired City Place Long Beach for an undisclosed sum.

The property is a 14-acre retail, office and mixed-use development in the city’s downtown area.


The buyers acquired a nonperforming loan for the property at the end of 2020 and have now taken ownership.


Shooshani Developers was the site owner. The group defaulted on a $63 million loan last year, records show. The buyers purchased the loan through a bidding process.


City Place sits on the site that once housed Long Beach Plaza Mall, which was built in 1982 and demolished in 2002 to make way for City Place.


Unlike the mall, which was enclosed, City Place is an open-air shopping area.

 
The property had been rebranded as The Streets a few years ago, but the new owners will restore the City Place name for now, with plans to make the area a destination.


Michael Gazzano, managing director of West Coast investments for Turnbridge Equities, said plans for the property are still being worked on.


The area is one of the largest sites in downtown Long Beach, he added, “which presents us with the opportunity to do something spectacular.”


“It’s a big site, and there are certain portions of the site that aren’t doing as well as others. We’re going to look deeper at those portions to come up with a plan,” Gazzano said.


He added that this could include a mix of new structures and repositioning of existing ones.


One thing is for certain: City Place will remain a mixed-use property.


“Great, urban mixed-use projects need a mix of uses to keep them active, fresh and exciting,” Gazzano said.


Some improvements will be made quickly, he added, while others will be long-term changes.

 
As for the retail portion, Gazzano said the company was excited about the number of multifamily housing projects in Long Beach and the influx of people moving into the area.


The company is also looking into housing at the site, which sits on top of a Blue Line stop.


Being part of Long Beach, Gazzano said, was one of the most appealing elements of the project.

 
“Long Beach has always been on our radar primarily because the city leadership has done a great job over the last several years to position Long Beach for a renaissance where they wanted to reposition the city and bring in first-in-class developments,” he said.


Gazzano said he knew some of the principals at Waterford, which is one of Turnbridge Equities’ partners on the site.


Waterford is already known for its work in Long Beach. The company has acquired and repositioned more than 15 multifamily projects in the area since 2015 and was behind the repositioning of the city’s World Trade Center development.


“City Place is the preeminent development opportunity in downtown Long Beach.  Our goal is to bring a cohesive vision to the site that provides Long Beach residents with a transformative project and continues the mayor and City Council’s vision for development downtown,” Sean Rawson, co-founder of Waterford and a longtime Long Beach resident, said in a statement.

 
Monument Square, Gazzano said, will act as an equity partner, while Waterford and Turnbridge Equities will lead the development.

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