In a deal that will speed up repairs to the aging Queen Mary and spur development on the surrounding 43 acres, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday approved a new lease with real estate investment firm Urban Commons.
Under the agreement, Urban Commons will continue to operate the ship and will have the right to develop the land. The lease also authorizes up to $23 million in city-funded repairs, including a 10-year, $17.2 million bond to be paid by ship revenues and passenger fees at the adjacent Carnival Cruise Line terminal.
The deal amends a 66-year lease approved last year with Urban Commons under which the company pays the city an annual base rent of $300,000.
Urban Commons also now must build a new passenger facility for Carnival, as it intends to use the current terminal located in a geodesic dome that once housed the Spruce Goose airplane as an events venue in the new development. The real estate company plans to build an entertainment, dining, and retail center.