Long Beach, News

Mayor presents plan for new dormitory space in downtown Long Beach

Long Beach is set to undergo a complete makeover in coming years, and Long Beach State students may directly benefit from the change of scenery.

Mayor Robert Garcia presented the development plan “Building a Better Long Beach” at the Beverly O’Neill Theatre Tuesday morning. This was the second time they’ve offered this presentation to the community.

The city is partnering with Long Beach State on developing a residential village, Garcia said.

The project, deemed the “CSULB Downtown Village” has 1,100 proposed residential units, the most of any structure in the presentation. The proposed space for the village is on Long Beach Boulevard and Fourth Street, in the “heart of downtown.”

“If you want to add life to a downtown area, just dump in a bunch of students,” Garcia said. “Students and grad students and faculty and teachers, and create a whole new experience.”

The dorm-style living space, which is currently proposed and under review, is also planned to include classrooms, labs, galleries and other student services.

“We’re very excited about this project,” Garcia said. “We’re totally committed and there’s a lot of activity and movement.”

Of the 7,478 total residential units presented, 631, or 8.4 percent, were designated as “affordable” or “low-income” housing. The CSULB Downtown Village was not designated in the presentation as affordable housing.

Ian Speers, fourth year applied mathematics and physics major, is a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity on campus. Speers said all of his fraternity’s houses are at full capacity, due to the fact that rent in fraternity housing can be almost half of market rate.

“Rent is a big chunk of income,” Speers said. “It’s easier for brothers to acquire sustainable living.”

According to University Housing and Residential Life, double occupancy rooms at Long Beach State are rated at $7,650. Freshman are required to live on-campus during their first year unless they submit an exemption form or meet one of five reasons for exemptions.

Garcia’s presentation included 81 other structural developments, including shopping centers, hotels, community spaces and building upgrades. In total, 5,000 residential units are in various stages of approval and completion across the Long Beach area.

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