An East Long Beach office tower is being converted into 149 student apartment suites with an opening expected by 2025.
The new apartment complex will be geared toward Long Beach college students. However, it’s not associated with Long Beach State. The tower, which is currently in the planning stages, will be located in the third district of Long Beach.
The tower is a 10 minute drive from CSULB and is located at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Clark Avenue. Parking is available both on the street and in a parking garage underneath the Park Tower.
This new complex will be developed by Fountain Residential Partners, a company that specializes in student housing. The city and developers are currently in the approval phase of the plans.
Long Beach, along with other California college towns, lacks affordable student housing. The developers plan to begin leasing apartments for the 2025-2026 school year.
Christine Schipper, project coordinator for Fountain Residential, said the company saw this as an opportunity to “repurpose and reinvent an existing space for a much-needed cause.” She said the addition of this apartment complex could increase options for students in an area with a real-estate shortage.
The new building will include suites that can house up to six people, along with study, lounging and kitchen areas for each floor. It will have a total of 149 suites and have a total building area of 116,926 square feet.
There are talks about Residential Partners wanting to work with CSULB to collaborate on a shuttle stop will take students from the apartments to the university. However, as of now there is no connection between CSULB and the Residential Partners Complex.
“Residential Partners is not connected to CSULB and we’re not working with them,” said Beth Lesen, vice president of Student Affairs. “They did let us know that they’ll be building housing and targeting students.”
More than half of Long Beach students are on Pell Grants and qualify for financial aid.
“Rents are projected to start under $1000 per bed space (in 2025 when it opens), including all furniture, utilities, WIFI, fitness, pool, etc.,” said Brent Little, president of Foundation Residential Partners.
In 2022, around 9,400 students in the University of California system were denied housing because universities lacked space for students, according to CalMatters. The rejection of on-campus housing lead to a bigger demand for renting an apartment off-campus.
CSULB President Jane Close Conoley said she has long supported more off-campus housing for students.
“I’m always looking for affordable housing for our students,” Conoley said. “I hope they can build great places for Beach students at an affordable price.”
The most recent project from the developers is the Campus Walk near Chico State University. The Campus Walk rent for a shared two bed two bath is $829. For a four bedroom with an individual room the rent is $1049.
This project shows what types of values the developers have in their buildings. The upcoming renovation will have similar features to Campus Walk, with open areas for students to lounge and a sleek modern look to the building.
In Long Beach 96% of housing units occupied and, of those units, 60% is renter occupied.
More apartment complexes are needed because most people rent and a new complex can help students and residents in Long Beach find housing. With a real estate shortage, it is difficult to add more apartments to Long Beach, making it hard to find housing in a limited market.
“Our goal is to give the students of CSULB a housing option that is easily accessible to the university as well as other desirable areas in Long Beach to fully enjoy their college experience,” Little said.