The downtown Long Beach shopping center that has gone by the moniker City Place since its 2002 opening is shedding its name as its owners work to erase the boundaries between its stores and the rest of the city’s core.
While developer Tony Shooshani said the center is surrendering its old name without taking on an official moniker, he said the land bounded by Sixth Street, Long Beach Boulevard, Third Street and Pine Avenue can now be referred to as “The Streets.”
He also said his company has leases in place to allow seven new restaurants to move in fairly soon.
Shooshani laid out the changes during a Wednesday afternoon event at City Place where he announced the center’s new “un-named” status while he and others also commemorated the formal opening of the new offices for architecture firm Studio One Eleven and its sister company, Retail Design Collaborative. The recent events follow the September 2015 announcement of a four-year renovation project for the center.
The now-completed conversion of a former Nordstrom Rack firm into a workspace — a “creative office” in the parlance of nearly 170 people working there — is part of a broader plan to convert the six square blocks that composed City Place into something new. If all goes to plan, an influx of new restaurants expected to begin in about half a year’s time would result in former City Place blending, aesthetically and culturally, with the eclectic shops, bars and restaurants that can be found on Pine Avenue and The Promenade.
The former Nordstrom Rack closed in 2014. A Walmart store closed in early 2016 as part of a major restructuring for the retail titan.
Chain stores such as Ross Dress for Less and Big 5 Sporting Goods are still in business at the former City Place.
The eateries will include:
- Burgerim, which specializes in small hamburgers.
- Creative Crepes
- Party Monkey
- Poke Cat
- Romeo Chocolates
- Table 301, a new project from the owners of Delius in Signal Hill
- The Plant Junkie
Following the public portion of Thursday’s event, Shooshani said the new restaurants may begin to open in about six months. There’s no announcement yet as to what will replace the departed Walmart store.
A new look
Shooshani Developers hired Studio One Eleven and Retail Design Collaborative to redesign the former City Place’s aesthetics.
Studio One Eleven principal and design director Michael Bohn was somewhat unsparing in describing City Place’s original “faux Art Deco” facades.
“Downtown’s getting cool. City Place was losing its coolness,” he said.“We want to weave into downtown.”
Designs for the former City Place’s future show tenants doing business behind flatter, more modern-looking facades.
Plans also call for “parklets,” essentially patio downing spots on Pine Avenue and Fourth Street. The former would have a design calling attention to Long Beach’s sister cities and the latter would pay tribute to music.
Shooshani Developers also plan to construct a 20-unit residential complex near the former Walmart space on Fifth Street.
Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez appeared at Wednesday’s event to praise the former City Place’s new direction.