Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The city’s iconic Queen Mary would become the centerpiece of “Queen Mary Island,” a 65-acre entertainment complex that would include California’s first indoor ice climbing wall, surfing, canyoning, skydiving, zip lining, and a trampoline park, according to plans released Wednesday.

Detailed plans for the $250 million redevelopment project were submitted to city leaders Wednesday by Urban Commons, the Los Angeles-based real estate development firm assumed the 56-year master lease of the ship in April 2016. City leaders hope re-imagining the venerable tourist attraction will provide a boost to its revenue stream and make it more economically viable going forward.

Developers envision a fully immersive “island” experience with visitors choosing from several entry points by land, water and air, a 2,400- feet long boardwalk, cafes and bars, retail shops, a 200-room hotel and an outdoor amphitheater. Multiple design elements would honor the luxury liner’s glory years of the 1930s and ’40s, including a main lobby plaza off the freeway.

“Queen Mary Island will hold something for everyone, whether that is adrenaline-inducing activities or simply enjoying live entertainment and dining near the waterfront,” said Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons. “We are genuinely excited about creating a place for people to connect, interact and make memories and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the city as we bring this highly anticipated destination to life.”

Long Beach officials praised the plan.

“We’re proud to have partnered with Urban Commons and thank the Queen Mary Land Development Taskforce for their guidance with an innovative project that represents the spirit of Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “Queen Mary Island will invigorate our downtown core with its re-imagined, urban dining and entertainment experience.”

“Queen Mary Island embodies everything that is great about Long Beach,” Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce said. “It brings the great history of Long Beach’s most iconic landmark to life while stimulating our thriving local economy. We encourage our residents to learn more about this excellent addition that is coming to our Long Beach.”

Renovation onboard the ship will result in more structural and cosmetic upgrades than at any point in the past 30 years.

Urban Commons is collaborating with London-based Urban Legacies on the project, which still needs approval from the city and the California Coastal Commission.

—City News Service

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