LONG BEACH, Calif., April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new future is about to be written for the iconic Queen Mary docked in the Long Beach Harbor. City officials announced today that the master lease for the retired cruise ship and ever-popular tourist attraction has been formally transferred to Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development firm Urban Commons. Assuming a 66-year master lease of the ship, Urban Commons will create a bustling retail, dining and entertainment district surrounding the Queen Mary for locals and tourists alike, while infusing contemporary influences onboard the ship to return the Queen to her glory days.
"The debut of the new Queen Mary will bring to life an energetic destination that draws visitors in from near and far, rivaling major attractions in premier cities around the globe," said Taylor Woods, Principal of Urban Commons. "We see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape the future of a storied landmark, and Urban Commons is honored to have a hand in this transformation."
Urban Commons will implement a phased approach to their all-encompassing renovation over the next several years, with upgrades within the ship beginning immediately. Modern details with a nod to the past will be infused throughout the interior of the ship from guestrooms to restaurant spaces, ultimately channeling a new aura of regal elegance while maintaining the ship's cherished historic elements. The Queen Mary is slated to debut her enhancements to the public in mid-2017, and will remain fully open to visitors and hotel guests during the renovation process. Within the second phase, a must-visit mix of retail, dining and entertainment options will take shape on the 45 acres of currently underutilized oceanfront land adjacent to the ship.
"The Urban Commons team has demonstrated true commitment and a real passion for breathing new life into this iconic landmark, which will highlight Long Beach as a premier destination on the West Coast," said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. "From the expansion of the Aquarium to the multimillion dollar investment in the Queen Mary, Long Beach is experiencing a true renaissance, and we are proud to have Urban Commons in our corner."
"Now is an opportune time for us to move forward with an extensive plan to reinvigorate the underutilized Queen Mary site, and to create something truly unique with the Urban Commons team," said Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal. "We are thrilled to have Urban Commons onboard as a collaborative partner to initiate improvements that will bring even more value to a one-of-a-kind landmark in the heart of our City."
Urban Commons will work in tandem with the City of Long Beach, the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force and the wider community on the review and approval process for the build out of the 45 acres surrounding the ship. Further details about the plans for the Queen Mary and adjacent land will be shared as they become available.
The master lease was previously held by Garrison Investment Group, LLC. In full recognition of the Queen Mary's successful evolution over the past several years, Urban Commons intends to continue the ship's wildly popular Dark Harbor and CHILL events held annually and will work closely with Carnival Cruise Line to enhance the existing terminal.
About Urban Commons
Urban Commons is a Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development firm with a successful track record for developing, repositioning and rebranding assets throughout the United States. The company focuses on impacting under-managed and under-utilized assets by developing innovative and emerging properties to promote optimal economic, social and environmental returns.
SOURCE Urban Commons