Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development firm Urban Commons unveiled its plans for a $250 million, all-inclusive entertainment destination on the 65 acres of waterfront land surrounding the iconic Queen Mary ship docked in Long Beach, California.
Set along the Long Beach bay front, "Queen Mary Island" will pay homage to the Golden Age of the luxury liner while bringing to life a curated collection of music, entertainment, dining, retail and adventure offerings that take full advantage of the coastal setting.
Queen Mary Island will be designed as a self-contained destination with landscapes, amenities and recreational experiences to provide something for everyone.
Visitors arriving at Queen Mary Island will be greeted with an extraordinary welcome designed to capture the sensations of a mainland to island transition. The team envisions several creative entry points by land, water and air, with a main lobby plaza off the freeway that will be reminiscent of a bygone era through distinct architectural and design details.
From there, guests will stroll down the 2,400-foot long enchanting boardwalk past the marina, cafes and bars, eclectic retail shops and a 200-room hotel, all-encompassing nearly 700,000 square feet of retail space in total, until they reach the grand outdoor amphitheater.
"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."
Debuting for the first time in North America, Urban Commons is collaborating with London-based Urban Legacies to bring to life Urban Adventure, a multi-activity concept boasting wildly popular and exhilarating experiences under one roof in a 150,000-square-foot facility on Queen Mary Island.
Visitors will delight in approximately 20 interactive and experiential activities ranging from California's first indoor ice climbing wall to surfing, canyoning, skydiving, zip lining, a trampoline park and much more.
Working with world-renowned architecture firm Gensler, Urban Commons' vision is to meld the unique Great Britain sensibility with Southern California culture throughout the project to create an atmosphere that celebrates the best of both cultures and transports guests back to the golden days of the Queen Mary. Similar to the pockets and boroughs of the world's most celebrated cities, it is the urban architecture that will define Queen Mary Island, embracing a distinctive shipyard/industrial aesthetic and a fresh color palette, complementary to the past.
An inviting outdoor setting of several small retail boutiques, dining concepts and interactive kiosks providing insightful glimpses of the Queen Mary's history will line the pedestrian and bike friendly passageways accentuated by shady green spaces, art-inspired settings and lush gardens. Live music experiences will establish Queen Mary Island as the new year-round social epicenter of Long Beach.
"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," said Mayor Robert Garcia. "Queen Mary Island will invigorate our downtown core with its reimagined, urban dining and entertainment experience."
"Queen Mary Island embodies everything that is great about Long Beach," stated Second District Council member Jeannine Pearce. "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."
Since assuming the master lease of the ship in April 2016, Urban Commons continues to increase its investment in the ship, solidifying it as a premier attraction for event goers in Southern California and driving traffic to the ship and the City of Long Beach. The team has launched a wide-ranging renovation program onboard the ship that will result in more structural and cosmetic upgrades than at any point in the past 30 years. The repairs to restore and preserve the ship , identified and prioritized in collaboration with the City of Long Beach, will ensure the Queen Mary remains a safe and beautiful destination for generations to come. The forthcoming master plan development adjacent to the ship will also create a self-sustaining source of revenue to fund continued renovations on the Queen Mary over the long-term.
Large-scale events back by popular demand in 2017 include Dark Harbor, a Halloween-themed event presenting spooky experiences from haunted mazes to monsters and a 4D theater experience, as well as Chill, a winter wonderland-themed event featuring ice tubing, ice skating and more. Urban Commons introduced a monthly "Local Band Hangout" program in 2017 spotlighting local artists and bands performing onboard the ship. The team also plans to host a rock music concert and the second annual WET Carnival in 2017.