In Downtown Long Beach, the 1929 Varden Hotel is poised to make way for a new multifamily residential building - but its historic rooftop sign will get to stay.

The hotel site, located at 335 Pacific Avenue, is set for redevelopment with a new eight-story building featuring 141 studio and one-bedroom apartments, ranging from approximately 380 to 770 square feet in size. Plans also call for parking located at grade and in an underground garage.

View of the existing hotel and Dolly Varden Rooftop SignStudio One Eleven

Studio One Eleven is designing the project, which was presented last month to the Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission. Renderings depict the new building as a contemporary podium-type structure, with amenities in the form of a small courtyard on the third floor, a rooftop deck, and several recreation rooms on the interior.

While the building is nearly one century old, it was its rooftop sign that brought the project before the Commission. The Dolly Varden sign, landmarked in 1995, was restored to its current condition in 2017. The new construction would once again have it placed at the roof - albeit higher up than its current three-story perch.

The Long Beach Post reports that the project was enabled by a 2022 move by the Long Beach City Council which allowed the construction of micro-unit apartments within the city. Likewise, an inclusionary housing ordinance also adopted by the Council will require than 11 percent of the new apartments be set aside as affordable housing.

Aerial view looking northwestStudio One Eleven

Construction is reportedly at least one year away from starting.

Los Angeles County Assessor's records list the owner of the Varden as the Long Beach-based entity Urban Hotel Group, LLC.

The site sits across Pacific Avenue from a larger mixed-use development with 271 apartments and retail that is now being built by Holland Partner Group, and to the north of other recently-completed apartment complexes from Sares-Regis Group and AMLI Residential.

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