The $520-million revamp of the Long Beach Civic Center has reached a key milestone today, with the start of steel construction at its new Main Library.

An official ceremony will commemorate the start of work today at the corner of 1st Street and Pacific Avenue, approximately one year after the ambitious project broke ground.  The 93,000-square-foot facility, located north of Lincoln Park, will feature wood-beam ceilings and a glass exterior.  At completion, the library will feature free public WiFi, study rooms, multimedia work stations and lounge seating.

The SOM-designed project, which spans across 16 acres, is highlighted by dual 11-story buildings that will become the new Long Beach City Hall and headquarters for the Port of Long Beach.  The concrete frame of both towers are now rising at the west side of the complex.

Also under construction north of the library is AMLI Park Broadway, a six-story building that will feature 222 apartments atop 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space.  Later phases of the Civic Center development could include a hotel and up to 1,000 residential units, with buildings up to 36 stories in height.

Plenary-Edgemore Civic Partners has partnered with the City of Long Beach on the project.