At a hearing in late January, the Long Beach City Council voted to adopt a new ordinance updating land use and zoning regulations for the Century Villages at Cabrillo, clearing the path for an expansion of the mid-century housing complex.
Originally developed as housing to serve employees of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, which closed in 1997 resulted, the Century Villages complex was part of an approximately 140 acres of former federally-owned land which was subsequently transferred to the City of Long Beach. In total, the roughly 27-acre site is home to 865 residential units in a series of low-rise buildings mostly completed in the 1950s.
Redevelopment of the Century Villages, led by Century Housing Corp., has been in the works for several years. The plan now adopted by the City of Long Beach calls for razing 235 existing apartments and 27,000 square feet of ancillary uses to make way for the construction of:
- 515 new homes;
- nearly 67,000 square feet of amenities;
- 4,800 square feet of education space;
- 17,000 square feet of commercial and retail space;
- over 40,700 square feet of administrative services; and
- parking for 355 vehicles.
A full buildout of this plan would expand the Century Villages to a total of 1,380 affordable housing units - a more than 60 percent increase compared to what exists today.
City Fabrick has led the master plan process for the complex, which also calls for rearranging the layout of the Century Villages to break "superblocks" up through the addition of new streets, bike trails, and pedestrian and paths. These new corridors would in turn connect the property with the surrounding neighborhood.
Construction is expected to occur in multiple phases over a 10-year period, previously expected to last from 2023 and 2033.
While the specific plan would represent the most significant change to the Century Villages in decades, not all buildings on the property date to the 1950s. Anchor Place, featuring 120 units of supportive housing, opened along River Road in 2017. Construction also began last year for The Cove, a 90-unit veterans affordable housing complex at 2221 W. Williams Street.
Century Housing, no stranger to redeveloping large publicly-owned housing complexes, is also part of the team working to revamp the Rancho San Pedro campus on the opposite side of the massive port complex.
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