Port Takes Steps to Purchase Downtown High-Rise
World Trade Center seen as good fit for new headquarters
August 30, 2011
The Port of Long Beach has entered an agreement to purchase the 27-story One World Trade Center building in downtown Long Beach as a new administrative office, which would replace the Port’s aging, 52-year-old headquarters.
The Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Monday to approve a purchase and sale agreement, and authorize Executive Director Richard D. Steinke to execute a 60-day due-diligence agreement. As part of the due-diligence process, the Port will conduct thorough physical inspections of the building and review all associated documents, including existing leases.
Under the agreements approved Monday, the Port would purchase the building for $130 million. With relocation costs and other fees, the total expenditure would be about $160 million. The Port has been setting aside funds for a new administrative headquarters for several years. Since Port revenue comes from leases with private shipping companies, no taxpayer money would be used for the purchase of the building.
The current seven-story, 120,000-square-foot Port administration building, at 925 Harbor Plaza, was built in 1959. The existing building is overcrowded, obsolete, and in need of a major seismic upgrade and extensive repairs to the elevator, HVAC and other systems.
The 573,000-square-foot World Trade Center, built in 1989, is a landmark focal point for world trade, and would put Port employees immediately adjacent to the Port and support downtown businesses. Located on Ocean Boulevard, with access by public buses, the World Trade Center would also make the Board of Harbor Commissioners meetings more accessible to the public; the Harbor Plaza building is not accessible by bus.
If the Board moves ahead with the purchase, the Port headquarters could move by mid-2012.