Queen Mary: New ‘Entertainment Destination' Ahead

The $250-million shops-and-more development will rise on the waterfront land near the landmark ship.

Watch any flickery, old-time film of a massive ocean-liner leaving port and you're bound to spy a lot of action on the land near the ship: people waving hankies, piles of leather-bound trunks, and ticket depots.

The Queen Mary, even today, looks as though she sailed out of a flickery film, but the land near the landmark ship doesn't possess the same bustling scene.

True, there's the colossal dome that formerly held the Spruce Goose, and some older buildings that summon the vibe of ye olde England, but things are mighty quiet on the immediate terra firma.

That will change, however, thanks to a "$250 million, all-inclusive entertainment destination" expected to rise on the 65 acres of land near the Long Beach ship. Urban Commons, which has held the master lease on the '30s-era ocean-liner since the spring of 2016, made the big reveal on Tuesday, March 22.

Highlights include "...a main lobby plaza off the freeway that will be reminiscent of a bygone era through distinct architectural and design details" as well as a "...2,400-foot long enchanting boardwalk past the marina, cafes and bars, eclectic retail shops, and a 200-room hotel..." 

A "grand outdoor amphitheater" is also woven into the vast-of-scope design, as well as "20 interactive and experiential activities" under the name Urban Adventure (think a trampoline park, an ice climbing wall, and so forth).

Gensler, the architectural firm, is a partner with Urban Commons on the "self-contained destination" which will pay visual tribute to both the ship's classic British aesthetic and Southern California, the Queen Mary's home since 1967.

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The Queen Mary herself is facing a series of "critical renovations" in the years ahead, essential structural updates that Urban Commons is currently busy addressing, with some "$23 million... being spent to fix the most serious problems."

"Long Beach officials say the ship is safe for the public," says a company statement on the Queen Mary's web site, "and that those areas noted in the marine survey have been closed."

That means it is full steam ahead for a variety of on-the-ship events like the upcoming FantaSea magic spectacular in April and the Queen Mary's first-ever summer Halloween ball, on the last Saturday in July.

And, of course, this mega, just-announced development, the shops and restaurants and sporty activities that will fill out the land near the historical, long-may-she-reign ocean-liner.

An epic ocean-liner that deserves some happening bustle on her shore, much like the old ships seen in those flickery films of yore.

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