County to Profit in Business Park : Lease of Hospital Land to Produce $1 Billion in Revenues

Departing from its custom of selling excess land, Los Angeles County has approved a lease with developers of the former Long Beach General Hospital site that is expected to gain it $1.1 billion in new revenues--and eventual return of the property.

The three-phase, $50-million Long Beach/Signal Hill Business Center, a joint venture of Goldrich & Kest, Culver City, and Sheldon Appel Co., Santa Monica, is scheduled to get under way this fall.

The Board of Supervisors has approved a 66-year lease for the 26-acre hospital site that gives the county a share in the profits in the development and which, according to Supervisor Deane Dana “will change the way the county does business.

“Historically, the county and other government agencies sold off their land for a one-time capital gain and almost immediate expenditure.”


He termed the lease a “milestone in county government operations in that it creates a new, stable revenue source.”

According to Allan D. Kotin of Kotin, Regan & Mouchly Inc., real estate consultants, who was a member of the negotiating team, the lease guarantees the county rental income and participation in the profits.

“By creating this kind of lease, the county will get on the right side of inflation,” he said.

The site straddles the Long Beach and Signal Hill boundary, and the cities will benefit by at least $46 billion in property taxes, according to estimates.


James C. Hankla, county chief administrative officer, estimated that more than 1,550 new jobs will be created after full build-out of the project over a 10-year period.

The planned business center is expected to exceed 645,000 square feet of office, retail, commercial and industrial warehouse space.

It was designed by architect Robert L. Barnett AIA of Beverly Hills. It will include 11 low- and mid-rise buildings anchored by twin mid-rise towers that will be visible from the San Diego Freeway.

Phase 1, located in Signal Hill, will have a minimum development of 225,000 square feet of warehouse, office and retail space, with construction to start this fall and completion scheduled in 1988.


Phase 2, located in Long Beach, will consist of a minimum of 240,000 square feet of leasable research and development space.

Phase 3, also in Long Beach, will feature two six-story twin office towers containing a minimum of 180,000 square feet of leassable space. Features will include ground-level patios and courtyards, with walls of glass and concrete, shaped with voids and recesses to create a dynamic silhouette.

According to Kotin, whose firm has been retained by the county to review its other surplus properties, the business center’s land and improvements will revert to the county at the end of the lease period.

“Needs of public agencies change, and at the end of the lease the county may again have need for the site,” Kotin said.


The Long Beach General Hospital on the site, at Willow Street and Redondo Avenue, has been closed since November, 1983.