Los Angeles Business Journal

Harbor Commission Considers Temporary Home

By James Rufus Koren Friday, November 2, 2012

Long Beach port officials might soon get a change of scenery: jets and runways instead of ships and cargo cranes.

The Long Beach Harbor Commission on Monday will consider purchasing a former Boeing Co. office building near the Long Beach airport – about 7 miles from the waterfront – as the port’s temporary headquarters, officials announced Friday.

Port leaders have sought for years to leave the existing headquarters building, which was built in the 1950s and is not up to current earthquake codes.

The Harbor Commission last year considered purchasing One World Trade Center, an office tower in downtown Long Beach, for $144 million, but the deal fell through when some commissioners raised concerns about the cost and potential security issues.

The Boeing building, located at 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, is an eight-story office property with 176,375 square feet. With a sale price of $14.3 million, it is substantially cheaper than the 575,000-square-foot World Trade Center tower. The sellers are OC Investors Inc. and Long Beach Airport Business Park II.

A report to the Harbor Commission estimates the port will have to spend about $9 million on improvements, security, furniture and communications equipment for the building.

The commission on Monday will vote on whether to put a deposit on the building and begin a due diligence period that would end in late December.

Port spokesman Art Wong said the commission was likely interested in purchasing the Boeing building rather than renting it because of its relatively low price tag.