Investors Float Mixed-Use Plan to Save Queen Mary

A $43 million bid has cleared the way for the redevelopment of an unusual waterfront site in Long Beach, Calif. In mid-August, a private investor group billing itself as “Save The Queen” won the right to develop commercial properties on 43 acres of land next to the Queen Mary ocean liner. The buyers retain the leasehold interest on the ship and adjacent land for the next 54 years.

The 1,000 ft.-long ocean liner was docked in Long Beach in 1967 after the city bought the vessel for $3.45 million. Local officials then turned the 1930s-era liner into a floating hotel and museum with 365 cabins.

The ship has drawn thousands of visitors over the past 40 years, driving up the value of the adjacent land. But the high cost of running the museum and hotel were too much for the former leaseholder, Queen's Seaport Development Inc.

In 2005, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The ship and adjacent land were returned to the city, which sought partners to lease or redevelop the site.

The winning bidders plan to develop more hotels, restaurants, retail stores and a marina near the ship. The transaction will take up to two months to complete, according to Long Beach officials.

In its career as an ocean liner, The Queen Mary is said to have completed 1,001 transatlantic crossings.

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