Seaport Marina Hotel | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Larry Underhill

Seaport Marina Hotel

The SeaPort Marina Hotel in Long Beach, a Googie-style garden motel complex adjacent to the Alamitos Bay Marina, was threatened with demolition for at least seven years and finally demolished in October 2017. The motel closed its doors in February 2017.  

In 2016, it was reported that El Segundo-based developer CenterCal Properties had entered into a partnership with the longtime property owner to redevelop the SeaPort Marina Hotel site as a commercial center. 

The Long Beach City Council previously voted down plans to redevelop the property in late 2011 due to traffic impacts, concerns over the nearby wetlands, and local height restrictions. The proposed plan, known as the Second+PCH project, called for the construction of a $320 million residential, retail, and hotel complex. 

The City of Long Beach released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the new project, similarly titled the 2nd and PCH Project, in April 2017. The Conservancy submitted comments on the Draft EIR in June 2017. 

In September 2017 the City of Long Beach approved the new project for the site, which called for the demolition of the historic motel and the construction of a 245,500 square-foot retail complex.  

The mid-century SeaPort Marina Hotel was originally slated for demolition to make way for the massive, mixed-use Second+PCH development, but the project as proposed was ultimately rejected by the Long Beach City Council in December 2011 in response to impacts to traffic, wetlands, and incompatibility with current local and California Coastal Commission regulations.

Despite the denial of the Second+PCH development by the Los Beach City Council in December 2011, the property owners later submitted an application for preliminary site plan review for a retail project falling within current zoning regulations for the site.

 

The Conservancy considered the SeaPort Marina Hotel a fine example of Roy Sealey’s work and one of a few surviving examples of a 1960s Googie-style hotel. Although the complex suffers from deferred maintenance and later additions, the buildings maintained a high level of architectural integrity, with distinctive features including unique Y-shaped piers supporting a diamond-patterned roofline on the main building; a folded-plate roofline on a circular office wing; decorative concrete block screens; and original diamond-patterned metal railings.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the City of Long Beach repeatedly failed to identify the SeaPort Marina Hotel as a historic resource, including in the 2017 Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2nd and PCH project. 

The Conservancy consistently pressed the City to treat the SeaPort Marina Hotel as a historic resource and recommended that at least one feasible preservation alternative be evaluated. Alternatives to demolition included adaptively reusing the entire historic hotel or incorporating portions -- including the most distinctive, character-defining features -- into the proposed development.

Members of the Conservancy's Modern Committee initially brought the mid-century modern hotel to our attention, and it has long been an advocacy issue for Long Beach Heritage. In 2011, the hotel was placed on Long Beach Heritage’s 10 Endangered Properties Watch List.

Read our comment letter on the 2017 Draft EIR >>