Port of Long Beach takes steps to purchase high-rise

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The Port of Long Beach has entered an agreement to purchase the 27-story One World Trade Center building in downtown Long Beach as a new administrative office, which would replace the port’s 52-year-old headquarters. The Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to approve a purchase and sale agreement, and to authorize Executive Director Richard Steinke to execute a 60-day due-diligence agreement, which will include physical inspections of the building and a review of all associated documents, including existing leases.

Under the agreements, the port would purchase the building for $130 million. With relocation costs and other fees, the total expenditure would be about $160 million. If the board moves ahead with the purchase, the port headquarters could move by mid-2012.

The port says its current seven-story 120,000-square-foot port administration building is overcrowded, obsolete and in need of a major seismic upgrade and extensive repairs to the elevator, HVAC and other systems.

The 573,000-square-foot World Trade Center, built in 1989, would put port employees immediately adjacent to the port and support downtown businesses. Located on Ocean Boulevard, with access by public buses, the World Trade Center also would make the Board of Harbor Commissioners meetings more accessible to the public; the Harbor Plaza building is not accessible by bus.