Port Staff Relocation May Be ‘Game Changer’ For Downtown Office Market

Harbor Department Negotiates New Headquarters, Buys World Trade Center Parking Lot

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Negotiations are ongoing for the Port of Long Beach to relocate its near 400-member staff from its current location at the port to a new headquarters possibly somewhere in Downtown Long Beach. The move could be a “game changer” for the downtown office market, said real estate agents.

After a plan to build a new $295 million energy efficient, “green,” nine-story complex on a 17-acre site near the current headquarters was scrapped by Mayor Bob Foster last year, vetoing the line item from the budget, port executive staff floated several different proposals.

In closed session during the July 11 harbor commission meeting, Port Executive Director Dick Steinke discussed with commissioners and other negotiating parties the potential lease or purchase of space at One World Trade Center or Golden Shore property, or the possibility of space at the Union Bank Building or the City National Bank Building.

According to a staff report, the port has already approved the purchase of the 5.6-acre One World Trade Center parking lot, which has 659 parking spaces behind the building at the southeast corner of Golden Avenue and West Broadway. The $8 million sale and $200,000 deposit was negotiated by Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial.

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San Pedro Bay Ports Cargo Movement Aims For ‘Zero Emissions’

Harbor Commissions Plan New Technologies For Trucks, Equipment And Railroads

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

The Long Beach and Los Angeles harbor commissions held a joint meeting July 7 to discuss implementing, developing and building a “zero-emissions” container movement system at the San Pedro Bay Ports and surrounding areas.

Through new and innovative technologies that have been planned for the last five years, the ports presented a “roadmap” for implementing a system that moves cargo efficiently while burning virtually no fossil fuels and having no tailpipe emissions

The goal of zero emissions is to further reduce emissions and health risk in the air basin and nearby communities. The ports have so far pioneered a Green Port Policy and Clean Air Action Plan, which have helped reduced pollution dramatically over the past decade, according to port staff.

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Cupcake Contest Underway For Port Birthday Celebration

Area Bakeries Compete To Cater Centennial Event June 25

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

Twelve Long Beach-area bakeries and cupcakeries have made the cut to compete for the chance to cater the Port of Long Beach’s 100th birthday celebration June 25.

The Port’s 100th Birthday cupcake contest invites the participating businesses to develop and submit an all-inclusive bid and design concept that signifies the Port of Long Beach special occasion, including sample cupcakes to taste-test. The concepts should have a port theme, with a similar aesthetic display for the sweet treats.

A panel of judges, including a cross section of baking and pastry professionals, began evaluating and sampling the cupcakes yesterday, June 6, and must decide on the top three bakeries by June 14. The top three – chosen for creativity, taste, presentation and price – have the opportunity to each bake 1,000 cupcakes to be delivered at 4 p.m. to the port’s centennial event.

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Port Of Long Beach To Celebrate 100th Birthday June 25

Free Event To Include Exhibits, Carnival Rides, Artists Entertainment And Speaker Panel

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

To commemorate the Port of Long Beach’s storied history of 100 years, the port is hosting a day-long event of merriment, remembrance and celebration.

The port’s 100th birthday party on June 25, from 2:30 to 8 p.m. is similar to the celebration that took place a century ago, when the city put on a parade from Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard to Municipal Pier 1 (now Pier D, Berth 49). The free event open to the public is at the docks, just south of the Gerald Desmond Bridge at Ocean Boulevard and Pico Avenue.

“It’s an opportunity for people who have had any connection over the years with the port to help us celebrate the people who have created this port complex,” said Art Wong, Port of Long Beach spokesperson. “I’m hoping that families will bring their parents or grandparents down here, and look at our exhibits and share stories and see and understand all these changes that we’ve undergone over the decades to become what we are today and what we still hope to be in the future.”

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News In Brief

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

• The Center for International Trade & Transportation (CITT) of California State University, Long Beach is presenting a webinar series as a follow up to a Point/Counterpoint forum on the Panama Canal expansion presented last year. The next webinars include: “Is Southern California Competitive,” on June 3 with speaker Fram Inman, of Majestic Realty Co. and the California Transportation Commission; and “Challenges Ahead” on June 17 with speakers John McLaurin, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, and Richard Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. To register for free, visit www.livestream.com/cittnet.

• Fitch Ratings has affirmed a “AA” rating with outlook “stable” for the Port of Long Beach, which has approximately $735 million in outstanding harbor revenue bonds and harbor revenue refunding bonds issued by the City of Long Beach. The rating was based on resilience of throughput and shipping related revenues during changing economic periods.

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TireCore International Leads Tire Reuse Industry From Long Beach Hub

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

After a year in Long Beach, TireCore International, LTD., has expanded its footprint in the tire casing business, continuing its mission to legitimize the used tire for the reuse industry in North America.

TireCore began in 2005 when Garry Drisdelle, owner and CEO, was granted a special trade visa to start a business in the U.S., based on a business he started in Canada 17 years ago called Total Casing Services. That business aimed to stimulate trade between his native country and the U.S.

TireCore moved a year ago from a small, outdoor facility in Huntington Beach into a large, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled building at the California State University, Long Beach Technology Center Park, located within Long Beach’s Enterprise Zone.

The location is near the San Pedro Bay Ports, with access to shipping and rail lines.

“Long Beach is a real transportation hub,” Drisdelle says. “It’s been a center of our business. We have a lot of customers in the area.”

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State Treasurer Warns Of Port Project Delays Over Fiscal Crisis

Bill Lockyer Addresses Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Before a room full of international trade executives and officials, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer forewarned of major infrastructure projects – including the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project – either being delayed or halted if the state budget doesn’t pass this year.

Lockyer referred to the $950 million bridge project during an industry luncheon in mid April presented by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. The event at the Hyatt Regency hotel was attended by roughly 250 people connected to the maritime trade industry.

By all accounts, local, federal and state grants have already been committed for the highly lauded bridge project. The infrastructure improvement is a joint effort between the Port of Long Beach and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), along with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The project, according to port officials, is slated to begin construction either later this year or early 2012. However, Lockyer said the project is “on a list – a wish list.” He added, “Maybe by 2016 it will be completed, but it’s not on any Caltrans list at the moment.”

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News In Brief

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

• Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a member of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Cordero, who has served on the Long Beach Harbor Commission since 2003, was first recommended for appointment by President Barack Obama last year and confirmed by the senate on April 14. Cordero is expected to be sworn into his new position in Washington, D.C., in the next several weeks. The independent federal agency is responsible for “regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers and the American consumer,” according to the FMC. Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster is expected to recommend soon to the city council a replacement for Cordero on the five-member harbor commission.

• The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association is hosting a luncheon, featuring Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the guest speaker, on May 11 at 11:30 a.m., at the Simon’s Water Front Banquet Center, 1050 Nagoya Way, at Ports O’Call in San Pedro. Reservations for the luncheon may be made by contacting Laura Williams at 415/352-0710 or lwilliams@pmsaship.com. Cost for lunch is $35 for PMSA members and $45 for non-members.

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