Long Beach city officials announced today that the master lease of the iconic Queen Mary has been formally transferred to the real estate investment and development firm Urban Commons.  During the course of a 66-year master lease, the Los Angeles-based company will restore the historic ship to its glory days and develop a retail, dining and entertainment district on surrounding properties.

Urban Commons intends to complete the project in phases over the next several years, beginning immediately with upgrades to the Queen Mary.  The renovations, which are scheduled for completion by mid-2017, will add modern details to the guest rooms and restaurant spaces of the former ocean liner.  The ship will remain open to tourists and hotel guests during the course of construction.

In the second phase of the project, Urban Commons intends to construct a retail, dining and entertainment center on 45 acres of oceanfront land adjacent to the ship.  However, precise details about the proposed complex have not been announced.

Popular events at the Queen Mary, such as the annual Harbor and CHILL events, are expected to continue.  Urban Concepts also plans to work with Carnival Cruise Lines to improve the adjacent cruise terminal.

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City Looks to Update Land Use and Transportation Along Rail-to-River Corridor

A freight railway that cuts through South L.A. is set for rebirth as an active transportion corridor.

In 2012, Metro began exploring the possibility of transforming a segment of a former freight rail right-of-way that cuts through the heart of South Los Angeles into an active transportation project.  The project, now known as the Rail-to-River corridor, would convert the Harbor Subdivision - which runs east-to-west along Florence and Slauson Avenues - for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

To capitalize on this investment, the Cit