Luxe Life: Ocean Center Opens to Residents

The Ocean Center, like its architectural sibling The Breakers Hotel just a block away, is an iconic property with a glamorous past that’s ready to re-establish itself as a mainstay of Downtown Long Beach life.

Following an extensive $50 million renovation, it now showcases a meticulously restored lobby with exquisitely detailed terrazzo flooring throughout. Residents ascend the building via ornate elevators and stairs with elegant wrought iron railings evocative of films from Hollywood’s Golden Era. That's fitting since the building, constructed in 1929, was a masterwork envisioned by architect Raymond Kennedy, who also designed Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Ocean Center’s unique, asymmetrical, Spanish Renaissance style reaches various heights, ranging from five to seven to 10 to 14 stories, and with that comes a varied selection of public spaces, as well as 40 distinctive floor plans, from 500-square-foot studios to two 2,158-square-foot penthouses. No matter the unit size, all residents will have access to the building's myriad amenities, including three rooftop terraces, a community center and private fitness gym.

Pacific6 Enterprises, which acquired Ocean Center in 2018, committed to preserving the property’s historical significance and character.

“The Ocean Center Building has an indelible legacy in Long Beach’s narrative,” added Renato Alesiani, Vice President of Real Estate for Pacific6. “It is a privilege to have preserved and augmented its singular character through this endeavor.”

Now, the building is set to create a very real reactivation to both upper and lower sections of Pine Avenue, tying together the hearts of Downtown and the waterfront. Decades earlier, the building’s ground floor arcade was the one-time gateway to The Pike.

“Ocean Center aptly lives up to its name, occupying a prime location at the heart of downtown at arguably the most prominent crossroad in the city,” said David Telling, a founding partner in Pacific6, which also acquired and developed The Breakers Hotel. “With both the Breakers Hotel and Ocean Center Apartments restored to their former glory, they are set to revitalize urban living and the seaside landscape along Ocean Boulevard.”

Inside the apartments, natural light floods interior spaces thanks to numerous original historic windows, further enhanced by rich wood trims. These timeless elements are seamlessly blended with modern amenities and top-of-the-line appliances that are expected in a luxury apartment complex. The result is an extraordinary fusion of classic charm and contemporary sophistication, punctuated by a ground floor lobby populated by distinctive boutiques and restaurants.

“'They don't build them like this anymore,” said Telling when discussing the unique, complex challenges of resurrecting such a magnificent architectural gem. Unlike contemporary constructions that follow standardized formulas, working with such historic buildings requires carefully adapting to the existing structure, strengthening the bones and reconfiguring vital systems while still maintaining the building’s character and soul.

Emblematic of that, the building underwent a thorough abatement process to remove contaminants, necessitating the installation of entirely new mechanical, plumbing, and electrical components. Among the design challenges, one of the most formidable tasks was devising a modern, efficient, and environmentally friendly HVAC system to serve all the units.

“It’s a process that demands unwavering passion, patience, and perseverance,” Telling said. “That process has produced an exceptional offering that will captivate those seeking a truly distinctive urban living experience in close proximity to the very best our city has to offer. Ocean Center, along with The Breakers, completes a remarkable historical renovation along Ocean Boulevard, one offering an invitation to live a historic life—an enticing prospect for those with a discerning taste for the extraordinary.”

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Steve Lowery