Long Beach Airport Unveils New Terminal

 All pictures courtesy of Studio One Eleven.

The sprawl of temporary trailers are–thankfully–just that: temporary for the Long Beach Airport (LGB) while they continue construction on the much-needed new terminal.

In a partnership with local firm Studio One Eleven, the entire design is Long Beach-y in the sense that it not only caters to local businesses rather than chains (this keep-it-local mentality is what has driven success in neighborhoods such as Retro Row and the East Village while the lack of it has exacerbated desolation in areas like the Pike), but also ties in the airport’s historical value with contemporary comfort. When you enter the main building, for example, one should notice the restoration occurring of the mosaic floor that was uncovered once tattered carpets and flooring were removed; this old-school aesthetic is what ushers one into the new, more contemporary terminal that seeks to, in the words of LGB, become the gateway into Long Beach.

The span of the new terminal will create 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space along with 4,200 sq. ft. of patio/outdoor space complete with multiple fire places, cabanas, a living wall, and a space for live entertainment.

The two new buildings–the North and South Concourses–will be situated on the ends of a stretch of garden on axis with the original terminal constructed during the 1940s. Using a variety of environmentally sound and natural materials–reclaimed wood veneers that range from green to gray, coconut shell counters, Carrera marble–the gist of the new terminal seems focused entirely on comfort, encouraging travelers to not just simply pass through, but engage with the space.

The North Concourse seeks to accommodate the comforts of the traveller of leisure. It features a new location for popular Retro Row winebar 4th Street Vine that will opposite the chophouse on the South end; operable glass doors control either an enclosed, intimate environment or an open-air, seamless patio-to-interior space which use the ceiling-suspended two-sided fireplace to keep those with a chill warm. The Marche is the North’s version of a food court: lacking the overwhelmingly frenetic feel of traditional food courts, this open-air plan features a concierge where guests pick up a basket and meander at will and visit the outdoor dining patios and cabanas of the Terrace.
And on a bike-nerd point: the area which houses the Long Beach Business Journal will host a “sharrow” on its concrete floor as an ode to the city’s ever-growing bike culture.

The South Concourse seeks to make a home for the business-minded visitor. McKenna’s On the Fly–a play on popular seafood-ery McKenna’s On the Bay–will act as the mainstay dining experience for the space, evoking a modern American chophouse that uses deeply rich colors with leather, reclaimed woods, and hexagonal shapes; a sushi bar will be centrally located in the restaurant. Local Belmont Shore favorites Polly’s and Sweet Jill’s will share a space to offer travelers in need of caffeine and something to cure their sweet-tooth. And in the airport’s only non-local branding partner, CNBC will serve as the main news source.

  • Anonymous

    I’m flabbergasted that Streetsblog is celebrating the opening of a new airport terminal. As a regional airport, much of the flights into Long Beach ought to be diverted onto High-Speed Rail.

  • Trailerpk9

    I am so glad the old airport has been saved! 

  • Erik Griswold

    Like the ones to Austin, Anchorage, Boston, New York and Washington D.C.?  

    Actually the real failure of the Long Beach Airport is its continued lack of connections to nearby rail transit stations.  Why the bus (LBT111) to downtown takes 45 minutes is due to circuitous routing.
    And how come there is no bus to either the closest Blue Line station (Willow or Wardlow) and/or Green Line (Lakewood) Station?  Obviously the airport authority values vehicle storage revenues over attracting employees and customers?

  • Long Beach is a GREAT airport for flights to the East Coast via Jet Blue… I’ve taken many trips that way. Like Erik, I think the failure is that there is no easy way to get there via public transportation.

  • Anonymous

    Like the ones to Austin, Anchorage, Boston, New York and Washington D.C.?  

    I said much, not “all”. 

    Sacramento, SFO, Oakland, Las Vegas, even Phoenix…all those connections would be better served with HSR rather than short flights.

  • iHeart562

    Actually, for those who commented on bus service to and from Long Beach Airport, the LBT 102 and 104 have been going to the Blue Line from the Airport via Willow for a year now. And it’s only a 20 minute ride. That helps with connectivity to LA.

  • Gr1ff1n

    Open air dining at an airport?
    That will be deafening and smell bad.

  • Erik Griswold

    And when high-speed rail is built, short-haul flights will go away, just as they have in every other industrialized country (which has built fast rail, in other words every other industrialized country)

  • Erik Griswold

    “for a year now”

    Thanks for the update!  Sad to see it is weekday only service.

  • Love the LGB airport and even more now…

  • Happylucky

    Hig speed rail makes little to no sense in a country addicted to the automobile. The incredible cost of constructing such a network is a no-go from the get-go, sad as that may be. Amtrak has been a money pit for years, and I cannot imagine the LA-SF HST, if built, would ever recoup the cost of construction, much less be profitable operationally.

  • Happylucky

    For those dreaming about HSR, take a look at ticket prices and travel times. Quite eye opening.

  • Jamesl

    That’s about what they said about the Blue LIne. By conventional (i.e., automobile-oriented) “wisdom,” nobody in his right mind would leave behind the “freedom” of an automobile to ride a trolley that went through places like Watts, and it would cost less to pay the potential riders to drive the freeways instead.

    Then they found out that the one mistake made in the original design was that the station platforms were too short to accommodate the torrential flood of Southern Californians who understood the reality of automobile travel.

    Amtrak is no more of a “money pit” than any other sector of transportation; indeed, it has long been the “whipping boy” for other sectors that accomplish far less, on far more money.

  • Jamesl

     Does that comparison include the cost of checking bags that would be carry-ons on any kind of train (high speed or otherwise)? Does it include the time and expense of travel to and from the airport? Does it include the time and hassle of going through airport security, vs. simply walking on board a train? And does it take into account all the places even a high speed train can serve directly, that wouldn’t be cost-effective to serve by air?

  • Jamesl

     I liked it the first time I saw the renderings. Preserving the historic terminal building, and continuing to use boarding ladders, as opposed to the total mess that was made of JWA, tearing down the Martin terminal to build an enormous eyesore many times the size (but without that much increase in capacity), all for the (dubious at best) “benefits” of  having Jetways instead of boarding ladders.

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