Monthly Archives: June 2012

7th Street Collaborative

We enjoy people that are passionate about improving the community.  Such is the case with Seventh Street Collaborative – a group of residents from the North Alamitos Beach, Craftsman Village, and Rose Park neighborhoods who are trying to improve the place they live and love. Funded by the City of Long Beach, they are taking the necessary steps to turn 7th Street into the “gateway” between Orange County and Long Beach that they know it can be.

Making a difference sometimes means taking matters into your own hands, so we wish them success and look forward to a walkable 7th Street!

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Parklets: Lessons Learned

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Several years ago, Studio One Eleven assisted in a conceptual vision plan for “Retro Row” in Long Beach. Comprised of over 30 unique shops and restaurants, including an independently operated movie house known as the Art Theatre, Retro Row is an unofficial hipster hangout and a great place to try new ideas. The original plan was to improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity by adding bike lanes, sidewalk bulb-outs, and new trees but, unfortunately, there was no private or public funding available at the time to execute the vision.

Due to these funding challenges, Kerstin Kansteiner, owner of Portfolio Coffeehouse LLC and president of the 4th Street Business Improvement Association, resolved to initiate a parklet pilot program and worked closely with the City’s Public Works Department to make it happen. April Economides, founder of Green Octopus Consulting, analyzed the viability of parklets in several other cities (such as San Francisco and New York) and suggested the City “find” additional curbside parking to make up for the loss of metered spaces by reducing red painted curbs and loading zones. With the details ironed out, two successful businesses on Retro Row (Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and Number Nine Noodles) volunteered to own what would be the first parklets in Southern California.

In the spring of 2011, Studio One Eleven was commissioned to design both parklets. Community-focused general contractor JR Van Dijs Inc. was selected to construct the first one at Lola’s, and was able to complete the deck, planters, and railings in only three days. Since then, a third, more elaborate parklet has been completed for Berlin Bistro (owned by Kerstin Kansteiner), and a fourth parklet is in the works for 2nd Street’s Belmont Shore.
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Broadway Improvements Need Support!

After more than 6 years of planning, the landscape improvements on Broadway between Nieto Ave. and Park Ave. in Long Beach are almost complete. Conceptualized by Studio One Eleven’s own Michael Bohn and David Sabunas, the improvements include landscaped medians that, aside from beautifying the street, reducing storm water runoff, and increasing property values, aim to correct the rampant speeding problem on the wider-than-normal neighborhood street. The many pedestrians around Lowell Elementary School and St. Bartholomew Catholic Church have been given more crosswalks and “areas of refuge”, and speeding cars are now encouraged to slow down due to narrower lanes. These improvements have already made the street a much safer and more pleasant place – a crossing guard even commented that she felt noticeably safer the very first day!

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