Long Beach’s Queen Mary could eventually be just one part of a huge, 45-acre redevelopment on land around the former cruise ship, but right now, it’s the ocean liner that’s getting the big makeover.
The extensive, $15-million renovation will, "span the entire vessel from guestrooms to public restaurant spaces onboard," says a press release from developers Urban Commons, which secured a long-term ground lease on the ship in April. The ship was built in the 1930s and its interiors have great Art Deco touches one might expect from a luxury cruise liner from that time. The Art Deco look won’t be tampered with—in fact, the reboot will restore the original glamour with restored millwork and contemporary lighting, "consistent with the original design of the ship," says Urban Commons.
The firm is even going so far as to work together with Brintons, a British carpet that designed some of the Queen Mary’s original carpeting, to revive some period-correct patterns.
In the ship's 346 rooms and nine suites, amenities such as carpet, mattresses, and sofas will all be replaced; showers will be upgraded; flat-screen TVs will be bigger; and Wi-Fi will be faster, the Los Angeles Timesreports. Rooms right now rent for $175 on average, and they might get more expensive if the renovations make the Queen Mary a more popular hotel, an Urban Commons rep told the Times.
The ship’s public spaces and restaurants will be next in line for an overhaul. Urban Commons is hoping to add either a live music club or a speakeasy in the ship’s boiler room, and put new entertainment options on the rear deck, like a movie theater and space for cruise ship sports like shuffle board or badminton.
The Observation Bar, formerly the Queen Mary’s first-class lounge, would be refurbished and host more live music, while seating would spill over into the deck. Details for all this still has to be worked out with the city of Long Beach, an Urban Commons rep told the Times.
Renovations are expected to begin later this year and continue, section by section, until complete toward the end of next year. Doing the remodel gradually will allow for the Queen Mary to stay open while the work is being done.
As for plans for the 45 acres around the Queen Mary, Urban Commons and Long Beach are working together to shape what ultimately goes onto the land. Urban Commons wants to add, "an additional hotel, carousel, retail shops, restaurants and a small marina — as well as an amphitheater and giant Ferris wheel."