Posted on 12 Aug
It looks like the historic Queen Mary is getting a much-needed overhaul. The 80-year-old luxury liner, which has served as a boutique hotel since it retired in the Long Beach Harbor in the 1960s, will undergo a $15-million makeover. Los Angeles developer Urban Commons recently took over a long-term lease for the city-owned ship, and plans to move forward with ambitious renovations, revamping the interiors and restoring the ship to its original Art Deco splendor. As part of the proposed restoration, hotel corridors will be redone and the 346 staterooms and nine suites will be outfitted with larger flat screen TVs, faster WiFi, upgraded showers, and fresh, period-appropriate furniture. In keeping with their promise to preserve the ship’s old-timey appeal, Urban Commons is teaming up with Brixtons—the same U.K. company that designed the original carpeting—to recreate the old patterns. In addition to the room makeovers, the firm hopes to get the go-ahead to put a speakeasy in the boiler room and a cinema, recreation area, and swimming pool on the rear deck, and will be sprucing up the original Observation Bar, where the ship’s first class passengers used to get their drink on way back when. Urban Commons’ renovation project is part of a larger plan for the area, which involves a $250 million proposal to develop the 45 acres surrounding The Queen Mary, adding an additional hotel, retail shops, restaurants, and amphitheater with a carousel and Ferris wheel. The verdict is still out on whether the city will approve the firm’s plans for the surrounding area, but renovations on Her Royal Highness are slated to begin this year, with an expected completion date of 2017.