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LONG BEACH, CA-Save the Queen LLC of Newport Beach has acquired the Queen Mary lease and the right to develop the area surrounding the historic ship for $43 million in a bankruptcy auction. At stake in the auction were the 54 years remaining on the 66-year lease of the Queen Mary and its surrounding 43 acres of mixed-use waterfront property, known as the Queen’s Seaport Development.

According to Howard Ehrenberg, partner at the Los Angeles-based law firm of SulmeyerKupetz and the court-appinted trustee of Queen’s Seaport Development Inc., the sale provides for repayment of debt to creditors and ensures the development of the mixed-use waterfront property surrounding the ship.

Ehrenberg was appointed trustee of Queen’s Seaport Development Inc. in April of 2006 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection. The City of Long Beach claimed that Queen’s Seaport Development Inc. had taken rental credits it wasn’t entitled to take and owed the city millions in back rent.

Save the Queen LLC is a group of investors who plan to operate the historic Queen Mary ocean liner on the site and redevelop the surrounding oceanfront property, according to Coldwell Banker Commercial brokers who marketed the site for Ehrenberg. Besides the ocean liner, which is operated as a tourist attraction, the sprawling bay-front property is occupied by parking lots, the Queen’s Marketplace retail center, containers, oil pumpers, a cruise terminal and a geodesic dome that once housed Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose airplane.

The Coldwell Banker Commercial team was led by Tom Olson of CBC Almar Real Estate Group. The team included Alan Scott of CBC Almar Group, John McKeown of Coldwell Banker Commercial REAG and Dan Richards of Coldwell Banker Commercial Inland Empire. Olson notes that the two final bidders were Save the Queen and Santa Monica-based O&S Holdings LLC, which develops mixed-use retail and entertainment complexes.

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