Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant Contract and Purchase

Negotiations for the land purchase begun in March, 1924 culminated in a three-way contract signed by the Long Beach City Manger Charles S. Henderson, Edsel Ford, President of the Ford Motor Company, and Union Pacific. Accordingly, Ford would construct on a 39.370 acre site a building covering a ground area of not less than 350,000 square feet of one or more stories, of brick or concrete construction. Said building, including the roof, should be of fire resistive material and conform to the building requirements of Long Beach. Ford agreed to employ approximately 1200 men at the plant. The Union Pacific agreed to construct streets, sanitary sewers, storm drains, water and gas mains, provide trackage at its own expense, and remove the tracks which then crossed over the property. The Ford Company would construct a slip from its frontage on the connecting channel into the side of its own property. The City would dredge the Cerritos Channel, Ford's connecting channel to the main channel, to a width of 600 feet along the Ford frontage and would maintain the channel's depth at thirty-two feet from the Ford company's docks to the sea. The estimated 750,000 yards of dredged material would be deposited on the Ford site for the purpose of raising it several feet. The site enjoyed a frontage of 1300 feet on the Cerritos Channel and 2,619 feet on Badger Avenue. The City, too, would supply the principal utilities.

Before this is done the Ford Company would prepare the foundations for its immense building by driving piling into the ground as it stood, and by pouring concrete piers, after which the big fill would be made. Work of dredging the channel was undertaken and completed together with the dredging of the Ford slip and turning basin on the east side of the plant by June, 1927. The material taken from the slip was also pumped into the Ford fill.

Long Beach citizens were jubilant.