PRESS RELEASE BY THE CITY OF LONG BEACH
Long Beach Showcases Key Growth Opportunities in City’s Emerging Business Sectors at Inaugural Grow Long Beach Presentation
- Grow Long Beach press release: https://longbeach.gov/press-releases/long-beach-showcases-key-growth-opportunities-in-citys-emerging-business-sectors-at-inaugural-grow-long-beach-presentation/
- Grow Long Beach presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBZwwpRNFfk
Long Beach, CA – Today, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson hosted the inaugural Grow Long Beach presentation, formerly known as “Building a Better Long Beach,” where he shared insights on future economic development opportunities across emerging business sectors and industries that are instrumental to Long Beach’s future. This year’s presentation, which took place at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Honda Pacific Vision Theater, drew hundreds of regional and national leaders from commercial and private investors, entrepreneurs, labor organizations and community stakeholders.
“Long Beach’s local economy is growing in new and exciting directions,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “As a City, we are committed to unleashing the potential of key growth sectors that will be critical to our future prosperity and creating ripe conditions to help entrepreneurs start and grow a business in our city.”
The presentation encapsulated priorities of the Grow Long Beach Initiative, a multi-pronged economic development strategy focused on bolstering the success of emerging business sectors and industries in Long Beach. Through the Grow Long Beach Initiative, Long Beach has set in motion a citywide transition towards a more climate-sustainable economy and away from its historical dependence on oil revenues by investing in five strategic industry sectors that show promise for continued growth, including: Aerospace and Aviation; Healthcare; Ports and Logistics; Housing and Education; and Arts, Culture and Tourism.
Announced during this year’s Grow Long Beach presentation, the City will establish a Strategic Growth Team comprised of senior City officials who will be leading the development and implementation of new policies and strategies to accelerate the recruitment, growth, retention and success of businesses across each of the key growth sectors in Long Beach. Led by City Manager Tom Modica, the team will consist of: Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Chief Operating Officer, Port of Long Beach; Bo Martinez, Director of Economic Development; Eric Lopez, Director of Public Works; Lea Eriksen, Director of Technology and Innovation; Cynthia Guidry, Director of Long Beach Airport; April Walker, Administrative Deputy City Manager; Grace Yoon, Deputy City Manager; Christopher Koontz, Director of Development Services. As Long Beach prepares to host major events during the 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Olympics, the Strategic Growth Team will lead the way on building a smarter, friendlier and more responsive city for the local business community and workforce.
Additional announcements and highlights from this year’s Grow Long Beach presentation include:
Aerospace and Aviation
As a city rich in aviation history dating back to the early 20th century, Long Beach is now a hub for aerospace and aviation innovation and is home to the nationally recognized “Space Beach” — a growing cluster of research and manufacturing facilities for many of the space industry’s leading companies. Announced during the presentation, ExLabs, a technology-based company that focuses on deflecting asteroids and deorbiting space debris, will open their first manufacturing facility in Long Beach. Additionally announced, Rocket Lab, an industry leader in spacecraft and satellite manufacturing, will open their second manufacturing location, a 140,000-square-foot facility that will expand production of their Electron and Neutron launch vehicles and grow their footprint and investment in Long Beach two-fold. A commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating this new facility will take place Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023.
Long Beach Airport (LGB) continues to be a preferred gateway into Southern California with air carriers —including Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines—currently offering service to 24 nonstop destinations around the nation, which is more nonstop service than at any time in LGB’s nearly 100-year history, recent additions like Orlando, El Paso, Colorado Springs and Albuquerque, and upcoming direct flights to Portland and Boise this October. Throughout 2023, LGB has made steadfast progress on several infrastructural advancements, including the year-long renovation of the Historic Terminal, installation of more than 500 new LED runway lights, and the opening of the new, state-of-the-art Baggage Claim facility, part of a multi-year, $122 million Phase ll – Terminal Area Improvement Program to improve the passenger experience at the Airport. Later this fall, LGB will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a series of special events and opportunities planned.
Long Beach’s manufacturing hub also includes automotive facilities, with Toyota’s oldest North American plant located in North Long Beach. Announced at Grow Long Beach, the Toyota Auto Body Company recently completed a $27 million investment in their plant and has added Toyota’s first coil-fed laser blanking line, further expanding their production capacity and supporting additional job opportunities locally.
Long Beach is home to over 20,000 jobs connected to the healthcare industry. Announced during the presentation, Molina Healthcare, Inc., will be adding over 550 new jobs affiliated with their Downtown Long Beach campus. Additionally, Blue Shield of California recently announced plans to open a new regional facility in Long Beach, which will bring 1,000 new jobs to the local workforce.
Transportation and Trade
By supporting 51,000 (or 1 in 5) local jobs and handling approximately $200 billion worth of cargo annually, the Port of Long Beach is undoubtedly the top local and regional economic driver, and is on track for a sustainable, green future. The Port of Long Beach is accelerating the electrification of its drayage trucks and infrastructure, which generates multiple benefits like cleaning air and providing high-quality union jobs and advances efforts towards achieving all zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment by 2030. The Port recently announced a 10-year extension of its Project Labor Agreement, which will support the local workforce with even more well-paying local jobs.
The Port is also proposing the development of Pier Wind, which would be the nation’s largest facility designed to support the assembly of offshore wind turbines. This endeavor will support the state’s goal of producing 25 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2045 – enough power to meet the annual demands of 20 million homes – contribute to lowering the national cost of offshore wind power by 70% by 2035, and create an estimated 10,000 jobs in maritime operations, manufacturing and construction. The development of the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, will enhance on-dock rail capacity at the Port’s shipping terminals, support local jobs, speed the movement of cargo, alleviate truck traffic on local freeways, and strengthen the Port’s ability to compete for the global share of cargo.
Announced at Grow Long Beach, TaChen International (TCI) USA, the leading global distributor of stainless steel and aluminum sheets, plates and tubes, will be expanding their US headquarters to North Long Beach with the opening of a new, 120,000-square-foot facility, representing millions of dollars in new investments and adding to the local workforce.
Housing and Education
The City continues to make significant progress in housing production, building homes at every price point and every size. This summer, Long Beach was one of the 30 California jurisdictions out of 482 to be recognized with a Pro-Housing designation by the State of California as a result of its commitment to removing barriers to housing production. In just the first two quarters of this year, 1,998 homes have been completed or are currently under construction, approved or proposed, with 543 of those being affordable units and 214 for people previously experiencing homelessness. Since summer 2022, $408 million in development projects have been completed, with $507 million in projects under construction and $2.1 billion new projects approved. Among the over 50 housing projects currently in development citywide are Downtown’s 900-unit Mosaic development featuring 54 affordable housing units; Denali, a 103-unit affordable housing development in East Village; and Wellspring’s 88-unit affordable housing development in Midtown.
The Long Beach Development Services Department has been working diligently to streamline the City’s permitting process and has permitted thousands of accessory dwelling units citywide. Also, the Development Services Department will be implementing a new, cutting-edge Long Beach Builds platform, which will provide online and in-person concierge-level support for the processing of all licenses, permits and projects imaginable.
Arts, Culture and Tourism
The City anticipates major growth opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector over the next decade. The presentation included updates on several upcoming efforts that will catalyze Long Beach’s tourist economy, including a vision to redevelop Queen Mary Island to include a signature public amphitheater to expand the city’s capacity to host large-scale events. And in spring 2024, the Fairmont Breakers Long Beach hotel will open its doors to the public once again; the revitalized hotel features 185 boutique hotel rooms and suites and a rooftop terrace with a pool, lounge and bar.
Also announced during Grow Long Beach, the City is in the process of working with USA Diving to host their Selects’ High Diving Spectacular, a signature event proposed to take place in September 2024 along the Downtown waterfront and feature over 40 world-class divers and a potential draw of more than 20,000 participants, attendees and spectators. This marks another milestone opportunity as Long Beach continues to grow as a sought-after destination for large scale special events and festivals.
In summer 2023, the Long Beach Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center were awarded the Gold for the “Best in the West” by the prestigious Stella Awards, marking the seventh and sixth consecutive wins, respectively. The Grow Long Beach presentation highlighted elements of the City’s Elevate ‘28 Capital Improvements Plan, which will invest in major infrastructure improvements throughout Long Beach to prepare for the 2028 Olympics, including a $50 million dollar investment to the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center to improve the city’s capacity for hosting large-scale conventions, meetings and entertainment events.
The entire Grow Long Beach presentation will soon be available to view online at longbeach.gov.