Here are the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, October 2, 2023.
Mayor Unveils Ambitious Economic Growth Plan at Inaugural ‘Grow Long Beach’ Presentation
Last Thursday, the inaugural Grow Long Beach presentation outlined the priorities of the Grow Long Beach Initiative, a multi-faceted economic development strategy aimed at strengthening emerging industries. Long Beach is transitioning to a more climate-sustainable economy, moving away from historical reliance on oil revenues. The strategic industry sectors targeted for growth are aerospace and aviation, healthcare, ports and logistics, housing and education, and arts, culture, and tourism. This initiative is aligned with preparations for major events like the 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Olympics.
Additional highlights from this year’s Grow Long Beach presentation include:
Aerospace and Aviation:
- ExLabs, a technology-based company, and Rocket Lab, a spacecraft and satellite manufacturer, are opening new facilities in Long Beach, signaling significant growth in this sector.
Long Beach Airport (LGB):
- Recent additions to LGB’s services include flights to Orlando, El Paso, Colorado Springs, and Albuquerque. Upcoming direct flights to Portland and Boise are scheduled for October.
- LGB will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the fall with a series of special events and opportunities.
- Molina Healthcare, Inc. will add over 550 new jobs at their Downtown Long Beach campus.
- Blue Shield of California plans to open a new regional facility, creating 1,000 new jobs for the local workforce.
Transportation and Trade:
- The Port is prioritizing the electrification of drayage trucks and infrastructure, aiming for all zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment by 2030.
- The development of the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility will enhance on-dock rail capacity at the port’s shipping terminals, creating local jobs, expediting cargo movement, reducing truck traffic on local freeways, and strengthening the port’s global competitiveness.
- TaChen International (TCI) USA, a leading global distributor of stainless steel and aluminum products, will expand its US headquarters to North Long Beach. This expansion involves the opening of a new 120,000-square-foot facility, representing a significant investment and adding to the local workforce.
- Long Beach is making significant strides in housing production, building homes at various price points and sizes. The city is actively developing over 50 housing projects across various neighborhoods, including Downtown’s Mosaic development with 900 units, featuring 54 affordable housing units. Additionally, Denali, an East Village project, offers 103 affordable housing units, and Midtown’s Wellspring development includes 88 affordable units.
- In the first two quarters of the current year, 1,998 homes have either been completed, are under construction, approved, or proposed. Among these, 543 are designated as affordable units, and 214 are intended for individuals previously experiencing homelessness.
Arts, Culture, and Tourism:
- Queen Mary Island redevelopment plan includes a signature public amphitheater for large-scale events
- Fairmont Breakers Long Beach hotel to reopen in spring 2024 with 185 boutique hotel rooms, suites, rooftop terrace, pool, lounge, and bar
- Elevate ‘28 Capital Improvements Plan includes a $50 million investment in the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center for hosting large-scale conventions, meetings, and entertainment events in preparation for the 2028 Olympics.
The view a complete list of the items discussed at the Grow Long Beach presentation, click here.
Medicare Advantage Plans Target Cultural Communities in So Cal
16th Annual Bike and Pedestrian Count Calls for Volunteer Participation
The city of Long Beach is seeking volunteers for the 16th Annual Bike and Pedestrian Count, a crucial event for understanding public use of city streets. Volunteers, along with city employees, will manually count bicyclists, pedestrians, and electric scooter riders at key intersections. Volunteers can sign up online until Oct. 18, 2023, for various time slots on Oct. 19 and Oct. 21, and will receive count forms and instructions electronically. Last year, data was collected at 35 intersections, and the city aims to surpass this number with the help of dedicated volunteers. The collected data aids transportation planners and traffic engineers in making informed decisions about the city’s transportation network and active transportation infrastructure projects. This initiative has been running since 2008 and is one of the longest-standing counts of its kind in the country. Further details can be found here.
Long Beach Joins National Digital Inclusion Week to Promote Digital Equity
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance has designated Oct. 2-6, 2023 as National Digital Inclusion Week (DIW), a time for advocates to highlight efforts promoting digital equity and inclusion. The city of Long Beach will participate by sharing resources and information on its social media platforms under the theme “Building Connected Communities.” Over the past year, the city partnered with community organizations to distribute hotspots and Chromebooks, conduct outreach activities, and implement the Digital Inclusion Confidence Program. These initiatives are part of Long Beach’s Digital Inclusion Initiative, aimed at providing accessible technology resources and services to empower all residents. The city’s Digital Inclusion Roadmap outlines strategies in three focus areas: capacity, connectivity, and technology. More information is available at longbeach.gov/ti/digital-inclusion.
Long Beach Awards Contract to ‘LiBRE’ to Establish Community Land Trust for Affordable Housing
The Long Beach City Council has awarded a contract to Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, acting as a fiscal sponsor for Long Beach Residents Empowered (LiBRE), to establish and operate a Community Land Trust (CLT). A CLT is a nonprofit organization that raises funds, acquires, and develops real estate to provide permanently affordable housing opportunities for residents. LiBRE was chosen for its experience in affordable housing and trust within the Long Beach community. The nonprofit is dedicated to promoting justice in disadvantaged communities through affordable housing initiatives, renter protections, and economic development. The City, through the Long Beach Recovery Act, will provide up to $800,000 in start-up funds to launch the CLT and secure additional funding for housing acquisition and development. This initiative aligns with Long Beach’s goal to explore alternative forms of land and property ownership, such as CLTs, to prevent displacement, as part of the Racial and Reconciliation Initiative. Learn more here.