October 28, 2022

New Director of Economic Development – Bo Martinez

On Monday, October 24, 2022, Mr. Ralph (Bo) Martinez started his role as the new Director of the Department of Economic Development. Mr. Martinez brings to the City of Long Beach more than 20 years of experience in economic development for various public sector entities throughout the nation, currently serving as Deputy Town Manager for the Town of Parker, CO, and overseeing various town departments including Economic Development. As director, Mr. Martinez will oversee activities related to real estate, business and workforce development across four bureaus with 87 full-time staff. The Department manages approximately $23 million in revenue and has an annual budget of approximately $20.4 million.

Mr. Martinez has an expansive career in economic development, working in cities including Phoenix, Miami Beach, Broomfield, CO, and the Denver area. In his most recent role as Deputy Town Manager, he assisted in carrying out town goals, Town Council directives and other initiatives and programs, supported the Town Manager by engaging with department directors and coordinating interdepartmental and high-profile projects and initiatives, and provided leadership, vision and strategic direction for the town. As president and CEO of the Regional Economic Partnership in Adams County, CO, he led the public/private, non-profit economic development organization in serving Adams County, its 10 municipalities, more than 10,000 companies and just over half a million residents. Mr. Martinez also previously served as Economic Development Director for the City of Miami Beach, where he successfully led the creation of the first urban renewal district in 25 years between Miami Beach and North Beach and served as the Economic Director for the City and County of Broomfield. Beyond his leadership roles, Mr.

Martinez holds comprehensive experience in public sector program development and administration and experience in public and private sector real estate development and joint development.

Mr. Martinez holds a bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning both from the University of Colorado.

The City thanks Johnny Vallejo, who has been serving as Acting Director of Economic Development while the City recruited for the permanent position. Mr. Vallejo will resume his role as Business Operations Bureau Manager on Oct. 24. Mr. Vallejo was not an applicant for the permanent position.

The Magnolia, a 142-Unit Mixed-Use Building, Celebrates Downtown Opening

The Magnolia celebrated its opening with 100 tenants and city officials. The building contains 142 units of studios, one- and two- bedroom apartments, and new businesses that have leased the first-floor space. The Magnolia opened on May 9, and on June 1, the first tenant moved in. As of now, the building is 76% leased, with 71% of units occupied. There are still 33 available units.

The project is an addition to Ensemble Real Estate Solutions & Investments’ portfolio, which has been headquartered in Long Beach since 1996. As of 2021, the firm has invested $500 million in Long Beach real estate development. Before developing into the seven-story building, the lot was previously a leftover parking lot from when Ensemble owned the World Trade Center.

For more information, please click HERE


Cambodia Town Medical Clinic that ‘Serves the Underserved’ Celebrates Grand Reopening

For more than a decade, Southern California Medical Center has identified underserved communities and brought low-cost health care to residents with locations in El Monte, Pico Rivera, Pomona, and Van Nuys. Amid the pandemic, the nonprofit opened a clinic at Long Beach’s Cambodia Town and faced operation challenges that limited access to new patients.

On October 22, the nonprofit hosted a grand reopening featuring a taco vendor, tours of the facility, and numerous speakers. The clinic is now fully staffed with 20 medical personnel, including nurses, physicians, and two dentists. The services offered by the clinic include general medical and primary care, physicals, immunizations, lab services, prenatal care, STD and HIV testing, dental, behavioral health, and more. 

The organization and its clinics are federally qualified health centers, which are funded through the federal government’s Public Health Services Act and enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. The system allows SCMC to offer a sliding fee scale, ensuring affordability to patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay traditional health care costs.

For more information, please click HERE

Long Beach Unemployment Falls Back Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

New data from the California Employment Development Department show the unemployment rate in Long Beach fell back to a pre-pandemic low of 4.6% last month. In September the number of unemployed people dropped to 10,600 from 11,800 in August. The city’s labor force decreased by 400, down to 228,900, but the number of employed residents increased by 900 to 218,300.

Meanwhile, LA County’s unemployment rate followed the same trend as Long Beach: In May, it reached 4.5%, surpassing a pre-pandemic low of 4.7%. In June, July, and August, the rate increased slightly but fell back to 4.5% last month.

For more information, please click HERE

Industry Links

Free Electric Shuttle Service Starting in Belmont Shore on Thursday

Terminal Operator Converts 9 Cranes to Electric as Part of Port of Long Beach Demonstration Project

For more information, please contact Mary Frances Torres, SR/WA, Acting Real Estate Development Bureau Manager, Economic Development Department, at mary.torres@longbeach.gov.