Michelle Molina is Managing Partner of Millworks, translated simply as “the work of the mill,” a
play on her last name, Molina, in English. Millworks creates socially responsible investment
through adaptive reuse, business improvement, and community involvement. Millworks, also
known as Sixth & Pine Development, has projects in Downtown Long Beach, Orange & Santa
Ana, California and New Orleans, Louisiana, and specializes in what she calls, “extinct,
struggling or abandoned, but definitely lovable buildings and businesses”.
Completed projects include a couple of entertainment district restaurant improvements and resale,
the adaptive reuse of a former Head Start building, and the $60M reuse of the former Press
Telegram newspaper and adjacent historic Meeker-Baker buildings, which created over 1,000
new IT jobs and over $2B in community benefit. Projects currently in progress are an auto body
shop turned brewery, and the historic Packard car dealership, soon to open as a world-class rock
climbing gym. Their next labor of love involves an 1850 single-family home with servants’
quarters in the Arts District in New Orleans perfectly suited for a creative short-term residential
unit, artist’s studios and gallery space.
Current business improvement projects include a former Crate & Barrel site turned into a
hyperlocal gift and art gallery utilizing the loading dock as a welcoming wine & beer bar with
live music. This unique location offers craft classes, hosts political debates, and includes a unique
venue rental for meetings, parties and weddings. In this 12,500 sq. ft. space, over 200 local
businesses benefit from sales of their products, art and talent.
As a current City of Long Beach Economic Development Commissioner and member of the
Revolving Loan Subcommittee, Michelle serves as the champion for city-wide policy
improvements for the entrepreneur, strengthening the local economy, and the value of supporting
small business lending.
During her seven-year tenure on the Downtown Long Beach Associates Board of Directors, a
non-profit dedicated to enhancing downtown Long Beach through clean & safe programs, art &
music events, and advocacy, she served as a founding member of HOPA (Historic Old Pine
Association) which created many charitable arts and business improvement projects in the north
Pine Avenue historic core. Additionally, she is a founding member of the Friends of Lincoln
Park, an informal group of citizens helping to make downtown’s largest green space a safe and
active space for all.
Michelle likes to travel, is a TV and film fanatic, and relishes in sampling local food and craft
beverages. She consciously adds art and music incubators to her properties, including funding
street art and mural projects and booking live music and theater whenever possible. She’s grateful
she has a team who believes that people make the development special, even if they also make it
challenging. Her favorite pastime is staying one step ahead of her own people- two successful,
caring, and socially conscious teenagers. “I like to think of myself as a peacekeeper. I imagine
peace as an artform. It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard
work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”