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Why Downtown Long Beach Is Booming

What does Long Beach have to offer? Plenty, according to developers at Bisnow's recent Future of Long Beach event.


Long Beach's fabulous amenities are helping put the city on the map, Sares-Regis Group president Christopher Payne told Ocean West principal Russ Allegrette, Ratkovich Properties president Cliff Ratkovich, JLL SVP George Thomson, Stillwater Investment Group president John Drachman, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach VP Anand Chokshi, and the more than 325 real estate professionals who attended. Anand, our moderator (far right), said he has heard comments about how Long Beach prices are a bargain and asked panelists to share their insights.


John, who is from Orange County, has spent a lot of time in Long Beach as a result of Stillwater Investment Group's acquisition of One World Trade Center last year.

He said "there are a lot of things (in Long Beach) you don’t realize."

A lot of the offerings Millennials and other office tenants want, including outdoor/indoor space and walkable amenities, Long Beach already has, according to John.


There’s "clearly a desire and appetite" for what Long Beach has to offer, according to Christopher.

When he shows developers around, they're surprised at what they find because "Long Beach doesn’t have a reputation as a high-end, top-tier institutional capital market," he said.


Russ praised the price point in the city.

It also helps that the "city government is fantastic and helped us get comfortable with the city," according to Russ.

"We feel like there’s a tremendous amount of upside we can experience in Long Beach," he said.


Cliff has lived in Long Beach for more than 30 years and has seen it change in recent years.

He said he has a comfort zone as a developer now, seeing other developers following to develop in downtown Long Beach.

New leadership in the city has made a big difference and the new entitlement process has been a “game-changer and drawn attention" to downtown Long Beach, according to Cliff.


The passion for Long Beach is not lost on George, who said he thinks "it's incumbent on us all to spread the word" to the real estate community about the vibe of downtown and the amenities it has to offer.