In spring 2017, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia asked the city’s economic development department what was being done to showcase the city’s real estate potential – not only to local developers and brokers, but regionally, statewide and even nationally. Now, the department is preparing to launch its new “Limitless” campaign to do just that.
“There are so many more opportunities, not just for brand new development, but also [for] repositioning or rehabilitating Long Beach in the downtown, along the Long Beach Boulevard corridor, North Long Beach and the Uptown area,” Sergio Ramirez, deputy director of the economic development department, said.
Pictured during the recent groundbreaking ceremonies of the 2nd & PCH project in Southeast Long Beach is the team behind the city’s new marketing effort with the tagline “Limitless” – Mayor Robert Garcia flanked by John Keisler, right, director of the Long Beach Economic Development Department and his deputy, Sergio Ramirez. The advertising campaign is initially targeting companies throughout California. (Business Journal photograph by Brandon Richardson)
The economic development department was given a $100,000 budget for the development and purchase of the advertisement campaign. The department spent $25,000 developing the “Limitless” concept with Newport Beach-based firm We The Creative, leaving the remainder of funds for ad placements.
On January 30, the department presented the ad campaign during an economic development commission meeting, according to Ramirez. He said the commission received it very well and gave its blessing, as it is in line with the city’s Blueprint for Economic Development goal of increasing business outreach by working to attracting investors to Long Beach.
The campaign consists of full-, half- and quarter-page ads to be placed in various publications in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego markets to begin with, Ramirez said. Additionally, ads in online publications, such as Globe Street, Curbed and The Real Deal, will cast the net wider, as they can be viewed nationally, according to Ramirez.
“We’re just painting a picture. The key image that we have [for the campaign] shows the Long Beach skyline with our cranes and the waterfront,” Ramirez said. “A lot of people think Long Beach is just a port [city], but there is so much more, especially with the evolution of our downtown and the beautiful waterfront. . . . . We don’t want to particularly focus it on one site. What we want to try to do is raise the profile of the entire city.”
To put the focus on the city as a whole and why it is a good area to invest in, Ramirez said the ads will focus on keywords and taglines such as “business friendly,” “streamlined development” and “large market,” in the hopes that they will become synonymous with the city. Once curiosity is piqued, Ramirez said he will give developers and brokers more specific information tailored to their area of interest during face-to-face meetings.
Ramirez explained that consistent ad placements should catch the eyes of developers and brokers after they see them several times, which will hopefully cause them to send acquisition teams to the city to scope out investment opportunities.
“This past year, as I’ve been meeting with developers and brokers, just trying to draw them to the city, the one theme I hear time and time again is, ‘I didn’t know so much was happening in Long Beach and that there are these opportunities,’” Ramirez said. “There is so much happening. [We’re trying] to make them aware of all of the assets here and to highlight the fact that the city is very forward-thinking and has leadership that is very progressive.”
The greatest asset the city offers developers and brokers, according to Ramirez, is its location. Being tucked between the L.A. and Orange County markets – close to three airports, the San Pedro Bay ports and multiple freeways – will also serve to draw new businesses and developers once they are informed of the opportunities available in the city.
In addition to location, Ramirez said that his department’s staff are business friendly and open to project concepts that are outside the box as long as they contain high-quality architecture and amenities that enhance the city for residents. He said the goal is to attract high-caliber projects that raise the bar for development in Long Beach.
The final touches are being put on the ad campaign, including creating a website that will allow the department to track the number of visits. Ramirez is the direct point of contact for inquiries made regarding opportunities in the city, which means he can ensure a quick response to any leads generated by the campaign, he said.
“It’s something that we are proud of. We’re excited to continue work with the development and the brokerage communities,” Ramirez said. “I think now, with the Olympics coming to Long Beach with several events [in 2028], there’s also something for the development community to look forward to. For the foreseeable future, it seems like there are going to be endless possibilities.”