City and Ensemble officials celebrate as Brian Babaoff, middle, cuts the ribbon during The Magnolia's opening reception on Oct. 19, 2022. Photo by Tess Kazenoff

A new Downtown mixed-use project, The Magnolia, celebrated its opening reception with about 100 tenants and city officials Wednesday evening.

The 142-unit building, located at 500 W. Broadway, contains studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with new businesses that have leased the first-floor space: Sugar Taco, a plant-based Mexican eatery out of West Hollywood that will also be opening an accompanying vegan butchery next door, and Pawspace, a dog daycare, boarding, grooming and adoption center.

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.

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, according to an Ensemble spokesperson. There are still 33 available units.

“We’ve made Long Beach our home and we’re very proud to be part of the community and part of the city and watch all of these developments happen over the last 46 years,” Kam Babaoff, founder and chairman at Ensemble, said during the event.

Before developing into the seven-story building, the lot was previously a leftover parking lot from when Ensemble owned the World Trade Center, Babaoff said.

“To create something of this magnitude out of a leftover lot feels very satisfying to me,” Babaoff said.

The Magnolia, a new mixed-use property in Downtown Long Beach, includes amenities such as an outdoor terrace, a rooftop pool, a coworking space, a fitness center and a fully equipped kitchen. Photo by Tess Kazenoff

Among the building’s numerous amenities are a rooftop with a pool, an outdoor shower and a TV fireplace. Tenants can also enjoy complimentary WiFi throughout the building, a fitness center, a co-working space, a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, outdoor barbecue grills, a lounge and bar seating.

Residence features include open floor plans, smart home technology, energy-efficient features and more.

“The city has really come a long way. We’re very proud of this project,” Babaoff said. “This is, I think, one of the nicest buildings in Long Beach. It’s unique.”

Over the last nearly 40 years, Ensemble has successfully invested, developed and managed over $2 billion in real estate across the United States. Apart from multi-family and mixed-use properties, the company also develops hospitality and commercial buildings.

The firm recently developed two other residential properties in the Downtown area: a 94-unit property at 442 Ocean Blvd. and a 112-unit property at 207 Seaside Way, situated across from the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, both of which opened in 2019.

“This is one of the projects that I first remember seeing when I came on board with the city, and watching it literally out our window come from the ground up and turn into this wonderful space has been absolutely exciting,” said Christian Kerr, a legislative aid in Mayor Robert Garcia’s office.

The Magnolia’s rooftop offers views of Downtown Long Beach, along with amenities including a pool, an outdoor shower, a TV fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen and more. Photo by Tess Kazenoff

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a reference to Ensemble’s founder and chairman and to add more information on The Magnolia’s occupancy.