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Why Now is the Time to Move to Downtown Long Beach. 20 Reasons from a Downtown Neighbor’s Perspective

by Eric Gray (Downtown Neighbor) *

* Mr. Gray is secretary of the Downtown Residential Council. This piece represents his personal views.


VIDEO TELLS AMECO SOLAR'S STORY. AND CLICK HERE TO HEAR AMECO PRESIDENT PATRICK REDGATE EXPLAIN WHY SOLAR MAKES SUCH GOOD SENSE.

(July 11, 2012) -- As a Downtown Long Beach resident, I want to positively express how I feel about our fine community and city. When I read negative comments on blogs from outsiders who really don’t understand our Downtown, I feel we as residents need to defend our fair city and promote it further as to make it better.

Here are 20 reasons why I believe now is the time to pick up, pack your bags, hopefully get a good rate on a mortgage or apartment rental, and move into Downtown Long Beach.

1. We are at the bottom of the real estate market, and many of the new condos and existing housing stock are selling at half the price of what they sold for in 2006. This makes it more affordable for productive citizens to buy into this urban waterfront metropolis.

2. There is a strong residential base in Downtown Long Beach with active community participants. These participants are led by neighborhood association groups such as the Downtown Residential Council, Ocean Residents Community Association, Promenade Area Residents Association, East Village Association, West Gateway Neighborhood Association, Willmore City Heritage Association, and the North Pine Neighborhood Alliance.

3. The Promenade from Broadway to Third will start construction in the next few months.

4. Beachwood Barbeque, Congregation Alehouse, and Harvelle’s are all open and thriving on the Promenade.

5. The design of the first ever Harvey Milk Park in the United States is fantastic. This park by the way is inclusive to all.

6. HOPA (Historic Old Pine Avenue Business Association) established in 2011 is gaining traction. Started by Downtown Business Leaders and Residents focused on the rebirth of Pine Avenue North from 3rd - 8th street has its monthly "Twilight Walk" event on the third Friday of each month bringing together residents and business owners through art, music, and more.

7. Millworks has begun construction of the Press Telegram building which is slated to be completed by spring of next year adding about 400 jobs to Pine Avenue and 6th. Millworks is also working with the community to rebuild the Meeker Baker building which will add an additional 400 jobs. This will drive retail growth and economic development in North Pine.

8. The DLBA continues with the clean and safe program, business recruitment, and marketing events.

9. The East Village continues to blossom with new and growing businesses in the past year such as Berlin, Primal Flower, Shortnin Bread, Creative Reuse, Fingerprints, the Greenhouse, Asha, District Wine, and more. Each of these businesses have brought in needed value to the Downtown Residential Community.

10. We are a bonafide coastal city similar to other coastal cities in the world such as San Diego, Honolulu , Santa Monica, Barcelona, Athens, Cannes, Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, and more.

11. The new George Deukmejian Courthouse being built is looking fantastic and first class. This new courthouse will also create economic activity in Gallery 421 and other retail ready structures nearby.

12. We are steps away from boats, water taxis, and transportation to Catalina Island and LA.

13. Our bike infrastructure (not just in Downtown) has landed us the 19th spot on the top most bicycle friendly cities in the country.

14. We have a plethora of amazing restaurants with world cuisines across Downtown Long Beach.

15. Rocco’s Italian Deli just opened on 1st Street. (Being originally from New York, this one is close to my heart)

16. The Willmore City Heritage Association has a number of beautiful historic homes just blocks away from Pine Avenue.

17. Our Councilmembers Robert Garcia and Suja Lowenthal are supportive of Downtown’s growth and beautification.

18. "Guerilla Gardeners" are greening up Downtown every month.

19. We have Shoreline Village.

20. We can walk everywhere.

I hope this provides a perspective of what many of us who live in Downtown would say. I could go on more about positive attributes of Downtown Long Beach like the Terrace Theatre Plaza, Promenade Square Park, Jet Skiing rentals in the summertime, the Queen Mary, the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, etc.. but that might just be seen as bragging...and this is to be a humble piece.

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