Thursday, July 18, 2024

Mayor’s Grow Long Beach 2024 lays out future development; Ford Motors opening up R&D shop


Mayor Rex Richardson hosted his Grow Long Beach 2024 event at the Aquarium of the Pacific, coming with big announcements. Spanning an hour-long presentation and covering development, tourism, aerospace, manufacturing, and entertainment, he came with one particularly big announcement: Ford Motors will be moving into town.

Grow Long Beach 2024: What is Ford Motors bringing to Long Beach?

Richardson has long touted the need to attract Forbes 500 companies—and, indeed, he has followed through. Sitting at #17 on that very list, Ford Motors is launching a new Research & Development facility in Long Beach. The focus? Creating a cost-effective consumer electric vehicle for production. After opening a plant here in 1936, this marks the first return of the company since.

“What we are doing at Ford to take a 120-year-old company and combine it with the best of technology when it comes to vehicles,” Doug Field of Ford Motors said today. “This is part of that strategy. To have a place that attracts talent that can execute these future goals… Going after the best design, hardware, and software engineering in the world. This will be a hub of communities—tech, start-ups, vehicle design…—to foster creativity in this essential part of our transportation world.”

And it makes sense they are expanding their electric vehicle efforts. Ford is the second-largest seller of EVs in the U.S. and its F-150 Lightning was America’s best-selling electric truck in 2023. And with it, they have also created some of the most affordable EVs, as Field pointed out in his presentation—a core component of the Long Beach team’s pathway. They’ll be working with an industrial team in Ford, mainly from Michigan, and developing an entire platform of EVs.

“Ford’s arrival signals our Grow Long Beach strategy is working, without question,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “This kind of investment from a Fortune 50 company proves Long Beach is equipped to support companies looking for advanced tech campuses, and that the talent they need to staff their teams is right here in Long Beach.”

More EVs: Ampaire joins Ford Motors; to bring headquarters to Long Beach

Ampaire has selected Long Beach as its headquarters, bringing with a different kind of electric vehicle. It makes hybrid electric aircrafts.

“I am happy to announce publicly that Ampaire has moved its headquarters to Long Beach,” Kevin Noertker, co-founder and CEO of Ampaire, said at the event. “We have long been a leader in hybrid electric aircrafts and we are ecstatic to be here… Not only did Ampaire move here, but my wife and I are proud homeowners here. Long Beach is truly a place one can lay down roots.”

Grow Long Beach 2024: Space Beach is a big part of our local economy

Space Beach—the moniker provided to the city’s presence in aerospace engineering and research—is growing steadily. Here are some key points:

  • Relativity Space and Rocket Lab continue to hire new employees weekly.
  • Vast has reached 450 employees and will nearly double that workforce within the next two years.
  • SpaceX is more than doubling their facility’s footprint in Long Beach, growing from just over six acres to 15 acres, including both dry and submerged land, office and manufacturing space.
  • NuSpace PCX Long Beach has renewed their lease for another decade at the Long Beach Airport.

“Our culture of ease, speed and predictability has created an environment of growth, attracting companies from all industries to our city, bringing more
opportunities for Long Beach families,” Richardson said. “Just look at the new companies coming in.”

New companies indeed:

  • Mayman Aerospace relocated their headquarters from Ventura County to Long Beach.
  • Satellite manufacturer NovaWurks is relocating their headquarters from Orange County to Long Beach.

“The secret is out: companies forging the future of aerospace have discovered how easy it is to set up shop and tap into prime talent pools to staff their teams right here in Long Beach,” said Richardson. “Long Beach is a growing hub of innovation because of companies like these joining hands with the incredible workforce in our community.”

Yes, the ‘Long Beach Bowl’ is coming to The Queen Mary

“The Long Beach Bowl is coming,” Richardson said at his Grow Long Beach 2024 event.

And by the “Long Beach Bowl,” Richardson is referring to the temporary, outdoor amphitheater for concerts that he proposed last year as part of the city’s efforts to upgrade parts of the city for the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympics. Think Greek Theater in capacity and Hollywood Bowl in style—except by the Queen Mary. And it will have the DTLB skyline as its backdrop and the potential to draw from a larger pool of artists with such a distinctly unique venue.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


  1. I watched the Grow Long Beach Presentation and don’t recall hearing any update on the Hard Rock Hotel. This seems like the sort of development that the mayor would like to plug at every chance, so I am wondering if the lack of mention signals that perhaps the project is on hold or canceled? If he did mention it and I just missed it, apologies.


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