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2021 Long Beach Economic Partnership Quarterly Forum
Thursday, December 9th, 2021 | 10am – 12pm PDT

Explore skyline-changing projects that were recently completed, are under construction or are in the pipeline at Accelerate Long Beach.

Join the Long Beach Economic Partnership for Accelerate Long Beach, our quarterly economic forum, where we’re focusing on real estate and development.

This FREE, virtual event will explore skyline-changing projects that were recently completed, are under construction or are in the pipeline. Investors who are in-the-know are building on a solid foundation and betting on Long Beach’s future.

We’ll hear from the Cal State University, Long Beach Office of Economic Research about Long Beach’s economic picture, and how the city has been experiencing massive growth in development over the past couple of years. The buildout of thousands of residential units and millions of square feet of commercial real estate help attract and retain professional workers and world-class corporations to this waterfront metropolis.

Real estate development accounts for about 17% of gross regional product (GRP) in the Long Beach area, and this massive industry is one that fuels itself. Businesses and developments attract more business and development, with that growing ecosystem building a higher quality of life overall.

We’ll also hear from real estate industry leaders on how those looking for a place to invest can find opportunity, success and an affordable beach city lifestyle in Long Beach. The information and data we’ll share will be useful not only to those already doing business in the city, but anyone looking to relocate or work here.

This live, virtual conference is free and open to all. Live Q&A sessions with our speakers and experts will give you a chance to get deeper insight into Long Beach’s economic picture, and the opportunities available in the local real estate sector.

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Hear from industry leaders

Ryan Altoon

Executive Vice President of Anderson Pacific

Ryan Altoon is Executive Vice President with Anderson Pacific, LLC, a Los Angeles-based development company, focused on creating sustainable mixed-use infill projects with mobility connectivity in key downtown areas throughout California. He is responsible for overseeing entitlement and development projects for the firm. Mr. Altoon has over 20 years of experience in real estate, strategic planning, management, and finance. He has entitled over 2,700 residential units, 150,000 sf of commercial space, along with hotel, transit and civic uses, totaling over $1 Billion in value.

Previously, he worked at George Smith Partners, Inc., a real estate investment financing company, responsible for underwriting debt and equity packages for acquisitions, development and refinancing myriad product types. He was also Founder and Managing Director of GFX Center, a design and reprographics firm serving the international clientele of a professional real estate services firm. Mr. Altoon also served as a Business Manager for Altoon + Porter Architects, LP.

Mr. Altoon received an MBA from the University of Southern California, a Certificate of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a dual BA of Business Economics and Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mr. Altoon is the 2022 Chair-elect of the Long Beach Economic Partnership, serves on the ULI LA-District Council Advisory Board and Management Committee, Co-Chair of Membership, former Co-Chair of the ULI Leadership Council and Technical Assistance Panel Committee, Board Member of LINC Housing, Chair of Toluca Lake Beautification Partners, former Chair of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, former President of the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Jason Silver

Vice President of Development for Ledcor

Jason Silver is Vice President of Development for Ledcor Development LP, a multi-national company that is actively involved with acquisition, development and management of office, retail and residential properties across North America. Partnering with local developers or on its own, it has contributed to the development of over 70 projects, at a valuation exceeding $5- Billion.
Mr. Silver has over 15 years of experience in project forward planning, agency entitlements, project management and construction management on behalf of the developer owner. Joining Ledcor Properties Inc. in August 2014, Mr. Silver responsibilities include project acquisition, entitlements, construction, lease-up and sale activities on behalf of Ledcor’s California development division, with a total combine market portfolio of over $1.3 Billion. Mr. Silver’s experience encompasses residential for-sale single-family homes, high-rise, mid-rise and low-rise luxury multifamily mixed-use projects, as well as award winning multi-housing new and affordable rehabilitation housing development projects valued at over $1.8 Billion. Prior to Ledcor, Mr. Silver held management positions focusing on in-fill development at Lincoln Property Company, Jamboree Housing and The Olson Company.
Mr. Silver has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Business from Washington State University.
Mr. Silver is an active member of the Orange County/Inland Empire Urban Land Institute, where he also served two years as the Chair of the Young Leaders Group, Advisory Board Member and Executive Management Team. He is currently a member of the ULI Orange County/Inland Empire Multi-Housing Local Product Council.

Jean Paul Wardy

Chief Executive Officer and Founder of CenterCal Properties

Jean Paul Wardy began his career in real estate while attending the University of Southern California. Mr. Wardy joined the Alexander Haagen Company in 1990, and by 1993 had been promoted to Vice President, Acquisitions. From 1993 through 1998, Mr. Wardy was the executive primarily responsible for the successful acquisition of over 20 shopping centers.

In 1998, Mr. Wardy co-founded CenterOak Properties with Fred Bruning, which became CenterCal Properties in 2004. Since that time, Mr. Wardy has committed his efforts toward creating successful retail driven projects that both enhance and elevate the communities they serve.

In the pursuit of his real estate career, Mr. Wardy built upon the solid foundation of his family’s successful retail background in the Amen Wardy Stores and Amen Wardy Home Stores. Mr. Wardy is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute, and is a devoted husband and father.

Ryan Aeh

City Ventures Senior Vice President

For nearly 20 years Ryan’s efforts has led to the development over 2,500 homes in Southern California’s supply constrained coastal infill markets. He has extensive experience in residential and retail real estate development and works closely with local public agencies and private landowners to transform underutilized sites into vibrant new home and mixed-use communities. In his day-to-day role as Senior Vice President at City Ventures, Ryan manages all aspects of site acquisition, including opportunity identification, qualification, concept land planning, financial analysis, entitlement strategy, transaction structuring and contract negotiations.

Ryan currently serves as a Board member on the Irvine Community Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating permanently affordable housing in the City of Irvine and County of Orange. In addition, Mr. Aeh promotes the production of new housing (both market rate and income restricted) located close to transit and jobs through his work with many state and regional organizations such as the Association of California Cities, Building Industry Association, League of California Cities, Orange County Business Council, and Planning Directors Association of Orange County.

Ryan is a graduate from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy with a Bachelor of Science in Planning and Development. He remains an active alumni member of the USC community as he currently serves on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, Price Alumni Association Board, the Price Real Estate Advisory Board, and the Price Real Estate Alumni & Affiliates Board. He also serves as a mentor in the Price Professional Mentorship Program where he works with undergraduate students on professional development and career coaching.

In 2019 Ryan was promoted to Partner at City Ventures and was named “40 Under 40” in Orange County by the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce.

Natasha Zabaneh

City Ventures Division President

Miss Zabaneh brings over 15 years of infill residential and mixed-use development experience to the City Ventures team. She joined City Ventures in 2009 and is involved in management of all aspects of Homebuilding, from neighborhood launches to closeouts. Miss Zabaneh is responsible for the ongoing sales and marketing efforts of an average of 20 active neighborhoods at any given time. She’s also involved with strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting and neighborhood development of new infill communities throughout the state of California. Miss Zabaneh has worked on developments in over 40 cities in 15 different counties across California.

Prior to her work at City Ventures, Miss Zabaneh worked for The Olson Company handling the management of all aspects of the escrow process, financing, marketing and selling of new home developments. She also coordinated community development for projects spanning the entire state of California.

Miss Zabaneh graduated from the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University with an M.B.A in Business Administration, Marketing and the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton with a B.A in Business Administration, Finance.

Chris Wacker

Laserfiche CEO

Chris Wacker is a technology entrepreneur and CEO of Laserfiche. Laserfiche is a private, worldwide, industry-leading provider of enterprise-class software for automating business processes and enabling digital transformation.

As CEO, Wacker sets Laserfiche’s strategic vision and drives the corporation’s growth. With 30 years of industry experience, Wacker has a unique perspective on connecting inspiration and information, technology’s capabilities and the human touch. He is committed to leading a customer-centric organization—ensuring that every single user has an exceptional, distinctive experience. His dedication to a customer-focused approach to business is inspired by the Laserfiche user and reseller community and its passion for efficiency and transformation.

Wacker graduated from Hofstra University in 1977, and is a recipient of the 2019 Hofstra Alumni Achievement Award. He is currently a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Hofstra DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and is actively involved in his community on the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Economic Partnership, Long Beach Rotary Club, and past YMCA Long Beach Board of Directors.

He has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He is (or was) conversant in many languages including Chinese, Arabic and several European languages. He lives with his wife, Sumera and young son, Liam in Long Beach, California and has a stepson, Peter, and step-grandson Winston. He enjoys sailing and photography. He is a life-long optimist, a committed humanitarian and has a confirmed belief in the value and dignity of all people.

Alan Pullman, AIA

Senior Principal and Founder of Studio One Eleven

Alan Pullman, AIA, is Senior Principal and Founder of Studio One Eleven, helping lead the design and integration of the firm’s architecture and urban design work. He is a licensed architect with over 30 years of experience working with cities, communities and private interests to improve the quality of our urban environment.

Alan is responsible for guiding Studio One Eleven’s overall strategy and leadership on select projects. These include strategic plans in Downtown Long Beach, Los Angeles, The City of Carson, Glendale, and Huntington Park. In addition, he has led community-driven streetscape improvements in the greater Los Angeles area and innovative urban interventions that focus on sustainable mobility and quality of life. Community projects include the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House, the Long Beach Conservation Corps Environmental Education Center, and Centro Cha’s new headquarters. Large-scale development projects include Shoreline Gateway Tower, The Bloc in downtown LA, and Fourth and Central, Los Angeles’s largest mixed-use project. Other notable projects include revitalizations along Fourth Street in Long Beach, La Brea District in Los Angeles, and The Lot Entertainment and Media Center. In addition to planning and design, Studio One Eleven has also initiated and co-developed the East Village Creative Offices at 4th and Linden and The Streets, a renovation of obsolete retail buildings into a mixed-use precinct in Downtown Long Beach.

Alan is a registered architect in California and a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Urban Land Institute, where he serves on the Urban Revitalization Council. He holds a position as a board member for the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, where he chaired the Board and the Economic Development Committee and the committee in charge of creating the Long Beach Economic Partnership. A native of New York, Alan was awarded his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University and Master of Science in Cities from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Marty Borko

Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles

Marty Borko is the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles. Borko left his post as Principal at Gensler in Los Angeles to command the day-to-day workings and long-range planning of one of ULI’s largest and most active regional chapters. As Executive Director Borko pilots the organization as it confronts the most critical land-use challenges in the city, including the homeless and housing affordability crisis, as well as city planning, infrastructure, transportation, open-space and historic districts.

In his tenure at Gensler’s Los Angeles office, Borko grew the firm’s Planning and Urban Design, Entertainment, and Mixed Use practices and had been principal-in-charge on numerous international and Los Angeles projects.

In addition to being a Sustaining Member of ULI’s Entertainment Development Council and member of the USC Price School Planning Program Advisory Board, Borko is: Associate Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA); Member, American Planning Association (APA); Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); Member, International Association of Amusement Parks (IAAPA); Dean’s Council, University of Oregon College of Design; Board Member, Los Angeles Downtown Breakfast Club; Member, Southern California Development Forum; and Member, Central City Association.

John Keisler

City of Long Beach Economic Development Director

City of Long Beach Economic Development Director John Keisler creates economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs in one of the nation’s largest, most diverse, and most active urban cities. His work with the city, holding various positions since 2005, has made it easier for businesses to start and grow in Long Beach.

Mayor Robert Garcia, Ed.

Mayor of Long Beach

Dr. Robert Garcia is an educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. He was re-elected to a second term by almost 80% of the vote in 2018.

Mayor Garcia immigrated to the United States at age 5 and was raised in Southern California. The Mayor, a college and university educator, holds an M.A. from the University of Southern California and an Ed.D. in Higher Education from Cal State Long Beach, where he also earned his B.A. in Communication.

Mayor Garcia is focused on making the City of Long Beach a leader in education, economic development, and climate protection. As Mayor, he has championed progressive education policy, launched an aggressive climate plan, supported workers by increasing the minimum wage and fought to expand and protect rights for women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.

He has proposed and passed ten ballot initiatives since 2014. They include measures to support safety and infrastructure, a cannabis tax, and reforms to strengthen the city auditor, set term limits, and create ethics and redistricting commissions. His signature initiative, Measure A, has launched the largest infrastructure repair program in a generation.

Mayor Garcia served as a Board Member on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) representing much of South East Los Angeles County.

He is married to Matthew Mendez Garcia, a professor of political science at California State University, Long Beach.

Rex Richardson

Vice Mayor of Long Beach

Vice Mayor Rex Richardson represents the Ninth District in North Long Beach and is the Immediate Past President of the Southern California Association of Governments and a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board of Directors.

Councilmember Suzie Price

A champion for the Third District, Councilmember

A champion for the Third District, Councilmember Suzie Price played a key role in helping facilitate the development of 2nd & PCH. She is the Vice Chair of the Long Beach Budget Oversight Committee and a member of the Tidelands and Harbor Committee. Additionally, she has been a prosecutor for more than 20 years and is currently a Deputy District Attorney.

Seiji Steimetz, Ph.D.

Cal State University, Long Beach Professor & Associate Director of the Office of Economic Research

Robert Kleinhenz, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Professor of Economics and the Associate Director of the Office of Economic Research at Cal State Long Beach. He is also the Founder of the firm Kleinhenz Economics. Dr. Kleinhenz brings over 30 years of experience to his public speaking, economic studies, and policy analysis. A leading voice on the economy at the national, state, and local level, he is a frequent contributor to the media, appearing on CNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, several television and radio outlets, and in numerous publications in California and across the US.

Dr. Kleinhenz previously served as Executive Director of Research with Beacon Economics, Chief Economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and Deputy Chief Economist with the California Association of Realtors. Over the course of his career, he has held academic positions at Cal State Fullerton, USC, and UC Riverside.

Kleinhenz holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Seiji Steimetz, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Economics and Director of the Office of Economics Research, Cal State Long Beach

Seiji Steimetz is Professor and Chair of Economics at the California State University, Long Beach and Director of the University’s Office of Economic Research. Dr. Steimetz’s research specialties include transportation, urban, and environmental economics, with emphases in applied econometrics and methodology. Among his scholarly achievements, including publications in leading economics and interdisciplinary journals, and as a member of the Maritime Economics and Logistics editorial board, he is especially proud of his role in developing the annual Long Beach Latino Economic Report and the Accelerate Long Beach quarterly economic forum. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Steimetz was educated by the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Irvine.


Item No.

01. Welcome

World-class real estate developers are taking bets on Long Beach, and those bets keep paying off as other in-the-know investors take note and put their money on Long Beach’s future.

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02. Who’s Shaping Long Beach’s Skyline

Corporate headquarters, big businesses and major developments attract more of the same, creating a real estate ecosystem that fuels itself and capitalizes on Long Beach being a unique investment opportunity on an urban waterfront. Recently completed projects, as well as an influx of corporate headquarters, are attracting exciting startups, allowing existing businesses to expand, and putting Long Beach on the map for more future development from big investors. We take a look at the visionary developers who took a big bet on Long Beach — and have seen it pay off.

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03. Regional Economic Picture: Robert Kleinhenz, Ph.D.

Cal State University, Long Beach economist Robert Kleinhenz will share valuable insight on the economic recovery in Long Beach and on the national level.

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04. Breaking Ground: What’s on the Horizon for Long Beach

Long Beach’s landscape is rapidly changing. There are more developments breaking ground now than we’ve seen in decades, and those developments are translating to more jobs and a higher quality of life for residents who are shaping the future of Long Beach.

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05. Local Economic Picture: Seiji Steimetz, Ph.D.

Chair of the Cal State University, Long Beach Department of Economics, Seiji Steimetz, will discuss Long Beach’s economic picture, including employment data and how the real estate sector is creating new jobs and opportunities locally.

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06. Business-Friendly Initiatives: John Keisler

Long Beach leaders understand that local government can pave the way or block the road for new development. Because of that, Long Beach strives to be business friendly, and it has been recognized for its efforts to capitalize on attracting investors to this dynamic city.

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07. Live Q&A with Dr. Kleinhenz and Dr. Steimetz

Our expert economists answer your questions about Long Beach’s economic picture, and the real estate and development industy. Hosted by Long Beach Business Journal editor Hayley Munguia.

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08. Rountable discussion: The Long Beach real estate boom

With Real Estate booming across Southern California, why is Long Beach attracting so much investment all over the city? What is compelling about this city and what do developers see in their crystal ball that give them confidence to make major, long term investments here? With special guests Marty Borko, Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles and Alan Pullman, AIA, Senior Principal and Founder of Studio One Eleven.

Accelerate Long Beach

2021 Long Beach Economic Partnership Quarterly Forum
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