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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 120817A
Council Approves Development of New Downtown Innovation Center
Partnership with City, LBCC and BlankSpaces to be launched at 309 Pine Ave
John Keisler
Economic Development

A partnership agreement approved by the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, will create a new downtown learning and working center for business owners and entrepreneurs. The lease agreement formalizes a partnership between the City, Long Beach City College (LBCC) and BlankSpaces to revitalize 309 Pine Ave. into a shared working environment and entrepreneurial innovation center.

“This is the most recent example of how we are building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the City of Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Our goal is to leverage City assets in new and innovative ways to create economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.”

Under the agreement, the City will invest $250,000 in improvements to the property. LBCC will provide educational resources such as business advising, international accelerator programs, workshops, and access to capital to support Long Beach’s existing and emerging entrepreneurs, and other innovative programs to grow the LB entrepreneurial ecosystem. BlankSpaces, a private company that creates shared working environments in the greater Los Angeles area, will design and develop the property as a shared working space, manage day-to-day operations, and rent working spaces to local entrepreneurs. A portion of the proceeds generated from activities in the innovation center will be used to reimburse the City for its initial investment.

“This partnership will serve as a lightning rod for small business development and entrepreneurship in Long Beach,” said First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. “And, we will dedicate this facility to Shaun E. Lumachi, who was dedicated to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and building unique partnerships, like this one, to drive economic growth.”

The City-owned 309 Pine Ave. is currently occupied by LBCC’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). In July 2016, the City called for proposals to leverage public-private partnerships and maximize City-owned assets to increase the number of businesses in Long Beach. LBCC submitted the winning proposal that included a new partnership with BlankSpaces to develop a shared working space at the 309 Pine Ave. building.

“This new partnership fits perfectly with LBCC’s longtime mission of boosting the regional economy by helping businesses grow and create jobs,” said Dr. Reagan F. Romali, LBCC Superintendent-President. “This re-imagined space is taking our support for entrepreneurs in a new and exciting direction, allowing them to work, collaborate and learn in the same place.”

Long Beach City College is the host of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, which provides a range of one-on-one technical advising to small businesses, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and a number of Workforce Development training programs serving Southern California. All of these programs are administered by LBCC’s College Advancement & Economic Development division, which focuses on small business development, entrepreneurship and job training to support job growth and the regional economy.

Brought forth by Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, City Council voted on November 14, 2017 to request that the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee consider renaming the SBDC located at 309 Pine Ave., the Shaun E. Lumachi Innovation Center, after Shaun E. Lumachi. His legacy will help others achieve their innovative goals to make their businesses and the City of Long Beach a better place to live work and play.

The innovation center groundbreaking is set for January 2018, and the goal is for the hub to be fully operational by spring 2018.

About Economic Development

The mission of the City’s Economic Development Department is to create economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs. This includes making it easier to start and grow a business, streamline the process for property development, and provide businesses with a skilled workforce. The Department includes Property Development, Business Development, and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network. For more information on the Economic & Property Development Department, please visit or follow us on Twitter @LBEconDev and Facebook.

About Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College is one of the largest single college districts in the California Community College system. LBCC is a comprehensive college which provides quality educational programs and related students services to more than 25,000 students pursuing a wide range of degrees, certificates, transfer and other courses of study. LBCCD is a driving force in the local economy. Annually, LBCC assists more than 12,400 people with business services and job training, helps clients launch 333 new businesses and increase sales, and creates more than 2,000 local jobs as a result of business growth. Visit for more information on Long Beach City College.