Photo from the DLBA 2016 Economic Profile.
The downtown population has grown 17 percent in the last six years—the largest downtown population on record, according to the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ (DLBA) 2016 economic profile.
While reports in the past have noted the trending influx of young, educated people in Long Beach of late, the three percent population growth over the last year, coupled with the 17 percent increase in medium income (to $57k annually), indicates the growth is likely not stopping any time soon.
”What DTLB is experiencing is a vast growth in both its population and lease signings,” DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian said in a statement. “With that, it becomes essential to understand how the population is changing and what types of businesses are investing and how the two work hand-in-hand: knowing the dynamics of the population in order to better understand business development, while identifying trends that will help businesses grow and succeed.”
Beyond the normal annual profile, this year’s release also served as an announcement for the DLBA, for their new quarterly report called DTLB Snapshot. The quarterly report will center on specific topics regarding downtown Long Beach such as office, retail and residential development. The first report will be released July 15 and focus on the downtown Long Beach office market.
"We’re both proud and honored to step into the position of leading data collection for the Downtown, offering investors and stakeholders a snapshot of DTLB through the release of the 2016 Downtown Economic Profile,” said Kojian in a statement. “I trust you will find this publication to be a helpful resource for understanding DTLB’s economic landscape and how a potential business or development could fit into our existing and expanding community. Read it, share it, use it—and continue to help make DTLB a better place than it already is.”
According to the report, the city also experienced five percent growth in residents with at least a college degree, bringing the total percentage of residents with such a degree to 32 percent.
Rental rates are up, too: according to the study, rates have jumped 26 percent since 2010, and with occupancy rates hovering at 96 percent, it doesn’t seem to be acting as a deterrent to prospective residents.
The study touted increased walkability and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists, showing that individuals strolling the downtown are 14 percent more likely to commute by foot and public transit than the rest of the city, and 14 percent less likely than the rest of the city to use a car.
In terms of tourism, Long Beach is appears to be growing as well: the advent of Beach Streets downtown brought in 50,000 visitors last year, and is expected to do the same this year. Hotel occupancy has risen 14 percent since 2010, to a 75 percent occupancy rate. And new developments downtown, including the Pike Outlets, look to attract more out-of-towners to the city.
One of the rare decreases for downtown included a number of residents aged 65 or older decreasing by 1.5 percent, as well as residents under 18 decreasing by 3.4 percent.