City Breaks Ground on the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center • Long Beach Post

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From left: Deziré Lumachi, wife of the late Shaun Lumachi; Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia; Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez and BLANKSPACES founder Jerome Chang break ground on the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center. Photo by Asia Morris. Renderings courtesy of the City of Long Beach.


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On Monday morning, 309 Pine Avenue opened its doors to an excited crowd in celebration of what promises to be a fresh start for fostering the dreams and doings of local entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The City of Long Beach, Long Beach City College (LBCC) and BLANKSPACES, a brand of coworking offices in the Los Angeles area, are partnering to transform 309 Pine Avenue into the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center. When finished, the redesigned building will offer co-working space, small business consulting services and an international business accelerator pilot program, according to the city.


 

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Robert Garcia, First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, President of LBCC Dr. Reagan Romali, Director of Economic and Property Development John Keisler and BLANKSPACES founder Jerome Chang spoke to an audience of key players in realizing this opportunity to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in Long Beach.

Garcia took the podium to announce that the space would officially be named after “a true innovator” as the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center. Lumachi, who died in a car crash in 2011, became the vice president of Government Affairs for the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in 2002, started Chamber Advocacy, a public policy consulting business, served as the chair of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisory Board at the time of his death and co-founded the Long Beach Post in 2007, among many other accomplishments.

A Entrance View

“Shaun did so many things that brought what’s going to happen here together[…],” Garcia said. He really captured the Long Beach spirit of the future, so I’m really glad that this space will continue to produce and support the next Shaun Lumachi, support the next Shaun in their journey, so I’m really proud of that.”

Garcia’s one request was to have Shaun’s favorite saying, “What’s Next?” incorporated into the space, which was a part of the original proposal in November to name the center after the late local innovator.

B Back Stairs

The recommendation to the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee, sponsored by Gonzalez in November stated, “[…]Shaun embodies that phrase and 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.”

“Even in the age of technology and the internet and all the things that we see going virtual, one of the things that is very, very definite—and we see it in a lot of research—is that opportunity clusters and that people cluster, and that’s why cities are becoming more relevant than ever for economic development in the world,” said Keisler.

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The recommendation for the name of the co-working space is the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center, which still has to go through an approval process to be official, according to City of Long Beach spokesperson Kevin Lee. 

Chang, who is also a practicing architect, will design the two-story space, which is slated to open this spring, although no exact date was announced. The building is a Successor Agency property purchased by the city to support the revitalization of commercial sites in the downtown area.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 10:15AM on 1/23/18 with the clarification that 309 Pine Avenue will be renamed the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center. The Los Angeles Regional SBDC, which is headquartered at LBCC, will still be involved at the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center by providing resources including business advising, workshops and more.

The Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center will be located at 309 Pine Avenue.

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Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her on Twitter and Instagram @theasiamorris and via email at [email protected]

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