Newly Created Position Will Enhance City’s Focus on Economic Development
2013-02-22 · By Editor
The City of Long Beach announced Thursday the creation of a new position dedicated to business enhancement and property development. The position will enhance and strengthen the City’s focus on facilitating business in Long Beach, and to develop publicly owned parcels into quality developments.
“Over the past several years, we have made concerted efforts to develop our economy and create a more welcoming environment for business,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “From streamlining our inspection process to making Business Licensing more customer service oriented, Long Beach has come a long way in crafting a business-friendly environment. This position is one more step that we can be proud of.”
In October 2012, the City Council approved an agenda item sponsored by Vice Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilmembers Gary DeLong, Patrick O’Donnell and James Johnson to explore the creation of this position at no additional cost to the General Fund.
The City Manager has selected Mike Conway to serve as the Business and Property Development Director to ensure that new and existing businesses have a central point of contact who can help them access City services, as well as guide businesses through the planning and permitting process. This position will reside in the City Manager’s Office and will build on the progress made through the consolidation of the City’s inspection functions and improved outreach practices in Business Licensing to further enhance the Ombudsman concept. Additionally, this position will help develop and market publicly held properties in Long Beach. With the dissolution of Redevelopment, the City is expected to gain access to over 225 parcels representing over 80 assembled sites that will need to be developed over the next several years.
“Mike Conway has been involved with every major development deal in Long Beach over the past ten years and has an intimate knowledge of business, real estate and the City’s departments and services,” said City Manager Pat West. “He is an incredibly creative real estate and business professional who will serve the City well as the Business and Property Development Director.”
Mike Conway currently serves as the Public Works Director, overseeing a $180 million operation with 580 staff and a capital improvement budget of $46 million. Prior to becoming Public Works Director, Mr. Conway served as the Interim Director of Community Development, Property Services Bureau Manager, and Real Estate Officer in the former Community Development Department. He has had extensive experience managing the City’s real estate activities including acquisition, remediation, lease negotiations, environmental clearance, entitlements, and land re-use and redevelopment. Prior to his service with the City in 2001, Mr. Conway worked for Legacy Partners Commercial, Inc., guiding developments up to 4 million square feet through the entitlement and development processes. Mr. Conway also served as a property development project manager for Union Pacific Railroad for 10 years prior to his time at Legacy Partners.
With Mr. Conway assuming this new role, the City Engineer, Ara Maloyan, will assume an interim role as the Public Works Director/City Engineer. Combining the roles of Public Works Director and City Engineer, which is common in cities throughout California, allows for the opportunity to create the Business and Property Development Director at no net cost to the City’s General Fund. The transition for Mr. Conway and Mr. Maloyan will be effective March 1.