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Ford to open EV development center in Douglas Park

The 250,000-square-foot facility will include office, labs and a design studio for up to 450 workers.

Ford to open EV development center in Douglas Park
Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, left, speaks with Ford Motor Company executives Doug Field, center, and Alan Clarke during the second-annual Grow Long Beach presentation at the Aquarium of the Pacific Wednesday, June 26, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Ford Motor Company is returning to Long Beach after 65 years to open its Advanced Electric Vehicle Development Center in Douglas Park, Mayor Rex Richardson announced Wednesday during his second annual Grow Long Beach event.

The 250,000-square-foot facility will be located at 3555 E. Conant St. on the northside of Long Beach Airport. According to company spokesperson Emma Bergg, the building is slated to open early next year and will include office, lab and design studio space for up to 450 employees.

“Customers are telling us that electric vehicles are what they want, they just want them to be more affordable,” Alan Clarke, executive director of Advanced Electric Vehicle Development, said during the event.

Brandon Richardson was laid off by the Long Beach Post on March 22. Thank him for continuing to cover Long Beach without pay.

Long Beach was selected for a number of reasons, Clarke explained, not least of which is the talent pool coming out of Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College and other area schools. 

“And we want to have a great connection to the communities that we live in, with proximity to restaurants and grocery stores and workout facilities and facilities that are a draw for people to come into the office,” Clarke said.

Ford first opened operations in Long Beach in 1936, with a 40-acre facility near Terminal Island that pumped out 400 cars per day, Clarke added.

Richardson announced several other companies relocating to or expanding in Long Beach out of the aerospace sector, including electric aircraft developer Ampaire, satellite design and manufacturing company NovaWurks from Orange County and autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) company Mayman Aerospace from Ventura County.

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson gives his second annual Grow Long Beach address Wednesday, June 26, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Space station developer Vast Space, meanwhile, which came to Long Beach at the beginning of last year, is growing its workforce faster than expected, Richardson boasted. The company said it would create 700 jobs in five years and has already surpassed 450 workers, he said.

SpaceX, which has anchored its recovery operations at the Port of Long Beach since 2021, has renewed its lease as well as more than doubled the size of its facility from six to 15 acres, Richardson said.

Wednesday’s presentation also included sections on housing production and tourism, which are major focuses of Richardson’s administration.

On the housing front, Richardson said the city permitted more than 3,000 units last year, including 671 affordable units and 673 accessory dwelling units. He also noted the city’s 2.1% decrease in its unhoused population, which was announced last month.

In the tourism sector, Richardson said the city is gearing up to begin its search for an organization to manage and book the Long Beach Bowl, a temporary outdoor waterfront amphitheater slated to open near the Queen Mary next summer. The popular Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach also is celebrating its 50th anniversary, which will bring hundreds of thousands of people to the city, he said.

In addition to growth in tourism thanks to music festivals, which brought 725,000 people to the city last year, the Queen Mary and Carnival Cruise Line, Richardson bragged about the city’s convention and meeting business, noting that more than 5.2 million people attended more than 290 events last year.

“Let’s continue working together to make a difference and grow our city,” Richardson said. “Here in Long Beach, we have an exciting future ahead of us.”


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