Ensemble’s Future in Downtown Long Beach
Article Original Posted by Long Beach Business Journal
Headquartered in Downtown Long Beach since 1996, real estate investment and development firm Ensemble Investments continues to expand both in geographical reach and focus. Now with investments and projects in eight states, as well as a new focus on multi-family development, the firm continues to look to Downtown Long Beach not just as its home, but also as an ongoing investment opportunity.
“We like Downtown Long Beach. We feel at home,” Babaoff said in an interview at his office in the California Bank & Trust building at 444 W. Ocean Blvd, which Ensemble owns. Babaoff is a managing director of the company.
Ensemble’s hospitality division designed, and owns and operates the Hotel Maya, a Doubletree by Hilton resort hotel located on the Queensway Bay near the Queen Mary. The company recently finished remodeling all of the Maya’s guest rooms, in addition to revamping its event spaces. Additionally, Ensemble owns and operates the Residence Inn Long Beach Downtown, also on the Queensway Bay, and has plans to remodel it, Babaoff said. The company was originally founded as a hotel investment business, he noted.
“Downtown L.A. is on fire now with all kinds of residential and commercial development and hotels. And I think it’s time for Downtown Long Beach to be on fire also,” Babaoff said. Recently, Ensemble Investments added a division focused on multi-family developments, which is already set to make its mark on Downtown Long Beach.
The firm has two projects planned south of Ocean Boulevard – a 113-unit apartment building at 207 Seaside Way, and a 95-unit apartment complex behind the California Bank & Trust building. According to Babaoff, the latter’s lobby will be at the same level of the California Bank & Trust building, where a second location for Belmont Shore’s cafe Aroma Di Roma is currently under construction.
“We’re very bullish on the multi-family residential [market] in Downtown Long Beach, and we intend to do more,” Babaoff said. When asked about potentially investing in properties formerly owned by the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, many of which are now for sale, Babaoff pointed out that his company used to own one of the most coveted of these properties at the southeast corner of Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue.