The metropolitan area of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario is commonly known as the Inland Empire. Vast areas of affordable land and a sophisticated infrastructure of roadways and railways make Inland Empire a desirable home for southern California residents and businesses. A pillar of industry and agriculture, the Inland Empire remains the fastest growing region in California with over three quarters of California’s imported cargo coming through the LA/Inland Empire corridor. Home to many manufacturing and distribution companies, the Inland Empire offers a healthy mix of industrial/warehouse, office, and retail space to support the ever growing population.
Vast – The Inland Empire is made up of over 27,000 square miles of land. Considered more affordable than the LA area, commercial rents can vary drastically by location with the region.
Growth – Manufacturing, Distribution, and Construction have long dominated the job growth in the area and continue to boost employment and opportunity in the area.
Plentiful Options – Unlike many areas of the country that experience year over year growth, supply has kept up with demand leaving options for tenants searching for space.
Popular Properties in the Inland Empire Market
S Riverside Ave
The Palms on University
1,436 – 1,500 SF
$2,700 – $3,600 /mo
954 – 1,987 SF
$2,700 – $5,600 /mo
Retail Spaces Available in The Habit Burger Anchored Center
White Oak Ave
83 – 121 SF
$600 – $800 /mo
Foothill Medical Plaza
Corona Hills Plaza
1,400 – 10,660 SF
South E Street
Norco Freeway Retail Center
Village Grove Plaza
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The Inland Empire area has been a steady draw for businesses in need of Southern California industrial space, since, in comparison to Orange County, there are far more options and lower prices. Corona, about 45 miles from Los Angeles, is a key representation, with more than 34 million square feet of industrial space inside the city limits (more than 10 times its inventory of office space).
That comparative savings and availability may not last — the Inland Empire is growing fast, with the major appetite for that space spurring an annual growth rate of more than 10 percent leading into 2017. Beyond industrial square footage, there’s a lot for local businesses to like in Corona. For one, city government is encouraging growth with efforts like the Export Trade Assistance Partnership, a free training series co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, designed to help growing local businesses to expand globally.
Ontario’s agricultural roots are still prevalent in the city, from its healthy share of farmland to the Historic Sunkist District around the former Sunkist Fruit Packing Distribution Center and famed, historic Graber Olive House. But like the rest of the Inland Empire, it’s growing and broadening at a rapid pace, in no small part due to its convenient location, 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles and with easy access to three interstates, two railroads and the country’s 15th busiest cargo airport, Ontario International Airport.
The service industry is a major part of Ontario’s economy, but warehousing and distribution have been big drivers too (Sam’s Club, Target and AutoZone centers are among the city’s major employers). Organizations hunting for the expanse of industrial space that can accommodate those businesses find far better luck in Ontario/the Inland area than in Orange County. City leaders are expecting the city on the whole to follow that lead, doubling its population in the next two decades to more than 300,000 residents.
The Inland Empire broadly and Rancho Cucamonga specifically have been in steady industrial-expansion mode, with tens of millions of square feet of warehouse and logistics space coming online over the past few years. And there’s no indication of a slowdown. In early 2017, the area led the nation in under-construction industrial space , with millions of square feet in the works in Rancho Cucamonga alone. The recent inventory growth has helped draw in high-profile additions like Georgia-Pacific Corporation, who locked down well over a million square feet in Rancho Cucamonga in the past few years.
Rancho Cucamonga isn’t all business, though, and that’s long been true. Its location at the base of the San Gabriel mountains adds scenic charm, and set the stage for the revered Cucamonga Valley winemaking region (while its heyday has passed, wine tasting remains a local attraction). The 147-acre Victoria Gardens town center has become a regionally beloved destination for shopping, eating and socializing, too.
The Riverside County seat and namesake, Riverside styles itself as the “City of Arts and Innovation,” and delivers on both. Residents interested in the former have a grab-bag of options, including the Riverside County Philharmonic and Riverside Art Museum. The city’s work toward the latter was recognized in Governing magazine, as one of the nation’s top five “Equipt to Innovate” cities in 2017, for excelling at strategic planning, including sustainability and business partnership initiatives.
Another Riverside benefit to businesses in need of a skilled workforce: The city recently ranked among the top U.S. cities for retaining university/four-year college graduates, with about 70 percent of the area’s students staying in Riverside, diploma in hand. Unsurprisingly, that’s all fueling significant business-sector growth — although in the county since 2010, rents have risen about 50 percent.