COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

 

By any measure, commercial real estate is thriving.

When you consider all the factors converging in Riverside County’s East Valley, it’s easy to see why the commercial real estate market is the premier growth corridor. Reviewing the economic forecasts and market reports, one thing is clear: for the foreseeable future, the region is an economic leader. From land for sale and lease to industrial properties, shopping centers and other retail space, office space, multifamily projects and investment properties, growth is brisk.

The East Valley is a commercial real estate oasis.

Whether you’re an emerging business, a major regional or national developer or an established investor, the availability of land and facilities in a cost-effective inland Southern California location cannot be overemphasized. Without schedule-impacting commutes or the high cost of doing business in urban and coastal cities, the East Valley delivers groundbreaking opportunities.

The region’s relevant factors impacting economic development are also potent drivers for real estate. A substantial availability of land for expansion, whether to buy, lease or develop, combines with a business-welcoming, pro-growth sentiment to create favorable market conditions. Augment that with programs that help companies select sites, a growing workforce, year-round sunshine, a beautiful setting, booming agricultural and renewable energy industries, among others, and genuinely affordable housing. Enhanced by increasing infrastructure, these factors define a county that proactively promotes vacant land and commercial space for business development (see rivcoprospector.com).

Population, housing, music festivals: economic expansion.

Further, affordable housing includes entry level homes for first time buyers and plentiful multifamily rental options to meet the accelerating demand. The East Valley’s population, increasing at nearly twice the national rate, is seven percent rather than four percent. Growth is especially high in Indio, heightened by young families relocating to the area who are at the peak of their consumption cycle.

Among the economic engines is the international reach of the area’s music festivals including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (“Coachella”) and Stagecoach. Results include expanding tourism, demand for short-term rentals, and the high-end festival-driven “party house concept.” Over time, visitors return and fall in love with the quality of life; they become residents, enter the workforce, and contribute to the region’s overall success.

 The growth of experiential and destination retailing.

The retail market continues to flourish in the East Valley. The EVC’s network of public and private entities helps companies with relocation, retention and expansion. Working through members and partners, the EVC connects site selectors, real estate pros, developers, owners, investors and decision-makers to facilitate expansion. Strategic partners help identify opportunities, provide analytics and insights, explain zoning and preferences, and fast track projects that meet county requirements.

From destination shopping centers and traffic-drawing mixed-use properties to character-rich local neighborhood centers, the right location and tenant profile await. If your business is retail-centric — including innovative foodservice options to meet growing demand — experiential and destination opportunities abound. Offering the right mix that amplifies traffic, extends shoppers’ dwell times and increases spending.

Where industrial properties offer sizable options.

In addition, you’ll find an abundance of land and industrial properties including large manufacturing and distribution buildings not often available in crowded metropolitan areas. The East Valley market has continued to show strong activity and gross absorption of space, surpassing 19 million square feet in 2016. That followed robust years of more than 15 million square feet in 2015 and more than 11 million square feet in 2014. Similarly, 2018 is promising moderate and stable growth. As relatively strong demand continues and new supply increases, a stable vacancy rate prevails. Remarkably, 17 new buildings were slated for completion in early 2017 with development of industrial parks that included structures in excess of 200,000 square feet.

Bulk distribution space is in high demand, with low vacancy rates. Space offering 50,000 to 100,000 square feet will continue on the leasing side as newer developments offer more options. That translates to more competitive opportunities. There are nearly 12 million square feet under construction with more than 81 percent in the 200,000 square foot range, a 62 percent increase over previous years. Total manufacturing and distribution buildings have nearly 200 million square feet available in 2017 and going forward.

More inventory helps keep costs in check for businesses yet offers tremendous investment opportunities for owners and landlords. If your business has space requirements for facilities of this size, expect more viable options to come on the market.

The time is ripe for agricultural and agribusiness opportunities.

There can be no doubt: land in the East Valley and beyond is a highly desirable asset. From renewable energy and solar farms to horse ranches and farms, it’s all here. Agriculture is a pivotal component of the area’s history, culture and economy. Agricultural production generates $1 billion annually in the Coachella Valley’s eastern region. The area supplies 50 percent of the entire nation’s fruits and vegetables and exports to some 67 countries.

When you consider the availability of land, temperate to hot climate, virtually year-round sun and available water — combined with advanced conservation and farming techniques — the area is rich with natural advantages. Further, agricultural tourism increasingly supports farming businesses, of great interest to locals and tourists alike. To that end, the Riverside County Agricultural Trade Summit and the AgTrail (agtrail.rivcoca.org) were created in 2013. Farm stands, farming operations and festivals like the Riverside County Date Festival in Indio promote agriculture, job opportunities, tourism and business.

Give me land, lots of land. Dont fence me in.

Amid the offerings on vacant land for purchase or lease, in addition to agricultural areas, you’ll find considerable parcels poised for development; these include potential multifamily, hotel and low density residential sites. Properties such as one offering more than 600 acres, with a specific plan, water and sewer, are in the path of growth. Located near amenities such as the Thermal Club motorsports facility or established properties such as Fantasy Springs, these ideally located properties offer great development opportunities.

The region also offers unprecedented parcels such as unincorporated land east of La Quinta including 11,000 acres with an equestrian sensibility, dedicated to low density use (two to five acre average minimum lot size). There are many others. Combined with industrial, office and retail properties, with numerous possibilities for developers and investors, these opportunities affirm the East Valley’s future. Where continued momentum promises a bounty of land and a superb commercial real estate market.

To learn more or have a conversation, get in touch with Bob Wright at bobwright@rivco.org. We are excited to help you realize your vision.