Once known for its sprawling expanse of dairy farms, the Inland Empire (IE) is now better known for being the “big-box” capital of the United States. With more deals over 300,000 square feet than any other major market in the U.S., the massive demand for warehouse space in the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties has brought asking rents to all-time highs and vacancies to historic lows.
Why is it the hottest industrial market in the U.S.? Location, location, location. The IE’s proximity to the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles, two of the largest seaports in the Western Hemisphere, makes it ideal for e-commerce distribution. Retail giant Amazon.com is by far the largest occupier in the Inland Empire with 7,345,656 square feet of warehouse space at its nine locations in San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, Redlands, Rialto, Riverside, and Eastvale. Other notable tenants in the IE who occupy from three to five million square feet of warehouse space include Home Depot, Wal-Mart, NFI, and Ross Dress For Less.
Not only is the IE the hotspot for e-commerce facilities, it is also leading the Southern California region in job growth, having added over 44,000 jobs in the last year with 6,400 of them being related to transportation and warehouses.
With e-commerce being the most important driver of demand for this market, the Inland Empire will continue to see more warehouses under construction, lower vacancy, and higher asking rents.