The vacancy rate stands at 2.1% while the availability rate is 5.4%. Both of these figures are slightly higher than a year ago. Los Angeles County is the largest industrial market in the nation, with over 1 billion square feet of industrial land, and the Central Los Angeles submarket maintains the lowest vacancy rate in the nation due to constant user demand for industrial warehousing space. Chicago #2, Dallas/Fort Worth #3, Philadelphia #4, Detroit #5. The five county area of Southern California maintained a three percent vacancy rate.
Investors and users have begun to exhibit cautionary behavior and thus the number of transactions have decreased.
Introduction California is the top agricultural state in the nation, a position it has held for 50 years. As a natural result, California is also the largest food processing employer in the United States. With an enormous variety of crops, great growing conditions and increasing demand for prepared food products, California is the center for food processing, shipping $50 billion worth of food products.
Definition Food processing is an umbrella term used to describe all the activities of manufacturing food and beverages for human consumption, as well as prepared feeds for animals. California processing includes fruits and vegetables, baked goods, meats, dairy products, sugar and confections, beverages, and fats and oils. The industry is defined as food and kindred products by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 20.
Size and Location Food processing firms in California are as widely spread across the state as the farmlands that supply them. Food manufacturers purchase most of their perishable raw materials from area growers, ensuring the ultimate in freshness. California is the top producing state for many fruit and vegetable crops, providing the basis for myriad fresh, canned and frozen products. Correspondingly, preserved fruits and vegetables is the largest industry group in California food processing, providing a quarter of the state’s food processing jobs. Beverage manufacturing provides 19 percent of the food processing employment in California, led by the high value-added wine production. Bakery products in California provide 13 percent of the state’s employment in the manufacture of those products. California also has above-average representation in canned and cured seafood processing located in the coastal counties, and pasta production in Los Angeles, Orange and Alameda counties.
Economic Importance California produces a wide variety of food products and is the leading state in many food categories. California surpasses Wisconsin in milk production. California is the only producing state of such specialty foods as almonds, artichokes, raisins, prunes, olives, dates, figs and pistachios. California food processing employed 183,300 people in 1999, composing 11 percent of the nation’s total.
The following Southern California companies made the Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine list of 150 top food processors: Overhill Farms, Inc.; Golden State Foods, Meat Products Group; Ready Pac Produce Inc.; SunOpta Fruit Group; and Frozsun Foods Inc.
The Central Los Angeles industrial real estate market encompasses approximately 300 million square feet of building area. This market includes the well-known submarkets: City of Vernon, City of Commerce, and Downtown Los Angeles. It should be noted that the following areas on the periphery to Downtown are also included in the Central LA market: Lincoln Heights, Glassell Park, City Terrace, East L.A., Boyle Heights, South Industrial, and the Goodyear Tract. In the Central LA submarket buyer and tenant demand remains strong compared to outlying markets. In fact, the Central submarket remains the tightest metropolitan industrial market in the nation. This submarket is an infill market and very little new construction occurs on empty industrial land (with almost no construction on other types of commercial real estate such as retail and office). The Central LA market is also the largest industrial real estate submarket in Los Angeles County.
There is an unrelenting desire by warehouse users to occupy properties within close proximity to Los Angeles’ ports – where 40 percent of all containerized cargo enters the United States. Vacancy rates remain historically low in the Southern California Industrial Real Estate market, however, a flattening of cargo activity at the local Los Angeles and Long Beach ports may spell a warning for the area’s outlook in 2008. The fact remains, though, that the two ports ranked first in the nation for container activity in 2006, placing 5th in the world. In the above aerial photo, industrial parcels are outlined in green.