California’s Inland Empire Pushes Back on Booming Warehouse Construction
California’s Inland Empire is one of the fastest growing parts of the U.S., attracting millions of people and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity every year. While the Inland Empire is also home to many of the nation’s food supply factories like the massive Coachella Valley Ranch Market, there is growing concern over the effects of the growing supply of warehouse and distribution companies on the region.
In 2017, the Inland Empire was the fastest growing metro area in the U.S., with a population of about 2.6 million people. It has more people than all the regions in Hawaii, Alaska, and Hawaii and twice as many as Greater Los Angeles. According to the U.S. Census, the Inland Empire boasts the seventh-highest median yearly household income for an urban area in the nation, around $63,600, an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent. In the same timeframe, the economy added 13,570 jobs each month in the Inland Empire. The Inland Empire also has a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) larger than all but three of the nation’s other 100-plus major cities.
With such a dynamic economy, there’s been a lot of construction activity going into these companies in the past few years. Companies are moving into the Inland Empire in record numbers to take advantage of the booming real estate market and to serve the demand for more warehouse space, distribution centers, fulfillment centers, and distribution networks. As a result, there are more companies in the area than ever before, which is both good for workers and bad for surrounding communities who want to be able to maintain their quality of life.
The construction boom in the Inland Empire doesn’t only include large and small warehouse and distribution companies like the one that recently opened a $100 million distribution hub in Ontario, California. There are many smaller warehouse and distribution companies competing for workers with these larger industrial giants.
For example, in 2017, Amazon moved its headquarters to a new campus just outside the city of Seattle. The company now employs more than 50,000 workers, and has now grown to be worth $230 billion, more than three times its original valuation.
What’s behind the construction