Riverside, CA – May 4, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — At a time when businesses are seeking a location with a competitive advantage, a number of companies have found the best choice is Riverside, California. The activity has created a dramatic turnaround in the City’s industrial market. Businesses have discovered that the cost savings realized through the City’s municipally-owned utility, a highly-skilled local labor force, and pro-business attitude can make a real difference in their bottom line. Newdevelopment and expansion activity driven by high-tech plastics recycling, food manufacturing, and plastic injection molding, among others has taken down close to 1 million square feet of space in the City and created more than 800 new jobs for the region.
“As we continue to compete against other states to keep and attract businesses, it’s no minor feat that Riverside has landed several of the region’s most significant projects,” said Ron Loveridge, Mayor of Riverside. “Careful long-term planning, innovative initiatives, and substantial infrastructure investments have prepared Riverside well for business growth. As the economy improves and companies start to add staff and reinvest in their business, Riverside will shine as a smart choice for expansion and relocation.”
Unique to Riverside and a major benefit for Southern California-based manufacturers is Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) Economic Development Electric Rate. The rate creates a competitive environment for heavy power users, as evidenced by the City’s recent economic development successes. RPU offers commercial customers who are expanding or relocating to Riverside a 40 percent discount per month on year one of electric services and a 20 percent discount per month for year two services (under a 4-year contract).
Paul Earnhart, principal, senior vice president with Lee & Associates confirmed the advantage for California-based manufacturers. “Riverside is a stand out when you’re a large manufacturer in California. They have the ability to be cost effective because of a locally based utility. This gives the user an opportunity to look at ways to control costs. Plus the City is really pro-business. It makes a difference to a company looking to expand or relocate when they know the City is willing to work with them to make it happen,” Earnhart said.
The following is a summary of recent developments:
San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation has announced the relocation of their food processing and distribution center from San Diego to the City of Riverside’s Sycamore Canyon Industrial Park, citing Riverside’s ideal location for distributing supply to their restaurants throughout California, Nevada and Arizona as one of several important reasons for the move. Operating the 65,000 square foot facility is energy-intensive, nearly 50% of its space is cold storage for both perishable and non-perishable food products. CEO Michael Mack took advantage of generous rebate opportunities available through Riverside’s Public Utilities to incorporate key energy-saving measures into the new facility including high efficiency chillers and the latest technology in energy efficient LED lighting. The incentives helped offset upfront expenses associated with their state-of-the-art equipment purchases and will also reduce their long-term energy costs. The Riverside Garden Fresh facility will employ approximately 40 people.
Castle & Cooke Cold Storage, a leader in the public refrigerated warehouse industry, will be operating in Riverside from a newly completed 507,000 square foot freezer facility. Constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design)standards, the new cold storage facility incorporates state-of-the-art, high efficiency equipment and design that will save over 4,000,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year and has qualified Castle & Cooke for generous rebates and incentives through Riverside Public Utilities. In addition to the company’s welcome model for green practices, Castle & Cooke brings 350 new jobs to Riverside.
In its new 220,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, CarbonLITE Industries, LLC, a subsidiary of HPC Industries LLC, will produce bottle-grade PET pellet and flake from post-consumer PET bottles with a first phase annual capacity of 100 million pounds. This will make CarbonLITE the largest bottle-grade pcrPET producer in the Western US. The new manufacturer will create close to 100 new jobs. The plant is scheduled to come on stream in mid-2011. The company is a growing leader in recycling for single-use packaging.
AMA Plastics, a 40-year-old custom plastics injection molding company, purchased its 150,000 square foot building in Riverside citing the cost savings of both Riverside Public Utilities’ Economic Development electric rates and the City’s competitive real estate prices. The firm made the decision, after being courted by another state, to relocate and expand in Riverside saving over 200 jobs Almost as important as creating new jobs is retaining the ones that currently exist in the area. A recent win for Riverside came when JBT Foods, a manufacturer of protective fruit coatings, announced it would be staying in Riverside after an extensive search that nearly forced the company to leave the City because of its unique requirements and short timeframe to identify a new location. In addition, the State Insurance Compensation Fund chose to consolidate to its location on Day Street in Riverside, keeping 130 professional and administrative jobs in the Riverside area, with plans to add approximately 150 more within three years.
About the City of Riverside:
The City of Riverside, located in the Greater Los Angeles region, currently ranks as the 12th largest city in California, 6th in Southern California, and is the largest city in one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. It is home to four internationally recognized universities and colleges which support an estimated 50,000 students. As an important financial and professional center, Riverside offers the support of numerous legal, accounting, brokerage, architectural, engineering, and technology firms as well as banking institutions. Businesses in the City benefit from an exceptional freeway system, BNSF and UPSP rail access, high-speed fiber optic telecommunications, city-owned electrical and water systems, and a large corporate jet and general aviation airport. Intelligent Communities announced that Riverside was named to the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year. Riverside is one of only three U.S. cities identified as global leaders in innovation and municipal technologies. Learn more at www.riversideca.gov/econdev.