Southern California Real Estate Upswing

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More businesses across Southern California are expanding their footprints, according to a report released Wednesday by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, indicating that some local businesses are optimistic about the future.

“There is some light at the end of the recovery tunnel with Orange County and San Bernardino County both experiencing noteworthy upswings in leasing activity,” said Jack Kyser, founding economist of the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the LAEDC.

The report tracks major business expansions in Southern California, which is a new lease or expansion of at least $1 million, or 20,000 square feet or more. In Orange County, there were 75 projects in 2009, up from 43 the previous year, and major projects there used 6 million square feet of space, up from 2.2 million in 2008. The Inland Empire had 37 projects (up from 27 in 2008) totaling 9.3 million square feet in 2009.

Total square footage for the five-county region was 21.5 million, up 4.6 million from 2008.

Manufacturing firms led the expansions, with logistics and warehousing close behind. Professional services, which includes accounting, law, architecture and engineering, were also strong. Apparel and textiles had 17 major expansions in 2009, while technology had 15.

“This is consistent with our forecast released last month calling for international trade, tourism and technology industries to lead the recovery in 2010-2011,” Kyser said.

Credit to Alana Semuels (LA Times)

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