Carson, CA Economic Overview
Carson is a young and thriving city in the Los Angeles County area, located just 13 miles south of Downtown L.A. and 14 miles from L.A. International Airport. Carson is the youngest municipality in the South Bay region of L.A. metro and has a population is of just over 91,000.
Since its relatively recent founding as a city in 1968, Carson has worked swiftly to confront the growing pains of rapid development and attracted successful new commercial ventures to the area. As a result, most of the heavy industry of the past has been replaced and new industrial parks, such as the Watson Industrial Center, have served as model of cleanliness and attention to appearance of the area. The city has turned the Carson commercial real estate market into an area that is highly sought after with its low development and planning fees and proximity to the South Bay and Long Beach area.
In its younger days, Carson was often associated with smelly refineries, abandoned oil fields, and early strip malls. With its first strike of oil in 1921, the petroleum industry had established itself in the region and remains a critical source of income to this day. Derricks, tank farms, and sprawling industrial complexes were a defining part of the Carson scenery in the 1960s, with principal leases given to Shell Oil Company and Union Oil of California. Carson is now host to over 3,000 business and many international corporations, including automotive companies, Volvo and Mercedes Benz, and technology companies like Canon, Sony, and HP. Its economic diversification in recent years has paid off—the city registered a $29.6 million budget surplus in 2011-2012.
Carson, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
Today, Carson is poised to become one of the Southland’s most significant destinations for residents, corporations, and visitors alike, playing a key role in L.A.’s status as “car capital of the world.” Notable recent commercial developments of the past few years include the Porsche Experience Center, a 53-acre facility that includes a luxury-vehicle exhibition area, driving tracks, a restaurant, a conference center, and several meeting rooms. The city is also planning a University Village development near the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), in order to address Carson’s need for more retail space. In 2014, the city began ramping up construction activity with The Boulevards at South Bay, calling for a mix of 1.9 million square feet of commercial, retail and entertainment space.
Carson City Center/Main Street office market is one of L.A.s many submarkets for commercial space and includes property concentrated along Main Street. Compared to the rest of Greater L.A., the Carson office market has less expensive rates, but is currently going through a price boost. The median size of a rental space is 18,070 square feet, leasing at an average of $17/SF.
Carson, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 1,010,717 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 347,818 SF / 34.41% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 662,899 SF / 65.59% of total office
- Class A: 127,896 SF / 12.65% of total office
- Class B: 780,908 SF / 77.26% of total office
- Class C: 101,913 SF / 10.08% of total office
Total: 35,447,731 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 6,616,317 SF / 18.66% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 28,309,558 SF / 79.86% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 521,856 SF / 1.47% of total industrial
- Class A: 12,716,832 SF / 35.87% of total industrial
- Class B: 21,438,597 SF / 60.48% of total industrial
- Class C: 313,760 SF / 0.89% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 2,530,244 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 497,133 SF / 19.65% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,033,111 SF / 80.35% of total office with retail
Employment in Carson, CA
The majority of employment sectors in Carson are orientated to take advantage of the South Bay’s “Golden Triangle,” or the general proximity to the L.A. and Long Beach harbors, the Alameda Corridor, and LAX.
Wholesale distribution, manufacturing and transportation are the city’s three most common industries, employing an average 22 persons per small business. The L.A. area is below the national average of unemployment, at 3.9%.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-employing industries in Carson are:
- Trade, transport and utilities
- Education and health services
- Professional and business services
Education in Carson, CA
Carson is home to California State University-Dominguez Hills, originally called South Bay State College in Palos Verdes. It is largely a commuter college, occupying 346 acres and originally meant to serve the thousands of African American youth from the surrounding Long Beach, Compton, and Gardena communities. Today there are approximately 14,000 students enrolled. Carson is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Compton Unified School District.
Commuting Time in Carson, CA
City traffic in Carson is relatively moderate compared to the Downtown L.A. core. The city operates the Carson Circuit bus that serves the local community and connects to other bus and rail transit services, including the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line, as well as the North-South Shuttle, connecting to the Harbor Gateway Transit Center.
- Total Population92,517
- Male Population(48.4 %) 44,744
- Female Population(51.6 %) 47,773
- Median Age39.00
- Average Household Income$93,927
- Median Household Income$78,580
- Median Income 25-44$88,841
- Median Income 45-64$86,873
- Median Income Over 65$56,667
E-Commerce Drives 2018 California Industrial Pipeline
December 04, 2017
Commercial real estate construction in the Golden State has been booming since 2011. However, the latest Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson forecast survey found that industrial development in California is entering a cooling-off period. Given the growing impact of the e-commerce sector on the region...