Cerritos, CA Economic Overview
An affluent suburban city in Los Angeles County, California, Cerritos is one of several cities that make up the Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County. Cerritos is Spanish for “little hills”, but was formerly named Dairy Valley due to the preponderance of dairy farms in the area. Now, Cerritos is the thriving heart of the Los Angeles/Orange Country metro center, home to over 49,000 residents, midway between Downtown Los Angeles and the business centers of Irvine, Santa Ana, and Anaheim. As the geographic center of the Los Angeles Basin, Cerritos commercial real estate has become one of Southern California’s premier crossroads for visitors and businesses. While Cerritos’ central location has spurred its growth, innovation and leadership have sustained and supported it. Beautifully maintained neighborhoods, carefully planned retail areas, abundant recreational facilities, and a world-class performing arts center make Cerritos an exciting, attractive place to live and work.
Cerritos maintains a thriving retail market, with its major source of revenue coming from retail sales tax. Employment within Cerritos is primarily located in two districts, Los Cerritos Shopping Center and Cerritos Industrial Park. According to the California State Board of Equalization, Cerritos residents are the second highest retail spenders in California, second only to Beverly Hills. Cerritos possesses a large job base and a mix of global and local businesses, with the retail sector and other service industries continuing to evolve, while some of its more historic economic sectors phase out. The largest employers in the Cerritos area include its ABC Unified School District, the United Parcel Service, and AT&T Wireless Services. The regional growth in service industries creates an opportunity as Cerritos develops new office space, but also challenges the existing industrial uses, which comprise much of the local job base.
Cerritos, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
Cerritos has taken a series of proactive steps to build a diverse business base that takes advantage of its strategic location and opportunities afforded by the Los Angeles/Orange Country economy. The Cerritos Towne Center has demonstrated that the market will support office uses in the community if spaces for those uses are built. As the regional economy transitions away from industrial uses, Cerritos has prepared plans for reusing existing parcels for office use. Compared to the rest of the Metropolitan Los Angeles market, the Cerritos submarket is a hot one with greater rental rates and a recent boost in rates in 2017. The office market in the area maintains a particularly low vacancy rate, averaging at 7%. As of mid-2017, Cerritos has approximately 1.4 million square feet in total office space and 4.6 million square feet in total retail space, including the Los Cerritos Center and Cerritos Towne Center. Finance and insurance are the dominant industries currently occupying office space in the region, outside of retail commercial use.
Cerritos Towne Center is a retail park located in the center of Cerritos that combines retailing, office, and entertainment in one master space. The Cerritos Center for Performing Arts is located within the southwestern part of the project, with the Cerritos High School, Cerritos City Hall, Cerritos Sheriff Station, and the Cerritos Millennium Library all located across the street. The Cerritos Towne Center office market offers a wide selection of office space and is collectively referred to as Downtown Cerritos
Cerritos Auto Square is a planned auto mall—the largest in the world—combining all auto dealers within Cerritos into one, large three-block center accessible through two freeways.
Los Cerritos Center has been an integral source of retail tax to City revenue since 1971. The Los Cerritos Center maintains a total gross lease area of over 1.2 million square feet and is the city’s largest tax revenue source, producing $800/SF in 2015.
Cerritos, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Cerritos, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Cerritos, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 1,482,578 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 314,947 SF / 21.24% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,167,631 SF / 78.76% of total office
- Class A: 490,878 SF / 33.11% of total office
- Class B: 991,700 SF / 66.89% of total office
Total: 7,853,859 SF
By square footage range:
- 100k to 500k SF: 7,853,859 SF / 100% of total industrial
- Class A: 537,474 SF / 6.84% of total industrial
- Class B: 7,316,385 SF / 93.16% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 2,642,918 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 582,474 SF / 22.04% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 768,444 SF / 29.08% of total office with retail
- > 1M SF: 1,292,000 SF / 48.89% of total office with retail
Employment in Cerritos, CA
Cerritos’ employment base totals over 38,500 jobs, with high concentrations of employment in retail, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and transportation/warehousing. At a regional level, service industries have been the best performing in terms of employment concentration and job growth, while many of the industrial sectors have declined regionally.
According to the BLS, the industries in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Trade, Transport, and Utilities—currently employs 819,000, growing at a yearly rate of 0.4%
- Education and health services—currently employs 797,100, growing at a yearly rate of 3.3%
- Professional and business services – currently employs 614,300, growing at a yearly rate of 2.7%
Education in Cerritos, CA
The majority of Cerritos is served by the ABC Unified School District, with a small portion of the west side of the city under the jurisdiction of the Bellflower Unified School District. Cerritos is home to Whitney High School, currently ranked the best school in California and 27th nationwide, per 2012’s U.S. News & Report. Cerritos is also serviced by Cerritos College and Fremont College.
Commuting Time in Cerritos, CA
The average commuting time in Cerritos is 30.6 minutes. Employees in Cerritos have a longer average commute than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers in Cerritos drove alone in 2015, followed by those who carpooled and worked at home.
Cerritos owns a fleet of federally funded buses known as the Cerritos on Wheels (COW), which has stops throughout town. The acronym, “COW”, is also a tribute to the City’s origins as Dairy Valley, when cows once outnumbered residents. COW connects to the Long Beach Transit, Orange County Transportation Authority, Norwalk Transit and Los Angeles MTA Buses at overlapping stops on the borders of the City. Wi-Fi Internet is also provided on these buses.
Cerritos is directly serviced by three major California freeways:
- SR 91 (the Artesia Freeway) cuts through the center of the City
- Interstate 605 (the San Gabriel River Freeway) runs along the west wide between the Los Cerritos Center and Auto Square
- Interstate 5 (the Santa Ana Freeway) grazes Cerritos at the northeast border
The nearby Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are major ports of entry from the Pacific Ocean for importing and exporting goods. Airports nearby include Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), John Wayne Airport in Orange Country, Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, and the Long Beach Municipal Airport.
- Total Population50,145
- Male Population(48.6 %) 24,375
- Female Population(51.4 %) 25,770
- Median Age45.50
- Average Household Income$118,302
- Median Household Income$98,953
- Median Income 25-44$117,462
- Median Income 45-64$114,162
- Median Income Over 65$66,472
Rexford Industrial Realty has recently acquired an industrial property in Cerritos, Calif., in the low-vacancy Los Angeles Mid-Counties submarket. The company, which operates in the Southern California infill markets, purchased the 115,600-square-foot building in a $17.2 million transaction—eq...