Costa Mesa, CA Economic Overview
Costa Mesa is located in the heart of affluent Orange County, between San Diego and Los Angeles and just one mile from the Pacific Ocean. The city is bordered by Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Irvine. With a population of over 112,000 residents, Costa Mesa is a retail power house, ranking the 10th largest among all of the California cities. One project alone, South Coast Plaza, generates an amazing $1.4 billion in sales annually, more than double its nearest competitor. In addition to retail, the city's seven primary industries of Action Sports, Hospitality, Luxury Retail, Education, Arts, Autos, and Restaurants all drive the Costa Mesa commercial real estate market. The city has successfully attracted and kept both national and international businesses. The diverse economic base of Costa Mesa includes not only the booming retail center of South Coast Plaza, but also businesses such as Metro Pointe, The Camp, The Lab, SoCo Collection, countless five-star restaurants and hotels, and leaders in the action sports industry like Hurley International, Rip Curl, and Vans.
With a median household income of over $66,000 and a job growth of over 2% last year, households here earn more money than those in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area and the State of California. The economy is expected to remain strong, with future job growth in Costa Mesa over the next ten years expected to exceed 40%, thanks in part to the business-friendly municipality, diverse mix of industry, access to the integrated transportation system of Orange County, and the area's highly educated and motivated work force.
Costa Mesa, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The continuous growth of the commercial real estate market in Costa Mesa is due in no small part to the city's unique geographic positioning, the diversity of businesses in the retail commercial industry, light manufacturing of electronics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, action sports industries, and last, but definitely not least, its retail sales base.
Major retail centers in Costa Mesa include South Coast Plaza, Metro Pointe, SoCo, The Camp, The Lab, Harbor Center, The Square, The Courtyards, and The Triangle. The combined retail sales of all locations in Costa Mesa is nearly $4 billion annually. Despite the number of retailers in the city, vacancy rates are just a touch over 2% with even more retail development projects in the pipeline.
As testimony to Costa Mesa's pro-active business development stance, there are more than a dozen major development projects, including the 78-acre Harbor Gateway Business Center, the 43 acre Segerstrom Home Ranch, the 33 acre Sakioka Farms Lot 2, The Californian by Legacy Partners at 580 Anton, the Avenue of the Arts Hotel, and the 393 unit Symphony Apartments.
The Costa Mesa office submarket is known as one of the most desirable in Orange County. Office vacancy in Costa Mesa is hovering right around 10%, with the Industrial Area and South Coast Metro Area attracting the largest percentage of office users. Commercial and retail use is centered along the Commercial Strip area and the South Coast Metro area. The industrial market in Costa Mesa remains tight due to strong demand from tenants in the professional & scientific, manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade industries.
Costa Mesa, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Costa Mesa, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Costa Mesa, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 7,877,948 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,758,753 SF / 22.33% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 5,375,318 SF / 68.23% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 743,877 SF / 9.44% of total office
- Class A: 4,871,003 SF / 61.83% of total office
- Class B: 2,868,069 SF / 36.41% of total office
- Class C: 138,876 SF / 1.76% of total office
Total: 3,275,006 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 90,194 SF / 2.75% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 3,184,812 SF / 97.25% of total industrial
- Class A: 707,143 SF / 21.59% of total industrial
- Class B: 2,567,863 SF / 78.41% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 434,390 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 51,328 SF / 11.82% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 383,062 SF / 88.18% of total office with retail
Employment in Costa Mesa, CA
Job growth in Costa Mesa has increased over 2% and the forecast is for employment in Costa Mesa to grow by more than 40% over the next ten years, demonstrating that the city clearly understands the important role it plays in the creation and retention of jobs through its economic development efforts. Over 78% of the labor force holds jobs in the area of professional & scientific research, educational services, arts & entertainment, retail trade, manufacturing, and finance & insurance.
Major employers in Costa Mesa include:
- EPL Intermediate, Inc. with nearly 4,000 employees;
- Experian Information Services with 3,700;
- Coast Community College District with 2,900 workers;
- Orange Coast Collect with 1,900;
- Automotive Club of Southern California with 1,200 employees;
- Dynamic Cooking Systems, Inc. with 700;
- Filenet Corporation with about 600 workers.
Education in Costa Mesa, CA
The Newport Mesa Unified School District operates 10 elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. There are also 17 private elementary, middle and high schools in Costa Mesa.
Universities and colleges in Costa Mesa, California include Orange Coast College, Vanguard University, Whittier Law School, Coast Community College, California Southern University, and National University.
Commuting Time in Costa Mesa, CA
Commute times in Costa Mesa are mixed, with residents of the city having a shorter work day commute than their counterparts in Orange County and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area. While the average commute time here is just under 21 minutes, over 2% of the work force has a super commute of 90 minutes or more.
Realizing that time wasted sitting in traffic is money spent, more than 9% of the commuters in Costa Mesa carpool and over 5% prefer to work at home rather than drive or ride.
- Costa Mesa is accessible from the I-405 San Diego Freeway, State Route 55 Costa Mesa Freeway, and State Route 73 Corona del Mar Freeway.
- Amtrak rail stations are located at the Irvine Transportation Center and the Santa Ana Transportation Center.
- The Orange County Transportation Authority provides bus service in Costa Mesa.
- All major trucking lines serve Costa Mesa, and the Long Beach Harbor/Port of Los Angeles is only 22 miles away.
- Costa Mesa is served by both the John Wayne Orange County Airport and the Los Angeles International Airport.
Costa Mesa Demographics
- Total Population112,930
- Male Population(51.0 %) 57,580
- Female Population(49.0 %) 55,350
- Median Age34.50
- Average Household Income$97,626
- Median Household Income$75,109
- Median Income Under 25$41,209
- Median Income 25-44$83,968
- Median Income 45-64$81,202
- Median Income Over 65$55,340
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