Fullerton, CA Economic Overview
Fullerton is a city in north Orange County, covering 22.2 square miles and located just 25 miles southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. Known as “the Education Community," the city is home to numerous higher educational institutions, particularly California State University and Fullerton College. With more than 50 city parks, a museum, a cultural center, two libraries, two golf courses, two sports complexes, two regional parks, 29 miles of hiking trails, and approximately 200 acres of overall recreational land, Fullerton also appeals to those with a taste for adventure and thrill. The Fullerton commercial real estate scene accommodates over 12,130 businesses, is home to a number of major national and international corporations, and is ideally located for transportation, bounded by three major highways and located 15 miles northwest of John Wayne Airport. The City is home to a population of just over 140,000, ranking the seventh-largest in Orange County.
Once a center of agriculture, the city of Fullerton became home to a large industrial base, largely made up of aerospace contractors, canneries and paper products manufacturers, from the mid-1940s through the late 1990s. While the late nineties were plagued with slow economic activity throughout its commercial districts, Fullerton has since transformed into a bustling entertainment region, with a dynamic downtown core, described by the OC Weekly as “Bourbon Street West." In less than five years, some 30 businesses opened their doors, transforming the downtown district into an active commercial scene. Fullerton is also home to a vibrant music scene and is considered to be the birthplace of the electric guitar, in which Leo Fender developed and refined the design of the Fender Telecaster. It is now the center for the Orange County hardcore punk music scene, producing well-known acts, such as Gwen Stefani. Fullerton also boasts a small, but diverse theatre scene, with most large-scale productions happening at its higher educational institutions. In addition to its well-established manufacturing and industrial base, as well as stable retail sector, the City is a major center of higher education in Orange County, accommodating a combined student enrollment of over 55,000 students. Fullerton is home to a more affluent household base than surrounding areas, and boasts a median household income of over $65,000. The City’s largest employers are located within the education, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors and include California State University, St. Jude Medical Center, Raytheon, Fullerton School District, Alcoa Fastening Systems, and Fullerton College.
Fullerton, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The commercial submarket of Fullerton is strategically located within the Orange County office market, which continues its strong performance with healthy fundamental indicators in 2017. Overall vacancy rates stand at 11.1% and prices remain stable, slightly lower than the nearby Los Angeles County rent prices. Orange County offers a total 87.8 million square feet of office space. Fullerton is currently home to a total of 1.28 million square feet of office space, with an overall vacancy rate of 8.9%. One of the city’s strategic developments includes a 293-acre Hughes Aircraft Company’s Ground Systems Group campus in western Fullerton, which went through an extensive redevelopment from 2001 to 2004, providing the city with a major new residential and commercial district.
The Fullerton office market has lower rates, compared to the rest of the Metropolitan Los Angeles commercial real estate market, and is currently experiencing a decrease in rates. In the last three months, the median rate fell $2 per square foot, a 6% decrease in rent. The average office space size in the area is around 1,480 square feet, and most buildings are two stories tall.
Downtown Fullerton has enjoyed a recent “renaissance," following a steady 20 years of revitalization, evidenced by a growing number of sidewalk cafes, specialty restaurants, unique shops, and upscale office buildings. The Downtown Fullerton office market offers a rustic old town atmosphere with a cluster of more than 70 historic buildings, beautiful shade trees, and decorative walkways. Downtown is equipped with more than 2,500 free public parking spaces to support the over 350,000 square feet of retail and more than 275,000 square feet of office space.
Fullerton Office Sales Volume
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Fullerton Office Transactions
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Employment in Fullerton, CA
Orange County enjoys a low unemployment rate of 3.8%, down from 4.3% in 2016 and well-below the U.S. average of 4.8%. The City, itself, also boasts low unemployment of 3.7%, with the majority of its growing workforce of over 66,000 employees involved in Manufacturing (13.3%), Educational Services (11.2%), Retail Trade (10.5%), and Healthcare (10.2%).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the Orange County, CA area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Professional and Business Services—currently employs 300,900, growing at 2.8%/year;
- Trade, Transport, and Utilities—currently employs 258,500, growing at 0.4%/year;
- Leisure and Hospitality—currently employs 218,600, growing at 1.5%/year.
Education in Fullerton, CA
The “Education Community" is home to a total of 15 public elementary schools, two public K-8 schools, three junior high schools, five public high schools, and five universities and colleges. The City is served by the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, with additional public schooling provided by the Fullerton School District, as well as a number of Roman Catholic schools and private schools.
Fullerton is home to California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), first established in 1957 as Orange County State College. Fullerton hosts the 12th member of the CSU system, with its main campus located on 236 acres of a former orange grove in northeast Fullerton near State Route 57. As many as 37,000 students are enrolled each year, making it the largest university in the CSU system and the second largest in the state of California in terms of enrollment.
Fullerton College, a two-year community college and oldest in operation in California, is located within the city limits and has as many as 21,000 students enrolled each year. Western State College of Law at Argosy University, Hope International University, and Marshall B. Ketchum University are also located within the City.
Commuting Time in Fullerton, CA
Fullerton was founded as a railroad town and is still bisected by the BNSF Railway, upon whose tracks run Amtrak trains 3 and 4, the Southwest Chief, between Chicago and Los Angeles, the Pacific Surfliner to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego and Metrolink commuter rail trains. Average trip time on Metrolink or Amtrak to Los Angeles is 30 minutes. Further transportation needs are serviced by:
- The Fullerton Train Station, located downtown at the Fullerton Transportation Center, which also serves as a major bus depot for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA);
- Three major freeways, State Route 91, Interstate 5, and State Route 57;
- Fullerton Municipal Airport, the only general aviation airport remaining in Orange County, located in the southwest of the city. It is the last remnant of the Hughes Company in the area, which was prominent in the aerospace industry up until the 1970s.The nearest airport with scheduled service is John Wayne Airport.
Employees in Fullerton have a longer average commute time of 27.9 minutes than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers drive alone, followed by those who carpool and work at home.
- Total Population138,976
- Male Population(48.8 %) 67,795
- Female Population(51.2 %) 71,181
- Median Age34.50
- Average Household Income$90,082
- Median Household Income$65,974
- Median Income Under 25$24,797
- Median Income 25-44$65,069
- Median Income 45-64$85,269
- Median Income Over 65$52,558
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CommercialCafé is your first and only stop when it comes to commercial real estate leasings in Fullerton, CA. Search through our extensive selection of commercial properties for lease with current space availability in the area ranging between 5252 square feet and 39420 square feet. Discover the right property from our 54 listings by using our advanced search function, which includes search by property type, space availability, management company, lease rates, and more.