Ontario, CA Economic Overview
With a population of over 150,000, Ontario’s economy was first driven by activities centered around its health resort, and later became a manufacturing hub. It is still home to companies like Maglite, best known for its flashlights, which are produced here. However, today, Ontario is better known as the home of the United States’ 15th busiest cargo carrier airport, Ontario International Airport, acting as an important link between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the rest of the U.S. This has made Ontario a natural hub for commerce and industry with much of Ontario commercial real estate dedicated to warehousing and distribution for busy companies such as AutoZone, Famous Stars and Straps, Shiekh Shoes, Phoenix Motor Cars (electric cars), and Nordstrom.
With almost 10,000 employees, Ontario International Airport is the city’s top employer, servicing both cargo and passenger flights, with its 1,741-acre-sprawl and two runways. It is the third major airport in the Southern California area, after Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John Wayne Airport. It is also a major distribution point for both top logistics services UPS and FedEx.
Ontario’s continued economic growth is built on its successful and vital airport industry and developing downtown Ontario commercial real estate for mixed-use city lifestyle districts with industrial and business parks, retail and office spaces, residential homes, and town centers.
Ontario, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The city of Ontario has a total 50 square miles. Fortunately, most of it, approximately 49%, is land. Ontario commercial real estate is the most in demand in Southern California as developers are discovering that Ontario locations have the advantage of highly efficient infrastructure, modern conveniences, and a skilled technical and logistics workforce at the ready.
The Ontario office market can accommodate various industries such as manufacturing, corporate office, retail trade, healthcare, research and development, and even filming.
Manufacturing industries can take advantage of Ontario’s Foreign Trade Zone, allowing products to be manufactured, housed, shown, and even disposed of without needing to pay custom duties. This enhances export potential for many manufacturing companies to succeed in the global marketplace.
Ontario’s retail scene is a billion-dollar industry, #4 in Southern California, after Anaheim, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Ontario’s retail market can tap a customer base that lives within a 10-mile radius. Take for example, Ontario Mills, a 1.7-million-square foot property that contributes to much of Ontario’s billion-dollar retail trade, with over 20 million shoppers each year. Top brands like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and Abercrombie & Fitch take advantage of Ontario’s affordable commercial real estate market.
Whatever the industry, not only does Ontario offer competitive commercial real estate rates but also logistic advantages to optimize business operations, including its freeways that cross the city and both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern rail lines traveling through Ontario.
Moreover, the Ontario commercial real estate market includes about 97 million square feet of industrial space, including buildings with over rentable 10,000 square feet, which are being developed into business parks.
Ontario, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Ontario, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Ontario, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 5,437,354 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,947,698 SF / 35.82% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,891,656 SF / 53.18% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 598,000 SF / 11% of total office
- Class A: 2,448,755 SF / 45.04% of total office
- Class B: 1,547,599 SF / 28.46% of total office
Total: 109,394,101 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 10,207,818 SF / 9.33% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 60,252,842 SF / 55.08% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 27,291,588 SF / 24.95% of total industrial
- > 1M SF: 11,641,853 SF / 10.64% of total industrial
- Class A: 85,384,785 SF / 78.05% of total industrial
- Class B: 14,278,024 SF / 13.05% of total industrial
- Class C: 178,344 SF / 0.16% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 4,978,797 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,109,978 SF / 22.29% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,397,819 SF / 48.16% of total office with retail
- > 1M SF: 1,471,000 SF / 29.55% of total office with retail
Employment in Ontario, CA
Ontario households have a median income of about $50,000. Its workforce is spread through various industries, of which the top employment sectors are transport, manufacturing, healthcare service, and retail trade. These four top industries are about 40% of Ontario’s labor force, but it continues to expand annually. Construction and warehousing jobs make up 15% of the rest of the workforce and serve the city and the airport. Other industries steadily growing in Ontario are insurance, finance, real estate, and administration support services.
Education in Ontario, CA
Ontario is home to over 30 public elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in 4 school districts, which are run by the government. There are numerous private educational institutions as well as trade schools and military schools. The city’s most notable college is the University of La Verne College of Law in downtown Ontario, which has been ranked 8th of the best private educational institutions in California and 18th overall in the state.
Commuting Time in Ontario, CA
Roughly 71% of Ontario residents drive alone in their car. These commuters can expect about a 24-minute one-way trip where the U.S. average commute time is 25-minutes. The state of California itself ranks 10th on longest commutes nationwide due to Southern California’s lengthy urban-suburban travel time.
Only less than 30% of Ontario residents carpool or take other means of transportation to get to work. The city does have an Amtrak and Metrolink station that connects it to the Greater Los Angeles area, San Fernando Valley, and even Orange County. It connects Ontario to much of the Greater Los Angeles area, Orange County and the San Fernando Valley. Public bus transport is also available to Ontario commuters.
- Total Population173,580
- Male Population(49.2 %) 85,416
- Female Population(50.8 %) 88,164
- Median Age32.10
- Average Household Income$73,816
- Median Household Income$61,602
- Median Income Under 25$36,053
- Median Income 25-44$61,770
- Median Income 45-64$71,177
- Median Income Over 65$45,981