San Bernardino, CA Economic Overview
San Bernardino is the seat of the county bearing the same name and is part of the Riverside - San Bernardino Metropolitan Area, also known as the Inland Empire. With a city population of over 214,000 and an MSA population of nearly 1 million, neighboring cities include Fontana, Redlands, Riverside, Ontario, and Moreno Valley. The commercial real estate market in San Bernardino is driven by a variety of factors, including its importance as an intermodal logistics hub, due to its numerous freeway interchanges and freight rail transportation access.
The City of San Bernardino's business-friendly attitude combined with its skilled, low-cost labor force and very affordable cost of doing business are some of the reasons why industry, business and developers continue to be attracted to the area. Centrally located in Southern California, San Bernardino has been at the center of the transportation and distribution industry for nearly 150 years.
With a median household income of nearly $40,000 and an unemployment rate of just 8.2%, the economy in San Bernardino remains strong and steady. Last year alone the median household income in San Bernardino remained steady while the employment base increased by nearly 2% with nearly 87,000 people employed by over 6,400 businesses in the city.
San Bernardino, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The commercial real estate market in San Bernardino accommodates the government, retail, and service industries that leverage the region's freight rail service and interstate freeway convergence. Both the Southern Pacific and BNSF Railroads serve San Bernardino, and BNSF has an intermodal facility at the San Bernardino International Airport. The city is located at the convergence of the I-10, State Route 210, and the I-215 freeways that connect to Orange County and north to the Canadian border.
There is over 35 million square feet of industrial inventory in San Bernardino that provides manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing industries with a wide variety of leasing and investment options. Asking rents for industrial space in San Bernardino have surged to historical highs while vacancy percentages have been cut in half, spurring both new development and sales of industrial property. In 2016 alone, the asking prices for industrial, flex and warehouse space in San Bernardino increased by nearly 50%.
Large warehouses for Kohl's, Mattel, Pep Boys, and Stater Brothers have been developed near San Bernardino International Airport, while Amazon recently built a 950,000-square-foot fulfillment warehouse on the south side of the airport that created upwards of 1,000 jobs.
The growth of the industrial and warehouse market in San Bernardino is also spurring the growth of the office market. Local government, healthcare companies and real estate development-related businesses are major tenants in San Bernardino's office market, with medical tenants leading the way. Over the past year, asking sales prices for office buildings in San Bernardino have increased by over 6%.
The retail market in San Bernardino is also benefiting from the area's ongoing growth, as more transportation and logistics firms bring more employees, increasing income in the region and the demand for retail and employment-related services. Over the past year asking rents for retail space in San Bernardino have increased by over 10%.
Another focus of commercial development in San Bernardino is the City's Riverfront District along the Santa Ana River which has been transformed into a mixed-use area of office buildings, big-box retailers, restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels.
The Carousel District in Downtown San Bernardino is a new 48-acre mixed-use development in the heart of the city. This project consists of residential market-rate housing, retail development, and additional phases for office and educational use, along with a 5.5-acre Theatre District.
San Bernardino, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
San Bernardino, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
San Bernardino, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 3,603,631 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,826,371 SF / 50.68% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,777,260 SF / 49.32% of total office
- Class A: 1,222,475 SF / 33.92% of total office
- Class B: 2,200,102 SF / 61.05% of total office
- Class C: 181,054 SF / 5.02% of total office
Total: 36,608,746 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 2,327,812 SF / 6.36% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 14,063,615 SF / 38.42% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 13,625,753 SF / 37.22% of total industrial
- > 1M SF: 6,591,566 SF / 18.01% of total industrial
- Class A: 30,185,284 SF / 82.45% of total industrial
- Class B: 3,861,619 SF / 10.55% of total industrial
- Class C: 371,621 SF / 1.02% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 4,411,756 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 987,005 SF / 22.37% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,674,751 SF / 60.63% of total office with retail
- 500k to 1M SF: 750,000 SF / 17% of total office with retail
Employment in San Bernardino, CA
Job growth in San Bernardino has increased by nearly 2% this past year, with a current labor force in the city of nearly 87,000 people employed by over 6,400 businesses. Over 25% of the workforce is employed in the areas of production, material moving, transportation, and construction & extraction.
Top employers in San Bernardino include California State University at San Bernardino, Caltrans District 8, City of San Bernardino, Community Hospital of San Bernardino, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Stater Brothers Markets, St. Bernardino Medical Center, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Omnitrans, San Bernardino County Public Workers, and San Bernardino Valley College.
Education in San Bernardino, CA
Public schools in San Bernardino are operated primarily by the San Bernardino City Unified School District, the sixth-largest district in California and one of the largest employers in the city. The District is responsible for 44 elementary schools, nine middle schools, and eight high schools.
Colleges and universities in San Bernardino include California State University at San Bernardino, San Bernardino Valley College, National University, ITT Technical Institute, Argosy University, Inland Empire Job Corps Center, and Summit College.
Commuting Time in San Bernardino, CA
The average commuting time in San Bernardino is just under 26 minutes, with over 4% of the workforce having a super commute of 90 minutes or more each day. In addition, 16% of the work week commuters carpool while nearly 3% have the option of working from home.
- The I-10 San Bernardino Freeway, I-215 Barstow Freeway, SR 210 Foothill Freeway, and State Routes 18, 66, 259, and 330 all pass through San Bernardino;
- Omnitrans and MARTA provide bus service in the city;
- Amtrak provides commuter rail service in the city;
- Freight rail service in San Bernardino is provided by Union Pacific and BNSF;
- The international seaports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are 40 miles from San Bernardino;
- San Bernardino International Airport provides both commercial passenger and freight service.
San Bernardino Demographics
- Total Population215,182
- Male Population(49.4 %) 106,312
- Female Population(50.6 %) 108,870
- Median Age29.70
- Average Household Income$56,539
- Median Household Income$43,136
- Median Income Under 25$26,766
- Median Income 25-44$41,149
- Median Income 45-64$51,587
- Median Income Over 65$36,404
Winners and Losers in the Labor Market – US States and Metros with the Highest Income Inequality
August 21, 2018
Ever since Gordon Gekko uttered his now infamous credo, “greed is good,” many economists have been concerned with the long-term effects of the growing income inequality in the U.S. While free-market enthusiasts see things differently, inequality has become a recurring topic within our news cyc...
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...
Top 50 Cities for Industrial Construction in the Past Decade
September 21, 2017
It’s been quite a fruitful year so far for industrial real estate in the U.S. According to the National Real Estate Investor, total industrial sales are expected to exceed 2016 levels this year, marking the second-best volume in 10 years. Large portfolio deals are also making a comeback, and b...