Santa Clara, CA Economic Overview
Santa Clara is a city located in the center of Silicon Valley, just three miles west of downtown San Jose and 45 miles southeast of San Francisco, in the northern part of Santa Clara County. The city is home to over 125,000 residents and sprawls over 18.41 square miles, bordered by San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino. Despite only being 45 miles from San Francisco, Santa Clara’s climate is rather distinct, particularly during the summer, when it’s usually warm and sunny, as opposed to foggy and cool conditions in San Francisco. Also known as the Mission City, Santa Clara is a charter city and enjoys a diversified industrial and commercial base. In addition to the headquarters of several high-tech companies, the City is also home to a university, a community college, an adult learning center, and a general hospital. Santa Clara boasts a large amusement and water park, California’s Great America, and the headquarters and practice facilities for the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. Santa Clara commercial real estate is among the most desirable in the San Francisco South Bay area, due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, high quality municipal services, and friendly business environment that accommodates over 10,900 companies.
Santa Clara's economy is service based with technology dominating the marketplace by value, as is the case with most of the County. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan region was ranked the highest performing metropolitan area in the U.S. in 2012, with a GDP of $177 billion. Santa Clara County has a long history as the seat of technology in the West, as Hewlett Packard was founded in the County in 1939, and IBM installed its West Coast headquarters in the area in 1943. The City is headquarters to some of the nation's leading electronics, telecommunications, computer, and semiconductor firms. These include Intel, Marvell, McAfee, Nvidia, OmniVision Technologies, and Palo Alto Networks. The city also owns and operates an electric utility called Silicon Valley power. As a result, the going rate for electricity in Santa Clara is considerably lower than that commanded by Northern California’s dominant utility, Pacific Gas and Electric. The top private employers in the City include Applied Materials, Intel, and California’s Great America. The City hosts an affluent community of largely professional service workers, with a median household income of $98,914.
Santa Clara, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
One of the most prosperous counties in the United States, Santa Clara County offers premium office space for rent in its populous cities. Firms seeking commercial space for rent will find ample selection in Silicon Valley, joining such technology giants as AMD, Apple, Cisco Systems, eBay, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel, and Yahoo. Recovery and economic growth since the previous recession has resulted in a number of significant private developments in the City of Santa Clara. These include an expansion of its retail sector in its Santa Clara Town Centre and the Irvine Company’s Santa Clara Square Project, as well as the completion of office parks, such as the Stevens Creek Boulevard Office Campus and the Lawson Lane Office Campus. Other notable points of interest in Santa Clara include the Santa Clara Convention Center, one of Silicon Valley’s largest event and meeting venues, and the California’s Great America amusement park.
The Santa Clara office market hosts over 13.3 million SF of total office space inventory with an additional 2 million SF under construction. This makes the Santa Clara City office market the second largest in Santa Clara County after San Jose. Santa Clara has the highest availability rate in the County at 24.4%, compared to the County average of 11.7%. Most listings are in the $40’s per SF per year, and the median size of office space is 5,100 SF with most properties close to two stories.
Old Quad Santa Clara is a 125-year-old neighborhood, filled with historic buildings, landmarks, and stories about the beginnings of Santa Clara. The name “Old Quad” is derived from the quadrangle shape of the original town of Santa Clara. Geographically, the Old Quad is an area enclosed by Scott Boulevard to the west, Newhall Street to the south and east, and the railroad tracks to the north and east. The Old Quad Santa Clara office market offers rates in the $30’s range and is Santa Clara’s largest office submarket.
Santa Clara, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Santa Clara, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 42,334,324 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 3,985,343 SF / 9.41% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 21,829,722 SF / 51.57% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 6,811,659 SF / 16.09% of total office
- > 1M SF: 9,707,600 SF / 22.93% of total office
- Class A+: 754,800 SF / 1.78% of total office
- Class A: 12,736,835 SF / 30.09% of total office
- Class B: 14,222,835 SF / 33.6% of total office
- Class C: 445,197 SF / 1.05% of total office
Total: 8,356,010 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 2,478,872 SF / 29.67% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 4,543,182 SF / 54.37% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 1,333,956 SF / 15.96% of total industrial
- Class A: 1,692,453 SF / 20.25% of total industrial
- Class B: 6,059,433 SF / 72.52% of total industrial
- Class C: 100,000 SF / 1.2% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 5,357,670 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 749,447 SF / 13.99% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,708,915 SF / 50.56% of total office with retail
- > 1M SF: 1,899,308 SF / 35.45% of total office with retail
Employment in Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara’s unemployment rate has averaged at the low rate of 3.5%, and the County boasts a strong labor force of 1,052 million, primarily employed in the Professional and Business Services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Professional and Business Services—currently employs 227,800 growing at 1.4%/year
- Education and Health Services—currently employs 166,900, growing at 2.8%/year
- Manufacturing—currently employs 166,300, growing at 1.1%/year
Education in Santa Clara, CA
The city of Santa Clara is exceptionally educated, with an average 91.9% of the community having attained a high school diploma or higher. Santa Clara Unified School District serves Santa Clara and small portions of Sunnyvale and North San Jose. The city is home to nineteen K–8, elementary, and high schools. Many of the schools are named for former farmers, ranchers, and other notable Santa Clara residents such as Bowers and Bracher elementary schools, Buchser Middle School, Wilcox High School, and Santa Clara High School. Jesuit college Santa Clara University, junior college Mission College, and Golden State Baptist College are among the city's higher education facilities.
Commuting Time in Santa Clara, CA
Residents of Santa Clara have convenient access to regional public transportation systems at the Santa Clara Station, 1001 Railroad Avenue, adjacent to the site of the historic Santa Clara Depot. At this station, residents can connect with Caltrain, the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) train, and VTA buses. There is a free shuttle between the Santa Clara Station and the San Jose Mineta International Airport. Other transportation options include:
- Mineta San Jose International Airport; other nearby airports include San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport
- Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority operates the local bus routes
- Light rail in Santa Clara and the rest of the County is operated by Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
- The City of Santa Clara contains 23.6 miles of bike lanes, 5.8 miles of bike routes and 9.3 miles of recreational paths. The city also publishes a bicycle map to show their locations.
Employees in Santa Clara have a shorter average commute time of 22 minutes than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers drives alone, followed by those who carpooled and worked at home.
Santa Clara Demographics
- Total Population127,721
- Male Population(52.0 %) 66,380
- Female Population(48.0 %) 61,341
- Median Age33.90
- Average Household Income$150,576
- Median Household Income$126,006
- Median Income Under 25$61,057
- Median Income 25-44$146,798
- Median Income 45-64$141,212
- Median Income Over 65$57,186
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