Whittier, CA Economic Overview
Whittier is part of the Los Angeles County area and is only 12 miles southeast of the City of Los Angeles. As one of the Gateway Cities, Whittier is home to nearly 88,000 residents and is bordered by Hacienda Heights, City of Industry, Pico Rivera, La Habra Heights, La Habra, and Santa Fe Springs. As part of the booming San Gabriel Valley, the commercial real estate market in Whittier is driven by the city's pro-business attitude, numerous opportunity sites, and by the city's proximity to Los Angeles, as well as its access to the integrated transportation systems of the County.
The economy of Whittier continues to expand, due to the city's multi-faceted, strategic approach to the success of both its businesses and residents. As a result, the city is experiencing a surge of commercial activity and an increasing demand for residential housing.
As part of Los Angeles County, Whittier benefits from a huge consumer market of 10 million people. The County conducts more than $400 billion in annual two-way trade, and the city has easy access to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and Los Angeles International Airport, one of the country's most active international cargo airports.
With a median household income of over $66,000/year and an average household income of nearly $89,000, the economy in Whittier continues to be strong. Over the past five years, the population in the city has grown by nearly 3%, while the number of employees in Whittier has grown by nearly 2.8% this past year alone.
Whittier, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
The continuing success of the Whittier commercial real estate market is due to the city's focus on development of its opportunity sites and the diverse, existing mix of business.
Businesses and industry in Whittier include nearly 400 professional services, over 850 retail outlets and storefronts, over 200 restaurants, nearly 40 manufacturing plants, eight hotels, two new automobile dealerships. Uptown Whittier, the Quad Shopping Mall, and Whittwood Town Center are home to nearly 250 specialty shops and boutiques.
The previously vacant auto dealer sites in Whittier have been re-developed with new uses. New developments include the Oakmont Senior Living Center, LA Fitness and high-end luxury apartments, the Friendly Hills Marketplace, and Whittier Crossing. The city has approved the Lincoln Specific Plan, which will bring over 150,000 square feet of new commercial space, and help the growth of Whittier’s office market.
Opportunity sites in Whittier include:
- Bank of America Building, located in Uptown Whittier, with office space, retail and restaurant space;
- Greenleaf & Comstock Avenue commercial development and in-fill sites;
- Former Fred C. Nelles correctional facility site, slated for a 75-acre mixed-use development of residential, retail and recreational use.;
- Uptown Whittier is the heart of both the business and cultural communities. The area continues to attract local entrepreneurs who are investing in restaurants and other service businesses;
- Whittier Boulevard, with five zoning clusters for specific development use: Gateway Segment, Workplace District, Shopping Cluster District, Center District, and the Neighborhood Spine District.;
- Washington Boulevard, currently home to the PIH Health regional hospital, which was recently rated in the top 2% of all hospitals in the United States. The PIH Health Hospital in Whittier continues to expand in the city, purchasing property for additional development of new medical businesses.
Whittier, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 1,137,637 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 527,984 SF / 46.41% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 609,653 SF / 53.59% of total office
- Class A: 276,296 SF / 24.29% of total office
- Class B: 861,341 SF / 75.71% of total office
Total: 1,484,136 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 192,069 SF / 12.94% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,292,067 SF / 87.06% of total industrial
- Class A: 490,485 SF / 33.05% of total industrial
- Class B: 794,952 SF / 53.56% of total industrial
- Class C: 198,699 SF / 13.39% of total industrial
Employment in Whittier, CA
Job growth in Whittier has increased by nearly 3% over the past year, with an unemployment rate of just 4%, 100 basis points lower than the average for the U.S. Nearly 47% of the labor force works in management, education & training, administration, and sales.
Major employers in Whittier include:
- PIH Health Hospital with 3,500 employees;
- Interhealth Corp. with 2,600 people;
- Community College Rio Hondo with 1,800 workers;
- Los Angeles County Sanitation with 1,000 people;
- Sanitation Districts of LA with 950 workers;
- Whittier Hospital Medical Center with 850 people;
- Rose Hills Memorial Park with 600 employees;
- FedEx Freight with over 500 workers;
- Los Angeles Freightliner with 400 people;
- Humana Inc. with nearly 400 employees;
- Bright Health Physicians with 300 workers.
Education in Whittier, CA
Public schools in Whittier are operated by several districts, including the Whittier City School District, the East Whittier City School District, and the Whittier Union High School District. The city is home to a variety of award winning public, private, and parochial schools, including 34 primary, eight middle, and five high schools.
Whittier is home to both the Rio Hondo Community College, and Whittier College, which is a nationally ranked private four-year institution providing liberal arts, law, and MBA programs to its students.
Commuting Time in Whittier, CA
The commute time in Whittier is 30 minutes, about 20% higher than the national average. Over 3% of the workforce has a super commute of 90 minutes or more, with over 9% of the work day commuters choosing to carpool and over 3% having the ability to work at home.
Commuters in Whittier have access to the integrated transportation systems of Los Angeles County, which are a boon to both residents and business alike.
- The I-605 freeway, and I-60 and the I-5 freeways are all easily accessible from Whittier.;
- Bus service in the city is operated by several companies including the Metro, Foothill Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, and Norwalk Transit.;
- Whittier is due north of the major shipping ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.;
- Los Angeles International Airport, Bob Hope Airport, and Ontario International Airport all provide air travel from Whittier.
- Total Population86,852
- Male Population(48.8 %) 42,353
- Female Population(51.2 %) 44,499
- Median Age36.80
- Average Household Income$86,629
- Median Household Income$69,058
- Median Income Under 25$36,042
- Median Income 25-44$76,063
- Median Income 45-64$79,893
- Median Income Over 65$46,612
Residential Rents in Whittier, CA
Over 43% of the residents of Whittier rent where they live, a percentage that has been steadily increasing year-over-year. Multifamily development in Whittier is actively encouraged by the city, with projects at Hadley & Magnolia, Mar Vista at the Greenway Trail, and a 76-unit luxury apartment development at Whittier & Catalina.
Over the past year, residential rental rates in Whittier have increased by roughly 3%. One-bedroom units in Whittier rent for $1,403/month, while a three-bedroom rental runs $1,944/month, on average.
Whittier, CA Average Rental Price, September 2019
- $ 1,646/mo
- Studio: $ 1,250
- 1 Bedroom: $ 1,480
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 1,713
Whittier, CA Rent Trends
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