Sunday, December 23, 2007

Trucks Keep Rolling (Daily Bulletin December 22, 2007) Job-Starved Rialto attracting distribution centers....

BS Ranch Perspective

Looks like the growth of the city isn't what the City Council of Rialto Wants, Ed Scott Threatening to NOT VOTE for the new Building of a Business in the City of which he claims to love. The original Plans of which he claims to have had some input on regarding the Renaissance, Most of that is now planning to be turned into Distribution Centers, Just think if they had kept the Airport, and Expanded the Runway, but closed Laural Ave., but keeping Alder expanded and running through from the I-210 S/to the I-10 Freeway On/Off Ramps.  to allow Trucks to go to the stores to deliver goods, but if the Rialto Airport was expanded to allow Jets they could bring in the goods via Jet aircraft and C-130 Airplanes, major shipping could be in and out directly from Rialto. I don't know if Rialto tried to have this done originally, but if they did without wanting to get their hands on the property taxes and close the businesses that are currently at the airport. They also made promises to the Sheriff of the County that they could not keep. When I say they I am talking of Certain Members of the Rialto City Council, excluding the Mayor, Grace had nothing to do with Selling Rialto Police Department to the County!! At least there wasn't any evidence to prove that she was involved.

BS Ranch

Trucks keep rolling
Job-starved Rialto attracting distribution centers
Jason Pesick, Staff Writer

RIALTO - This was once a sleepy, orange-growing town.

Now, a few decades after it transformed into a bedroom community, Rialto is becoming a small distribution hub. This means a lot more trucks are rolling through town.

In the last five years, about 10 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space was built in Rialto. The city could see that same amount of space be built again in the next five to 10 years, estimated Economic Development Director Robb Steel.

"I think what you're seeing is that distribution and logistics is still having a heavy economic impact," said City Administrator Henry Garcia.

The new distribution centers bring jobs, something the city desperately needs. But they also bring trucks that clog and tear up the streets and pollute the air.

There are a few reasons why Rialto is seeing distribution centers sprout up.

One is that, like most areas in the Inland Empire, there is a lot of affordable land.

Rialto also wants to boost its economy with more jobs. Part of the pull, though, has to do with fluctuations in the real-estate market.

"At least at the moment, it's still healthy," Steel said of the industrial market.

A few years ago, cities were increasing the amount of housing in their development plans. Now, they're shifting housing to industrial.

In the south end of town, Panattoni Development is finishing work on a 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center.

Also on the south end, Oakmont Industrial purchased almost 200 acres that was supposed to become a housing project and turned it into 4 million square feet of industrial space. Target, which has a new 3.2 million-square-foot distribution center on the north end, is looking to expand by up to 400,000 square feet.

Instead of developing almost 4,000 homes along the 210 Freeway as part of the 1,500-acre Renaissance Rialto, 2,000 of those homes will become industrial development.

City Councilman Ed Scott, a member of the city's economic development committee, warns he won't vote to approve Renaissance if all the industrial space planned becomes low-paying distribution centers.

"I think with the size of the property up there, we can be sort of selective of what can come in up there," he said.

Before the housing market fell off, Garcia said he wanted Panattoni to be the last big-box project on the south end. He said there had to be a limit to the number of trucks in the area. That hope certainly won't be fulfilled. The Oakmont project will be many times larger than Panattoni's.

"I think my general concern is still that we're looking for that balance between industry and quality of life in terms of truck traffic," he said.

Garcia said trucks can be restricted to certain routes so they won't affect the interior of the city too significantly.

"You know, our market data has always said this community needs jobs," he said.

Rialto has a ratio of 0.8 jobs to each home, Steel said. He wants to boost that figure to 1.25 jobs per home - something that will be a lot easier with the new industrial plans and the change in Renaissance.

In San Bernardino and Riverside counties, salaries in the distribution sector average about $40,000 annually, said Redlands- based economist John Husing.

In November, voters in Redlands approved a distribution-center tax of 3.5 cents per square foot. That will rake in $245,000 a year.

Garcia said he may analyze the economics of a distribution tax in Rialto, but he said he suspects it wouldn't generate much money.

Steel said the city's utility tax brings in a lot of money from distribution centers because of their high utility bills.

The trend of building more giant distribution centers might be coming to an end.

The city is already running out of land and will feel tight for space within five years.

As developers slow their building of huge centers, they might look to smaller ones and even some small manufacturing centers, Husing said. If the western portion of San Bernardino, which is running out of industrial space, is a guide, office space will be the next trend, he said.

Staff writer Matt Wrye contributed to this report.

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