An economic powerhouse known both for its endless blue skies and industrial might, Orange County is a highly desirable location for companies in search of the rare combination of ideal weather, bustling economy, and ample choices in industrial and warehouse office space. Between its laid-back appeal along the coast, commerce-oriented inland cities, and well-established tech corridor in its southern regions, Orange County offers appealing industrial and warehouse solutions to companies of all shapes and sizes in a wide variety of industries.
For that reason, TenantBase has prepared a list of the most popular locations for companies looking for space within the appealing Orange County market. Take some time to analyze your own specific demands and goals – both now and into the future – to find industrial and warehouse office space within Orange County and start take advantage of its many unique and robust characteristics.
Conveniently located at the intersection of several interstates between the coastal communities and Orange County’s industrial heart, the City of Costa Mesa is a mixture of vibrant neighborhoods, growing industry, and a retail mecca. Home to the South Coast Plaza, one of the largest shopping centers in the nation, as well as several repertory theaters and renowned performance venues, Costa Mesa is a unique mixture of art and commerce with an appealing quality of life that makes it desirable for companies trying to establish a balance of revenue and recreation.
Already well known as the capital of the action sports industry – with notable companies such as Hurley International, Volcom, RVCA, Rip Curl, Vans, and Quiksilver calling in home – Costa Mesa takes full advantage of the booming surfing and skating scenes within the region, parlaying local popularity into national – even international – success.
The city's economy also relies heavily on the varied retail and service-oriented companies populating its commerce centers, particularly along busy Harbor Boulevard, Bristol Street, and towards its shared border with Newport Beach. With the South Coast Plaza serving as the focal point to its commercial activity – an immense retail center known for its sheer size and unique architecture – the South Coast Plaza alone is responsible for generating almost $2 billion in annual revenue.
Also the home to numerous electronics, pharmaceuticals, and plastics firms, Costa Mesa boasts significant manufacturing activity as well – particularly in the southwestern portion of the city – making it a truly eclectic combination of industries and personalities. When combined with large organizations like Experian – the largest employer in the city – Costa Mesa's employer base matches its diverse neighborhoods and demographics.
For the most part, Costa Mesa is geared towards smaller industrial warehouse space that is most suitable for small to midsize businesses. Available space typically utilizes drive-in doors rather than deck level access, and most of the city's office parks are designed with ample office parking in the front and vast, flexible warehouse space in the back. Typically speaking, businesses looking for a combination of office and warehouse space with drive-up loading areas – usually with 16 to 18 foot clearance heights – will find Costa Mesa an appealing choice.
Known throughout the world for its idyllic sandy beaches, mild climate, surfing and beach culture, Huntington Beach is a vibrant mix of character and commerce, industry and lifestyle, that makes it an intriguing outlier even within the highly diverse Orange County area. Sitting directly above a natural fault structure that has previously supplied the region with much of its oil – the local high school even uses the Oilers as their nickname – oil production still provides significant income to the local economy.
However, as extraction efforts slow and oil reserves deplete, tourism is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of the city's economic footprint. With several retailers – both locally owned and large, corporate-owned outlets – particularly along the Pacific Coast Highway and tourist hubs of Main Street and Beach Boulevard, Huntington Beach relies on coastal foot traffic as well as the ever-important car culture of Southern California to generate its tourist-based revenue streams.
From an employer-base perspective, Huntington Beach is the home to one of the largest installations from the Boeing Company – formerly McDonnell-Douglas – in the world, a leader in aerospace design and manufacturing. The city also houses the headquarters of Cambro Manufacturing, an international food service equipment company that runs two separate manufacturing facilities within city boundaries.
Huntington Beach offers many different industrial and warehouse options, particularly for companies in search of larger industrial space. In fact, there is an 80/20 ratio of available industrial to office space within the city. Also, Huntington Beach tends to be more affordable than neighboring cities, providing more distribution-oriented space, some dock highs, and several bigger box-type options.
One of the oldest cities in Orange County, Santa Ana straddles the Santa Ana River and lies about 10 miles from the coast, occupying the center of the Greater Orange County area. Extremely dense in population, Santa Ana ranks fourth nationally in population per square mile in cities with over 300,000 residents, trailing only New York City, San Francisco, and Boston. Despite its residential density, Santa Ana still ranks as the fourth safest city in the United States for population centers over 250,000 residents.
Much of the city is built around the bustling Civic Center that houses the Orange County Superior Court complex, a modern sports facility that features a multipurpose stadium, the Santa Ana Zoo, and Bowers Museum. Just a few minutes from downtown, Centennial Park is one of the largest open parks in the county, featuring a variety of different athletic fields, courts, walking paths, and picnic areas. On the 4th of July, Centennial Park hosts the largest fireworks display in all of Orange County.
Despite Orange County being associated with more expensive pricing, Santa Ana offers companies more affordable solutions in a variety of different spaces. A more heavier industrial tenant mix than neighboring cities, Santa Ana landlords are typically more accommodating to a larger variety of uses, especially with respect to the restrictive zoning laws in southern portions of Orange County.
Also, featuring a more substantial power grid than neighboring cities as well as less office buildout, Santa Ana is an appealing choice for small to medium size companies looking for a more industrial-oriented space solution. Furthermore, due to its centralized location, Santa Ana either contains or lies adjacent to the 55, 405, 5, 22, and 57 freeways, as well as close proximity to John Wayne Airport.
Neighboring Santa Ana in Central Orange County, Tustin encompasses over 11 square miles and is located just 2 miles north of John Wayne Airport. Like many cities in the heart of the county, Tustin is bisected by several freeways, including the I-5, 55, and 57 – all critical transportation arteries for Southern California.
With a top 10 ranking in startups and sole proprietorships per capita, as well as an extremely advantageous location for work commutes, Tustin has been ranked as one of the best towns to live in throughout all of America. Comprised of several quintessentially suburban neighborhoods, Tustin also boasts a burgeoning retail district built within the substantial open space on the former grounds of Tustin Air Force Base.
With plenty of available space, Tustin offers a tremendous variety of industrial and warehouse solutions, ranging from 1,000 square feet to large footprints of 100,000 square feet or more. Existing tenants occupy a healthy mix of industrial and flex spaces – featuring a combination of office and warehouse space – as well as service-oriented facilities. In other words, this Central Orange County city can accommodate a wide range of different companies, from professional services to light manufacturing, and many points in between.
Another of the oldest cities in the county, the City of Orange features a population of almost 140,000 residents and is home to the infamous Orange Crush, one of the busiest commuting interchanges in the country where the 5, 57, 55, and 22 freeways all intersect within a mile of each other.
Orange is also home to many of the county's largest medical facilities, including the University of California at Irvine Medical Center, St. Joseph's Hospital, and the Children's Hospital of Orange County. These three facilities are also the largest employers in the city, employing 4,000, 3,800, and 2,500 employees, respectively.
As one of the older areas in Orange County, the Orange Circle – a traditional, Main Street setting that relishes its classic Americana atmosphere – is often used to film television shows and movies for the major entertainment studios located just 30 miles north in Los Angeles. Wanting to attract a more modern aesthetic as well, however, Orange is also home to The Block, a massive outdoor retail and entertainment complex that features hundreds of small stores, franchises, movie theaters, and a wide variety of restaurants.
Industrial space in Orange falls within the medium price range with respect to the overall region due to the amount of inventory in its industrial-zoned areas. While the available space within the city tends to skew to the older side of local inventory, the area is in-demand due to its convenient location within Central and Northern Orange County, making it a popular choice for more prominent industrial users. Orange also has several auto zoned areas as well.
The second largest city in terms of area in all of Orange County, Anaheim is world-renowned for being the home to the Disneyland Resort, a massive complex of family-friendly, Disney-themed rides, restaurants, hotels, shops, and entertainment locations. Anaheim is much more than a Disney foothold, however, as it also features several professional sports facilities – including Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, and plays host to several NBA games throughout the year, particularly for the Los Angeles Clippers.
With so much emphasis placed on family entertainment and professional sports, Anaheim's income is obviously dependent on tourist revenue. As such, with the Walt Disney Company being the city's largest employer and the Disneyland Resort contributing $5.7 billion annually to Southern California's economy, the entertainment industry produces over $255 million in local taxes every year.
Despite such economic concentration on entertainment, Anaheim features a wide variety of larger industrial spaces, mostly geared towards bigger businesses on land valued at lower price points than neighboring cities. Therefore, particularly for larger industrial products, space in Anaheim tends to be more cost-efficient. Also, due to its proximity to several freeways – including the 405 – conveniently distributing products in and out of the area makes Anaheim an attractive industrial space and warehouse solution, particularly for larger companies.
Located on the California coast midway between Los Angeles and San Diego along the southern border of Orange County, San Clemente is known for its expansive ocean views, hilly terrain, ideal climate, and pervasive Spanish Colonial architecture. Another international hub of the surfing world, San Clemente is also the home to most of the major surfing media outlets, including Surfing Magazine, the Surfer's Journal, and Longboard Magazine.
Aside from its beautiful setting and concentration on outdoor sports and recreation, the city also houses the corporate headquarters to Cameron Health, ICU Medical, DealerSocket, and Stance Socks, making San Clemente a unique combination of relaxed lifestyle and manufacturing stronghold.
Although Interstate 5 runs directly through the city, San Clemente differs from its central county brethren by featuring higher-end, pricier industrial park options, concentrating on high-quality facilities that feature HVAC as well as research and development-oriented lab space to cater to medical research tenants. Most of the available space is modern in design, newer, almost always climate controlled, and specifically appeals to larger, more creative uses of space.
A meticulously designed city that lies squarely in the center of the more industrial cities to the north and expensive areas to the south, Irvine is a robust city with a wide variety of housing, recreation, and business options. Very much a prototypical suburb, Irvine concentrates on appealing to families and, as such, is a commuting city that is heavily reliant on its close proximity to the 405 and 5 freeways, John Wayne Airport, as well as a series of toll roads.
Home to the Orange County Great Park– featuring an antique carousel and helium balloons that provide spectacular views of the California coast and Bommer Canyon below – Irvine's burgeoning tourism industry is coordinated directly with the city's Chamber of Commerce to concentrate not only on family vacations but providing a corporate destination for meetings, events, and other business initiatives as well. Thanks to these efforts over the last two decades or so, Irvine is consistently rated one of the top cities for startups in the nation and its strong, fast-growing economy provides the backbone for the entire county's healthy and competitive job market.
Much like San Clemente, Irvine features higher-end industrial park options with high quality facilities that include HVAC and ample lab space for research and development. Therefore, Irvine is a popular choice for companies in the medical sciences and technology sectors, relying on modern and expansive inventory to attract companies specializing in cutting-edge, scientifically-minded operations.
Long known as an economically robust region in one of the strongest financial centers in the world, Orange County provides a wide variety of industrial and warehouse office spaces to meet the varying needs of a diverse company base. Featuring a unique blend of ideal weather, recreational options, ample housing, and business-friendly zoning, TenantBase expects Orange County to continue to be an economic force well into the future.