San Diego doesn’t have a whole lot of room for the very sectors it says it’s determined to grow – namely manufacturing, which tends to offer middle-class jobs.
A citywide economic development strategy approved in June zeroed in on one big roadblock: “San Diego is at a disadvantage in the manufacturing and innovation sectors in particular because the city is running out of raw land.”
San Diego County doesn’t have much land that can be quickly developed for industrial users. It’s boxed in by the Pacific Ocean, the Mexican border, Camp Pendleton and its unique topography.
A 2009 study by the San Diego Association of Governments, the region’s planning agency, found just 2,040 acres in the sprawling 4,526-square-mile county presented almost shovel-ready opportunities for commercial developers. More than 60 percent of the immediately available acreage was in unincorporated Otay, Carlsbad, Otay Mesa and Oceanside. Only a fraction of that land would be available to industrial users, though there are processes by which zoning can change.
The lack of space and the high cost of the supply in desirable central locations might have been a factor in some companies’ decisions to expand elsewhere but it’s not clear the shortage is hurting the businesses already here – yet.
That’s because manufacturing businesses and the jobs they supply are changing.
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Excellent article. Well balanced. City has plenty of industrial land, including large lots. The 2008 GP ignored recommendations of many reports and studies done by land owners hoping to re-zone industrial land to mixed use or residential in hopes of bringing workforce housing to San Diego--especially to areas heavily impacted by traffic congestion from commuters. In fact, most expansions by San Diego's largest employers--in defense, biotechnology or telecommunications/computers have been by tearing down one story industrial or R&D buildings and constructing multi-story office/R&D structures. San Diego manufactures very few products that require single story manufacturing process, vast storage facilities, or transportation beyond freight, UPS or FedX. We are a high-value-added town where a lot of "products" go out to customers over the Internet or in tiny packages of bio-technology products shipped by mail or air express. I think the refusal to amend Community Plans to permit more (affordable) housing is just an ongoing refusal by City Council to deal with the cost-issue of local real estate development. Limitations on supply create higher prices in the face of rising demand--which we are lucky enough to have. The real culprit in holding down middle class advancement in San Diego is not the lack of land for expansion--it is Community Plans that prohibit much in the way of meaningful change that would lower costs for employers and those seeking a place to live.
@LisaHalverstadt I think you would have to tease it out tho City might have numbers.
Great work again @LisaHalverstadt TY for always seeking & articulating the multiple viewpoints that best frame our region's economic issues.
Coincidentally, yesterday UT San Diego published an article which promoted rezoning Grantville sub-area A (http://www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency/grantville.shtml#general ) from “commercial, industrial and retail” to over 8,000 residential units (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/13/grantville-housing-climate-develop-density-condo/2/?#article-copy ).So, where does Papa Doug, Mayor Faulconer and his economic development staff suggest the Grantville businesses go, Otay?This certainly does not seem consistent with the City’s General Plan.And one has to wonder:If NASSCO were located in Grantville, instead of a multitude of small businesses, would the City be all hot to rezone to residential?
@Brian Peterson Good comment. Too bad the powers that be don't give a s--t. It is & always has been about lining pockets.
@Brian Peterson Yep, good comment Brian. No one wants to work 45 -75 minutes away from home, that's Why the City's 'General Plan' worked. The city wasn't 'controlled' by housing developers and thought about long term 'consequences' such as transportation traffic, shipping, shopping-retail, commercial, industrial, education, parks, recreation...yes, and parking, a 'balanced' look. Took Don Bren getting to OC to get 'advice' on developing 93,000 acres of Irvine ranch (still a Long way to go), but folks are very pleased with the 'balanced' focus...which we've been 'missing' here for the nearly 30 yrs. I've been here.
Plus, where is our 'real airport' to 'ship goods in and out of' that would bring in Real transportation funding? We are soon to become a cesspool of residential housing with few jobs, smaller education opportunities and more costly..everything ...that has to be 'flown in,' then 'trucked in' via Ontario and LAX and soon, giving our $500 Million annual Revenues to TJ, as we ship our 20,000 (yes, this Year & a huge addition to the financial revenues, as testified, repeatedly to AA execs at "Limited Lindbergh") to 100,000 'Cargo flights,' (in similar sized cities) via 'Rodriguez Airport!' Get a Clue, folks...our Mayor & council are ready to 'throw out the baby with the bath water.'.. Even the environmentalists (& our patios & health) will appreciate the reduction in Diesel Fuel trucks and tanks to transport cargo (now) to any of these mentioned sites...
Has Anyone looked at the necessity for Manufacturers to Ship their products (or parts, to make them)? Our prior business is just one example...no Manufacturer wants to go out of Lindbergh! There are tens of thousands of Acres of land for Industrial/Mfg. Development in SD county, centrally located in the center (geographically and demographically)..with a site that can easily afford a 3500-acre airport with 2 runways...affecting no one with loud noise, traffic (transit can be 'funded'.as spokes to a wheel from 18 cities.as it is now is being done in at least 3 newer airport locals nationwide...anyone been noticing?) and 'industrial development' around it. Nah, I'm just the 'dumb blonde' in RE for 28 yrs., former exec in a business & personal development co. that 'doubled incomes & tripled vacation times' in 15 wks., guaranteed in OC/LA...
Look at a satellite map of San Diego. It's ridiculous how much land we've forced property owners to set aside for something as unproductive as parking. If instead we gave them full freedom to build as little or as much parking as the market wants, we could fit far more businesses inside San Diego's borders.