Economic Development Update 2019 – Another Strong Year
Economic Development Staff presented its annual update at the City Council work session on Monday, December 9, 2019. The presentation provided an overview of economic development programs, information on local economic indicators, and updates on ongoing and planned development throughout the city. San Leandro’s economy remains strong, with businesses continuing to grow and hire, and new developments proposed across the city.
This year’s presentation is hosted on a new platform, developed by MySidewalk.com, which serves as the City’s public-facing information dashboard for the city’s designated Opportunity Zone. This platform allows staff to generate current datasets and reports from a wealth of data sources and for a number of purposes, including economic development.
Local businesses employ almost 48,000 people, an increase of 1,388 jobs in the last year, keeping the unemployment rate low, at 3.1%.
Total sales across all sectors climbed to $3.19 billion last year, which is indicative that residents and those living in surrounding communities continue to shop in our many successful retail centers, with businesses of most all types ‘capturing’ far more than local demand.
San Leandro properties have typically been in strong demand over the past few years and while space in the successful industrial area can be hard to come by, property turnover and new construction coming on the market in 2018 has caused the vacancy rate to climb from 1.4% to 7.0%, creating opportunities for new businesses to relocate here, as well as existing businesses to grow. New retail and restaurant businesses also continue to open across town, keeping the retail vacancy rate steady at 3.4% for the past two years.
With $631 million in development permitted since 2015, businesses continue to expand and invest in their properties. 600,000 square feet of new industrial space has been constructed, with an additional 155,000 square feet underway. Additionally, over 1,500 new housing units are approved or proposed in Downtown and beyond.
The City and its staff work hard to support and foster this local economic growth. The Economic Development team serves as a liaison to local businesses, to connect them with resources at the City and beyond. The team works with a number of organizations to maximize its impact and strengthen the local business ecosystem, creating a valuable network of services, support, and products for businesses to utilize. The San Leandro story is told through a number of different channels and the Economic Development team encourages innovative and beneficial new businesses to locate here.
This year, staff worked on marketing the City via a San Leandro Business Times insert, reaching 48,000 print readers and 5,619 online page views. Especially popular were the articles about the Bay Fair Transit Oriented Development plans, and San Leandro restaurants.
Over the past five years, the City has provided over $446,000 in incentives to local businesses, ranging from a fresh coat of paint and new awnings to comprehensive facade improvements. The Economic Development team has also worked collaboratively with a number of partners to support manufacturers and promote manufacturing as a career.
For the second year, a partnership with the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce served to promote National Manufacturing Day through a number of activities, with local businesses opening their doors for public tours and a local manufacturers appreciation event. The Chamber also helped organize the fourth successful East Bay Manufacturing Day, which was attended by approximately 350 students who had the opportunity to tour several San Leandro businesses, and then were able to tour the new advanced manufacturing labs at Chabot College.
With a continued business-friendly climate, easy transportation access, ultra high speed internet, and a diverse housing and employment base, San Leandro is an ideal place to grow a business. For more detailed information, click HERE to view the entire presentation and subscribe to San Leandro Next to stay up to date on developments and new projects. And if you’re a business looking to move or expand in San Leandro, let us know!