Moreno Valley’s Growth Inspires Retail Expansion

by Camren Skelton

Situated in the fastest-growing region of the United States, the Inland Empire’s Moreno Valley, California, is only an hour away from Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties and less than three hours from Nevada, Arizona and Mexico. At an annual growth rate of 5.04 percent, Moreno Valley’s population of 210,000 is booming.

There are more than 2.3 million people living within a 20-mile trade radius, as well as a workforce that’s 1.1 million strong. This solid growth has propelled the city to become the second-largest population in Riverside County and the 21st largest in California. With that in mind, residential construction is also adding new housing opportunities with more than 6,400 single-family and multifamily units under construction.

As retail follows rooftops, the city provides ample shopping opportunities, with two regional shopping destinations and 40 shopping plazas. Restaurant chains within the area tend to outperform the national average by as much as 25.6 percent. With the strong job and population growth, average household income has increased to $75,000.

In Moreno Valley, time is money. The city has formed a special concierge service and a quick-response strike team to assist developers and businesses with needs as they happen. The city’s plan check turnaround times are unparalleled — consistently beating other agencies in the region.

Moreno Valley also developed the “Hire MoVal” program, which offers business license fee waivers and access to small business development resources. Together, the City of Moreno Valley and the County of Riverside run the popular Employment Resource Center, offering businesses free workforce recruitments, employee training, business consulting, workshops and job postings. Under certain criteria, businesses also receive incentives for hiring recent graduates.

“We had several areas of consideration to place a Hyundai dealership,” says dealership owner Mike Brown. “Moreno Valley was most favorable. The city has been amazingly easy to work with, and helped facilitate a Hire MoVal program for our recruitment needs.”

At 4,500 businesses strong, Moreno Valley is home to a number of companies and retailers. From big box retailers like Costco, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Macy’s, and SuperTarget to quick-service fare like Café Rio, Pieology, Portillo’s and Waba Grill, Moreno Valley offers something for every individual’s live-work-stay-play needs.

—    By Mike Lee, Economic Development Director, City of Moreno Valley. This article originally appeared in the Retail Insight newsletter by Shopping Center Business, a six-week publication leading up to ICSC RECon and including post-conference coverage. Some of the articles and the videos in the publication are created in conjunction with our content partners, which sponsor the newsletter. Click here to subscribe and to see archived newsletters.

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