Riverside, birthplace of the 112-year-old California citrus industry, for the past decade and a half has been steadily, unobtrusively but effectively increasing its position in Southern California's industrial community.
With nearly 185,000 people, Riverside is the 86th largest city in the United States and the largest in the Inland Empire. Between 1970 and 1981, the city experienced more industrial growth than any other in the Inland Empire; Riverside-based companies invested more than $60 million in new and improved industrial space in the period 1981-85.
Chase Econometrics, forecasting arm of New York's Chase Manhattan Bank, reported in April of this year that Riverside and its surrounding area will continue to grow at a 4% annual rate through 1994, an increase of about 25,200 new jobs a year.
John Travaglione, a Riverside native whose family has been in the city for four generations and who is assistant vice president in the Riverside office of Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate services, explained that this development is in accord with the region's tradition:
"There's been no flamboyant, large-scale development but rather a steady growth that has kept pace with economic changes and the population increase."
The major focus of this activity at the present is Hunter Park, a 1,090-acre master-planned industrial park at the juncture of the Riverside (91) and the Pomona (60) freeways and Interstate 215. It has 6 million square feet of industrial space constructed, under construction or planned for early development, the largest concentration of existing and new industrial development in Riverside County.
The development is named for Joe Hunter of Hunter Engineering Co., the original owner of the land. Part of his legacy is a 34-acre city park inside the boundaries of the industrial center, which is being developed by several firms.
The 1,207,000 square feet of completed commercial and industrial buildings in Hunter Park include:
--Park Atlanta, 400,000 square feet;
--Marlborough Square, 450,000 square feet;
--Ryan's Commercial Center, 10,000 square feet;
--Hunter Corporate Plaza, 115,000 square feet;
--Hutton Business Plaza, 112,000 square feet;
--Columbia Business Park, 30,000 square feet, and
--Columbia Industrial Center, 90,000 square feet.
The projects currently under construction there include:
--Phase 1 of Blaine Business Park, a 16-acre garden office and multitenant development by Hunco Development of Brea;
--Phase 2 of Park Atlanta, a 33-acre business park by the Magnon Cos. of Riverside consisting of professional offices, research-and-development, multitenant and industrial space;
--Phase 2 of Hunter Corporate Plaza, 60,000 square feet, a multitenant industrial facility by RLR Development of Redondo Beach, and
--Chicago Avenue Business Center by Trammell Crow Co., a 48,000-square-foot office/industrial building divisible to 1,500-square-foot units for multitenant uses.
Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services' Riverside office is marketing agent for all four.
In addition, Magnon has announced plans to develop Northgate Industrial Park with 1 million square feet of medium to large single-user buildings and medium-sized multitenant buildings on two sites totaling 75 acres in Hunter Park.
Robert E. Laskey, Coldwell Banker vice president who heads the firm's Riverside office, said the Hunter Park development substantiates the city's claim to a balance between downtown office facilities, a wide range of housing and opportunities for employment.
"We have been slightly ahead of the timetable in gaining impressive new office structures in Riverside's traditional county seat/civic center/downtown area," he said.
"Housing at all price levels is abundant and well located and this has attracted a work force that now is largely commuting out of the area," Laskey added. "The new industrial development rounds out the diversification needed for a city on the growth course Riverside is following."