We constantly hear it in the news, on the radio and from economists on Wall Street and in academia: “We’re living in the ‘new normal.’” And while California’s protracted economic recovery continues to lag, there are emerging signs of new economic life in many parts of the state, including Irwindale and several other communities in the San Gabriel Valley.
Irwindale is at a major crossroads today, continuing to serve as a critically important natural resource provider for much of Southern California, while taking advantage of its competitive location and availability of developable land to support a broad mix of industrial and commercial industry clusters. In addition to being a major employment hub for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution uses like MillerCoors and ReadyPac, Irwindale is also the home of emerging trends in energy conservation and sustainable development.
Irwindale is the showcase location for Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Energy Education Center, which is “a source of energy efficiency information for business owners and operators, architects and designers, operations and facility managers, contractors, engineers or anyone wanting to learn about the latest in state-of-the-art technology for saving energy, money and the environment.” The city is proud to have business partners like SCE who are committed to investing in both technological advancements and protecting our environment for the enjoyment of future generations.
Likewise, economic growth, business expansion and attraction, community revitalization and environmental sustainability are all elements of Irwindale’s emergence in “The New Normal” as a focal point for economic development in Southern California. The city is committed to making new near- and long-term investments to position the community for economic growth and success, teaming with existing and new business partners who are seeking to be the new economic trendsetters in “The New Normal.”
Fostering Growth & Expansion
In addition to award-winning projects like the 2.2-million square-foot Irwindale Business Center developed by Trammel Crow Company, which is the home for corporate headquarters and business offices of major companies like Charter Communications, Superior Communications and Iron Mountain, the City and the Irwindale Community Redevelopment Agency (ICRA) have also made investments to successfully develop public-private partnerships that have fostered the new growth and expansion of burgeoning businesses like Huy Fong Foods.
In 2010, the ICRA completed a deal with Seventh Street Development to construct a new $40 million, 655,000-square-foot facility on a 23-acre site that is the new operations base of Huy Fong Foods, best known as the maker of now internationally-adored Sriracha hot chili sauce. The project was the largest commercial real estate development project in Los Angeles County in 2010. But perhaps more impressive than the facility itself is the story behind Huy Fong Foods, which is a family-owned and run business that is an American immigrant success story. David Tran, the founder of the company, immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 and grew and expanded Huy Fong Foods almost completely through word-of-mouth about the hot sauce, never relying on formal advertising. With the move to the new Irwindale facility, the company is expected to have the capacity to expand production by ten-fold.
It is success stories like this that the city and ICRA are seeking to continue to facilitate in Irwindale, offering valuable developable land in a competitive location to foster the growth and expansion of stellar businesses like Huy Fong Foods.
Focus on Mining & Emerging Industry Clusters
The mining industry has played a huge role in developing the City of Irwindale and continues to be an important part of the local economy. Some of the highest quality of rock and gravel found in the western U.S. lies here, after being washed down over the centuries from the San Gabriel Mountains by way of the San Gabriel River. In fact, most of California's roads and freeways have some element of Irwindale rock in them, as do many highways and interstate byways in the western U.S.
The city continues to work closely with active mining companies in the area, ensuring future reclamation and reuse of existing and former mining quarries. It is these future reclamation opportunities that will cause the City of Irwindale to be one of the last locales in Los Angeles County and the San Gabriel Valley to offer large parcels of developable land for cutting-edge commercial and industrial-flex projects like the 655,000-square-foot Huy Fong Foods facility. Redevelopment will continue to be a major part of this transformation and, while the state budget crisis will continue to attempt to diminish the ability and tools of local governments to invest in their local economies and communities, the City of Irwindale and the ICRA are committed to leveraging their available assets and resources to strategically invest in the economic emergence of Irwindale in “The New Normal,” with the goal of producing a return on investment for the long-term economic sustainability and benefit of the community.
The City and ICRA are also committed to working with private industry to understand the flow of existing and newly emerging job clusters in the region and how Irwindale can support and promote the expansion of those clusters. Rather than sit on the sidelines and wait for industry trends to fall into Irwindale’s lap, the City and ICRA are seeking to focus their investment resources in alignment with where industry, demographic and real estate trends are headed. By forecasting and aligning with these trends, Irwindale seeks to be a cornerstone for “The New Normal,” rather than a remnant of the past trying to play catch-up.
The City of Irwindale knows the key to its success is directly related to the success of its business community. We have a superior team of professionals to help businesses accomplish their goals. Whether it be a planning/permit issue, a public works project or general help in identifying resources to help operate and grow your business, our team is here to help!
Our team can assist businesses with:
• Referrals to service providers and economic development professionals who can offer free or low-cost information on technical assistance, financing or workforce preparation
• Identifying permit and licensing agencies
• Public financing programs (local, state and federal)
• Labor market, job training and industry support resources
We also assist established, larger businesses with:
• Site selection
• Personalized briefings tailored to meet your specific needs
• Coordination with ports, foreign trade zones, railroads and utility companies, as well as local cities and communities
• Addressing specific industry issues and support groups
• Human resource solutions
For more information about the city’s economic development plans and business assistance programs, please contact Ken Lee, Community Development Director/Redevelopment Consultant at (626) 430-2213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.