HOPES SOAR IN THE HIGH DESERT
Hesperia’s High Desert location along the I-15 corridor and U.S. Highway 395 provides an affordable and central location for manufacturing and distribution operations that serve southern California and surrounding states. Hesperia’s central location connects them to the major interstates and highways serving Los Angeles, San Diego, northern California areas and Nevada. Additionally, I-15 connects to I-40 that serves Arizona. These desert coordinates equate to lower development and operating costs, particularly in land, labor and fees. There are no utility or inventory taxes in Hesperia, nor are there Transportation Use Mitigation Fees (TUMF) or Habitat Species Fees, as found in other southern California communities.
Hesperia offers a motivated and industrious labor force—the largest workforce in the High Desert region—with wage rates significantly lower than other, more urbanized areas. There is little union activity in Hesperia, which contributes to a harmonious and productive business environment. Overall, a Hesperia location will lead to lower acquisition and construction costs, higher productivity and a greater return on investment.
The Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency has acquired land for industrial use to complement its new industrial rail lead track scheduled to break ground by the 3rd quarter of this year. The nearly mile-long lead track, served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, will be accessible from more than 200 acres.
Nearly 300 acres of vacant commercially and industrially zoned land in Hesperia are being submitted to the State of California Site Certification Program in anticipation of the eventual economic turnaround. This certification assures that the 25-acre minimum sites are available for sale or lease and have had a CEQA review and EIR within the past five years; that transportation and utility infrastructure are in place; and that the sites are capable of being fully permitted (air and site development). In addition, the sites must be accessible—without easement issues, etc.—and located outside of the FEMA 100-year and 500-year floodplains.
LIVING THE LIFE
Encompassing nearly 75 square miles and with nearly 92,000 residents, Hesperia is the second largest community in the High Desert region of California as well as the most commuter-accessible. More than 1 million people live within a 20 mile radius and approximately 100,000 pass through each day—thousands who are part of a diverse and skilled labor pool anxious to trade that commute for a stable and rewarding job in Hesperia, an excellent resource for new projects in the area.
Affordability along with a pleasant desert climate and clean air quality—without neighboring big city congestion—make Hesperia an ideal destination for businesses and families. The City exemplifies smart growth, maintaining a healthy balance between population and development.
Residents enjoy vast recreational opportunities from museum visits and shopping to golfing, skiing and offroading. Citizens of Hesperia also have access to three medical centers and a myriad of educational facilities, including four universities within a 40 mile radius.
HELPING THE OLD WHILE ENTICING THE NEW
“The City of Hesperia has become extremely competitive in its goal of attracting and expanding businesses and creating jobs,” said Steve Lantsberger, Deputy Economic Development Director. Hesperia has implemented many programs to spur new business growth while at the same time helping to ensure the success of existing local companies as well as the City’s future:
Enterprise Zone (EZ)
• Targets economically distressed areas using state and local incentives to promote investment and job creation
– Firms can earn $37,440 or more in state tax credits for each qualified employee hired
– Lenders to Enterprise Zone business may receive a net interest deduction
– Up-front expensing of certain depreciable property
– Corporations can earn sales tax credits on purchases of $20 million per year of qualified machinery and machinery parts
– Up to 100 percent Net Operating Loss (NOL) that may be carried forward 15 years
– EZ companies can earn preference points on state contracts
• Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ)
• RMDZ is a specially designated geographical area formed to promote the growth of the recycling industry
• The state offers below-market rate loans and no-cost marketing of products manufactured in an RMDZ
– Loan program is administered by CIWMB and funded through ‘tipping fees’, the charges paid at landfills statewide for the collection of waste and rubbish
• Technical assistance for preliminary research and development of the new market is available
• Will reduce Hesperia’s carbon footprint and the amount of waste going into its regional landfill
Feet on the Street
• Combined effort by The City of Hesperia, Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency (HCRA), and the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (IESBDC) Business Outreach Program
• Used to determine how local business are doing and how the City and HCRA may be able to assist them
• No-cost business evaluation and consulting program that offers a confidential financial analysis (review and evaluation) by a qualified business consultant and visits by Economic Development staff to discuss best practices
• Incentive devised to motivate real estate agents to present Hesperia and its opportunities to prospective purchasers of industrial, retail, and commercial developments
– Compensate a buyer’s agent who causes the sale of vacant or blighted land (as determined by the Agency at its sole discretion) that will result in an industrial, retail or commercial development, thereby promoting investment in a Redevelopment Project Area
• Will match the agent’s commission up to a maximum of $50,000 pursuant to certain requirements.