Heroic Efforts In California

By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2016 Issue

Just like the rest of the country, California has its seen ups and downs when it comes to employment, taxes, energy and the environment. Fortunately, the Golden State has allowed for a program to help alleviate some of this stress and bridge a gap between these issues.

Renovate America partners with cities and counties to provide financing solutions that help save energy, lower utility bills, reduce emissions, create new jobs and increase property values. The company administers the HERO (Home Energy Renovation Opportunity) program in California to provide local governments with a comprehensive residential PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing solution.

HERO is a public-private partnership that enables consumers to make energy and water efficiency improvements and pay for them over a five to 20 year period through their property tax bill. The terms are often longer than credit cards or home equity lines of credit, making monthly payments more affordable.

PACE legislation gives property owners a way to borrow money for energy-efficient upgrades. Approvals are based on the amount of equity in the home, and if the property is sold, any remaining balance can be passed on to the new owner. HERO offers low, fixed financing terms to incentivize property owners to make the energy-efficient choice when making home upgrades.

The PACE solution also includes consumer protection, business automation software, workforce training and ongoing access to private capital.

Jobs created by the program are primarily for contractor services in the clean-energy economy in communities throughout the state and tend to be long-term, family-wage earning positions.

Since its launch in December 2011, HERO has created more than 10,000 local jobs through projects completed in more than 50,000 homes in California. Riverside County leads the state with 2,937 jobs.

“What we set out to do in communities throughout California was provide an option for homeowners to affordably choose energy efficiency, renewable energy or water conserving products when they made needed repairs,” said J.P. McNeill, CEO of Renovate America.

Many homeowners who choose HERO have a system in their home fail, need replacement or need an upgrade. HERO’s PACE financing allows them to make an investment in their home that is likely to lower its operating cost, with no upfront cash required; lending capital is provided by private sources. There are more than one million energy-efficient, water-saving and renewable energy products (e.g., windows, skylights, doors, HVAC, solar panels, artificial turf, electric vehicle charging) that qualify for financing through HERO.

In addition to creating jobs, the 50,000 homeowners will save an estimated $2.2 billion on lower utility bills, conserve 7.8 billion kWh of energy, reduce emissions by 2.1 million tons and save more than 2.9 billion gallons of water.

Taking part in the HERO Program is voluntary for both jurisdictions and property owners. The program is cost neutral to participating local governments and has been adopted by more than 350 communities in California.

“The transition to a clean energy economy is happening now,” said Congressman Scott Peters. “The Clean Power Plan, Paris Climate Agreement and extension of renewable tax credits continue to encourage private sector investment in clean energy to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change. The success of the HERO Program is proof that we don’t have to choose between a clean environment and a prosperous economy.”


Murrieta is a young, affluent community located in the center of the Greater Southern California Region of the United States. With a population of 108,000 within the city, an average age of 34 and an average family income of over $105,000, Murrieta is recognized as a premier community for new residents and businesses seeking a safe community with a high quality of life.

Murrieta California
The Murrieta Innovation Center celebrated its grand opening with a well-attended ceremonial ribbon cutting in June 2015. (Credit: Shane Gibson)

Murrieta is ideally located at the intersection of U.S. Interstate Highways 15 and 215, which connect Murrieta to nearby Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego as well as to Las Vegas and the rest of the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. Murrieta is one of the fastest growing cities in California and is experiencing growth from both neighboring Los Angeles and San Diego. Businesses locating in Murrieta can serve a customer base of nearly 24 million people in the Southern California Mega-Region.

Murrieta is served by seven Southern California airports including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Diego International Airport, Orange County/ John Wayne Airport, Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport, Palm Springs Airport, as well as the French Valley Airport in Murrieta, which accepts executive jets. Murrieta is served by 22 local universities, including the University of California Riverside, University of California San Diego, California State University San Marcos, Cal Poly University Pomona, University of Redlands, Azusa Pacific University, Claremont Universities and many other highly respected colleges.

Murrieta is particularly proud of the high quality schooling provided by the award-winning Murrieta Valley Unified School District. The city’s schools exceed the State of California’s exemplary performance standards. Murrieta’s three high schools have been ranked within the top 10 percent of all high schools in the United States. Murrieta schools focus on career pathways including robotics, cybersecurity, engineering, information technology, media and other science and technology-focused fields. One of Murrieta’s high schools is the only comprehensive high school in Riverside County that teaches Mandarin, recognizing the importance of creating expanded connections with China.

Families of all ages are attracted to Murrieta due to its safe environment. The city is focused on providing a high level of public safety through the Murrieta Police Department. As a result, Murrieta ranks as one of the top 10 safest larger cities in the U.S.

The quality of life in Murrieta is unsurpassed, with close to 600 acres of parks and miles of hiking and riding trails. The city is adjacent to the Santa Rosa Plateau Wilderness Preserve and Cleveland National Forest, which provide opportunities for mountain recreation. The City is home to three golf courses, with one designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.—both of whom are world-class golf course designers. Murrieta enjoys a Mediterranean climate and, due to its proximity to the San Diego coast, provides clean air. Murrieta is located in the Southern California Wine Country and offers recreational opportunities such as the Pechanga Casino, the largest Indian casino in California. Due to the city’s location near San Diego and Los Angeles, Murrieta offers all of the attractions for which Southern California is famous, from ocean beaches to major sporting events to cultural amenities, including the Disney Concert Hall, for example.

Murrieta is well on its way to becoming the healthcare center for the region. Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta opened the first phase of its teaching hospital in Murrieta in 2011. Kaiser Permanente just purchased land for the development of a large hospital/ medical complex in the city. Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego has also purchased land to develop a large pediatrics healthcare facility to serve the community’s many young families. Rancho Springs Medical Center-Murrieta expanded its hospital a few years ago. Several senior healthcare developments are under construction as well.

Murrieta is focused on the growth of business, with a particular emphasis on the growth of high technology companies in such fields as life sciences, medical devices, software/IT, advanced manufacturing, engineering and research and development. The City offers affordable land and buildings in the center of Southern California along two national interstate highways and is seeking international investors for technology/science park development, new office projects, medical projects, retail, restaurant and hotel development. Murrieta has a strong focus on international trade and investment which has led to approximately $50 million in new foreign direct investment in Murrieta development projects in the last five years, including retail projects, office developments, medical projects and two new Marriott hotels. The City also has created the Murrieta Innovation Center to help encourage the growth of start-up technology companies and is the home of privately owned software engineering/ code writer’s incubator, the CoHive. Murrieta also has welcomed many internationally focused companies and welcomes Chinese companies which are seeking a location in a high quality community in the center of Southern California.

Let the pro-business City government help you to find the right opportunity for your company.


Hesperia, located in a superior Southern California region outside the South Coast Air Quality Management District, but only 90 miles from Los Angeles, makes an ideal location for any industrial, distribution and manufacturing operations.

Hesperia California
A 488,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Hesperia is available at I-15 and with close proximity to US 395. (Source: City of Hesperia)

Incorporated 25 years ago, Hesperia has, especially over the past decade, built a strong economic foundation supported by a young and growing population, good access to markets and a strategic location, along with relatively low living and operating costs. Hesperia is a thriving community of 102,123 residents projected to reach a population of 113,151 by the year 2020. Hesperia is positioned as the gateway to the Inland Empire’s High Desert region with a population in excess of 431,000.

Encompassing over 111 square miles, Hesperia’s sphere of influence extends to hundreds of industrial/commercially-zoned acres along the desirable north-south frontage of Interstate 15. Sited along Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 395, Hesperia combines access to air, ground and rail transportation for fastest-to-market delivery, and offers exceptional time and cost advantages to companies requiring logistics benefits.

Interstate 15 and Highway 395 provide an economic lifeline for goods movement between the major shipping ports and population hubs of southern California and various communities throughout the southwestern and western regions of the United States. From a location in Hesperia, nine Western states can be reached by truck in 16 hours. Interstate 15 is a leading transcontinental north-south highway in the western United States that extends more than 1,470 miles through six states, connecting with the nation’s three transcontinental east-west highways: Interstates 10, 80 and 90. Logistics and manufacturing companies will benefit from Hesperia’s proximity to the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, less than 100 miles distant, as well as air service from Ontario International Airport and Southern California Logistics Airport.


The City has long understood the need to attract more businesses to provide its large labor force with better paying jobs and to help improve and balance the quality of life in Hesperia. This goal is achieved, in part, with an infrastructure investment in the industrial core of Hesperia, in particular to support the development of the city-owned properties adjacent to the G Avenue Rail Lead Track. A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration augmented construction funding for the $8.1 million track, runaround, service road and drainage channel, which were completed in 2012. Hesperia’s nearly one-mile long track is served by BNSF Railway, which reaches markets at every compass point of the United States.

For those companies requiring large scale facilities and proximity to transportation corridors such as Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 395, Hesperia offers what is becoming a rarity in the Los Angeles Basin and Inland Empire valleys of Southern

California—two strategically located 200+ acre sites, each controlled by a single entity, as well as 80+ acres of rail-accessible city-owned land. All of these properties are adjacent to, or in close proximity to major transportation corridors.

The 232-acre Hesperia Commerce Center is a five-phased, entitled project, which at build-out could consist of up to 3.5 million square feet. Comprised of up to 34 buildings of industrial warehouse and office space, the future logistics development is located on the west side of the I-15, just north of the new Ranchero Road Interchange at I-15.

Five parcels, all under a single ownership, encompass 225+/- acres zoned as Commercial/ Industrial Business Park. The approximate aggregate dimensions are 3,988′ x 2,585′, plus a flag lot connecting the site to U.S. Highway 395, which ultimately joins with I-15 to the south. However, just over a mile to the east of this site on Phelan Road/Main Street, I-15 also is fully accessible to exiting and entering truck traffic.

With its strong Interstate highway network, large parcels and prime rail-accessible land, Hesperia can forge a strong link in any supply chain. Goods movement has never been easier—or more cost effective—than in the City of Hesperia. The city is staffed with pro-development professionals who make it their business to cut through red tape. Wielding a toolbox that includes a huge selection of prime sites; a City Council committed to commerce; and incentive and assistance resources, the Hesperia team will remain your strategic partner, making your transition here expedient, affordable, productive and profitable.

Commercial, industrial, retail and office properties abound throughout Hesperia, and this pro-development, customer service-oriented city is serious about bringing your business to Hesperia. To see how Hesperia can work for you, contact Economic Development Management Analyst Lisa K. LaMere at (760) 947-1910 or by email at econdev@cityofhesperia.us.


The City of Stockton is committed to business growth and success. Located in the heart of the Central Valley, Stockton is strategically positioned for quick and cost effective distribution of manufactured products to major West Coast, Pacific Rim and global markets with major transportation modes in place, such as the Port of Stockton (inland seaport), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific rail facilities, an airport offering both cargo and passenger service, and highway system. It is situated along the San Joaquin Delta waterway, which connects to the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Stockton is located 60 miles east of the San Francisco Bay Area, 83 miles east of San Francisco and 45 miles south of Sacramento, the capital of California.

With a population of over 300,000, Stockton is the 13th largest city in California. Stockton is the heart of San Joaquin County, the fifth largest agricultural county in the United States and the number one producer statewide of asparagus. With a large skilled and semi-skilled workforce and an affordable wage structure, Stockton can provide potential businesses a place to grow and expand. In addition, in-place infrastructure with water and sewer capacity makes Stockton a good fit for relocation. The highly desired California lifestyle in an affordable community, enriched by the pleasures of metropolitan living without the congestion, overcrowding, and expense, makes Stockton the ideal location for your business to prosper.

A revival of downtown Stockton is currently underway. Downtown Stockton provides an urban lifestyle and innovators are setting sights on downtown Stockton as an opportune place to locate. Projects in the downtown area along the waterfront include an indoor arena, baseball stadium and waterfront hotel. A 16-screen downtown City Centre Cinemas was completed in December 2003. The Bob Hope (Fox) California Theatre, listed on the National List of Historic Landmarks, recently completed a total renovation and hosts live performances regularly. The arena hosts the Stockton Heat (ECHL) Hockey team as well as year-round family and cultural events and concerts. Adjacent to the Stockton Arena is the Stockton Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports Minor Baseball Team (Oakland A’s affiliate).

The City of Stockton recently adopted a new Economic Development Strategic Plan outlining specific goals and initiatives in improving the City’s overall fiscal health and quality of life. Part of the strategy identifies core business clusters: manufacturing, food processing, agricultural, energy resources and technologies, office and IT professional services, ecommerce and logistics and construction materials. With the availability and affordability of land in Stockton, businesses, developers and site selectors can quickly identify available commercial properties via “Advantage Stockton” (www.advantagestockton.com)—a user friendly online geographic information system offering dynamic mapping, aerials and photographs of available existing facilities and developable land within Stockton.

Stockton has approximately 3,300 acres of industrially zoned land, of which close to 2,100 acres is available for development. The City has 14 fully improved industrial and business parks, nine of which contain rail access. All industrial parks offer easy freeway access and are located within five to 15 minutes of either the airport or the seaport. Major projects are rising in Stockton everywhere you turn.

Hobby Lobby, the big box retail giant in the craft and home décor sector is new to Stockton and has brought in more than 80 jobs, while the Dollar Tree distribution warehouse already established, plans to expand their operations by 50 percent. E-commerce women’s clothing rental company, Le Tote, relocated from the Bay Area to Stockton. With over $6 million in sales each year, they are a great addition to the community. In addition, Turkhan Foods currently is in the process of renovating a 126,000-square-foot building in the city to be used for the processing and packaging of almonds and walnuts. The company also will be relocating their headquarters to Stockton and is expected to employ 400 workers during their peak season.

Stockton also is robust in light manufacturing companies in the area. With a variety of operations ranging from aerospace technology, construction materials, medical devices, food processing and consumer goods and electric vehicles. Many light manufacturing companies currently are thriving in Stockton.

Applied Aerospace Structures (AASC) has been located in Stockton for 50 years. The company employs 330 engineers, designers, machinists and technicians and occupies 272,000 square feet. AASC designs and fabricates critical, lightweight, high-performance, engineered structural assemblies for the aerospace industry.

Advanced Polymer Technologies (APT) relocated from the Port of Stockton to a new facility encompassing 60,000 square feet. APT manufactures engineered plastic stock shapes for machined parts in medical device manufacturing, semiconductor production equipment, oil/gas exploration and aerospace platforms.

Duraflame headquarters, main distribution center and western manufacturing facility are all located in Stockton. The company manufactures a wide variety of fire-related products, including fire logs, fire starters and barbecue products.

Electric Vehicles International (EVI) is a leading manufacturer of alternative energy vehicles. They specialize in battery electric vehicles and range extended electric vehicles for multiple applications covering a diverse range of transportation options. EVI customers include UPS, GSA, Frito-Lay and PG&E.

The City of Stockton is committed to creating employment opportunities by attracting new business to Stockton and maintaining a healthy and safe business environment for existing businesses. Stockton will continue to diversify to support and assist companies for growth and expansion. The professional City staff is available to assist your development project in locating a site suitable for your business venture. Stockton’s goal is to do what it takes to get your project up and running and on-track to meet your needs. For more information about the City of Stockton Economic Development Department, visit www.stocktongov.com/econdev or call Micah Runner, Director of Economic Development at (209) 937-8539.