Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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INLAND EMPIRE 194 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 O n a recent trip to Southern Cali- fornia, Shopping Center Busi- ness noticed that the Inland Em- pire seemed like it had a lot of activity. The area's regional centers are active, and its strip centers appeared healthy. The Inland Empire grew with the burgeoning econ- omy in Southern California in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The area was rife with new homebuilding and many new re- tail projects in the mid-2000s. Like many suburban markets with incredible growth rates, the Inland Empire — defined loosely as Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and some parts of Eastern Los Angeles County — was hit hard during the Great Recession. The market has made a quiet come- back. New transportation arteries have opened in the area, and new restaurants and retail have discovered the market to create more destinations and amenities for residents as well. SCB recently in- terviewed Brad Umansky, president of Rancho Cucamonga, California-based Progressive Real Estate Partners, to get a feel for the market's status today. SCB : What are some of the misconcep- tions that people may have of the Inland Empire? UMANSKY : The biggest misconception is that SoCal's Inland Empire, which in- cludes both San Bernardino and River- side counties, is a stepchild to Orange County, Los Angeles County and San Di- ego County. While there are many who live in the Inland Empire who commute to those markets, there is an even larger number of people who live, work and play in the Inland Empire. A downside to the recent economic growth that has taken place throughout Southern California is increased traffic and congestion. As a result, just driving out of the market on the weekends has become chal- lenging, so many people choose to stay closer to home. Luckily, they don't have to drive far be- cause the Inland Empire has great retail centers, plenty of enter- tainment options and wonderful cultural opportunities. Another misconception is that retail is overbuilt in the market. We have really balanced out the excess that we had after the Great Recession when Rediscovering The Inland Empire California's Inland Empire — and neighboring High Desert — has quietly had a renaissance over the past few years. Interview by Randall Shearin Metro & Main in Corona, California, is one of the first mixed-use projects planned for the Inland Empire that will feature apartments over retail. Brad Umansky President Progressive Real Estate Partners

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