Poised for Growth With Billions in Trade Potential
During the month of the ICSC Western Division Conference in San Diego (Sept. 19-21), we are talking to various participants in the show. Today’s spotlight is on the City of Hesperia in San Bernardino County (Sequoia Suite 1040 at the show). Hesperia is actively seeking new retail tenants, especially eateries. It boasts 17 miles of freeway frontage and easy access to 366,000 High Desert residents. Lisa LaMere, the city’s economic development management analyst tells us more about Hesperia’s retail endeavors.
Ian Ritter: What do you hope to accomplish at this year’s Western Region ICSC?
Lisa LaMere: We are very proactive in our retail attraction efforts and have exhibited at ICSC since 2005. We promote Hesperia’s available land and existing centers as much as those sites where developers are planning new retail venues.
We will continue with our networking and relationship building, which we feel is paramount in our attraction efforts. Retailers may not be ready to open in Hesperia today, but armed with relevant sites and the analytics they need, we want them to be positioned so that when they pull the trigger as the economy improves, they will be ahead of the pack. Hesperia takes a great interest in the success of its businesses and as such, we remain proponents well past the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Ritter: What is the most important thing for retailers to know about Hesperia?
LaMere: Besides our $2.2B trade potential, and our customized incentives for franchises and restaurants, our most sought-after retail areas are all located in Hesperia’s Enterprise Zone (EZ) – the only one in our region.
An employee meeting the requirements for the EZ Hiring Tax Credit may make the retailer eligible for a hiring credit of up to $37,440 over a five-year period. Based on hiring 10 part-time employees, a retailer with a 10,000-square-foot establishment and a state income tax liability of $20,000 could realize a five-year state income tax savings of $123,875, equivalent to a savings of $2.48 per square foot over five years. Since our designation two years ago, we have vouchered what could amount to tax savings of over $13.1 million for Hesperia’s businesses.
Ritter: What type of retail is the city looking to add? What are the “hot” opportunities?
LaMere: The City’s residents clamor for sit-down restaurants, entertainment and we still have a huge need for all apparel lines and sporting goods. In our Downtown Civic Plaza, the Hesperia Cinema 12 will open in November of this year and we are seeking eateries both in that area and close to our I-15 and Main Street trade area.
For an irreverent look at the ups and downs of the retail industry, check out Counter Culture authored by GlobeSt.com Editor, Ian Ritter.