JOB GROWTH TOPS 2%
The county added 2,900 nonfarm jobs over 12 months, up 2.2 percent to 135,700.
Job-gaining industries over 12 months were educational and health services, up 900 jobs, or 3.6 percent, to 26,000; construction, up 700 jobs, or 7.8 percent, to 9,700; leisure and hospitality, up 600, or 4 percent, to 15,500; and manufacturing, up 3.3 percent, or 400 jobs, to 12,500.
The unemployment rate in Solano County was 5.7 percent in August, about equal to the 6.0 percent rate from the July revised estimate and the one for August 2015, according to the state Employment Development Department.
VACANCY REACHES LOW LEVELS
The industrial vacancy rate for Solano and Napa counties declined in the second quarter to 6.2 percent of 49.5 million square feet, down from 6.6 percent in the first quarter, according to Colliers. Average asking monthly rental rates increased by 3 cents a square foot to 53 per square foot, on a triple-net basis.
The industrial vacancy was 17.1 percent at the close of 2010, according to Colliers.
LOOKING FOR LAND TO DEVELOP
“We have pockets of land that can be developed, but large projects with space for 1 million square feet, there are only a handful of sites to accommodate that,” Dakin said. “We’re looking at what we can move around to accommodate demand.”
The Gateway80 distribution warehouses underway there are designed to “appeal to a wide range of manufacturing, distribution and other industrial users,” said Matt Bracco, a managing director for JLL. Bracco, Glen Dowling and Chris Neeb of JLL are marketing the property for lease. “This strategic location on I-80 is exceptional and provides users quick and easy access to the entire Bay Area as well as the Central Valley, wine country, Sacramento, Port of Oakland and far beyond.”
Solano County has been garnering the attention of companies and commercial real estate developers for years because it’s within an hour by road of the ports of Benicia, Oakland and Stockton plus three international airports — Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco, according to the Gateway80 team.
COURTING FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRODUCERS
And Fairfield, in particular, has been active in courting new companies with its two state-of-the-art water and sewer treatment plants.
“We’re playing to our strengths as a food and beverage manufacturing hub,” Dakin said. “We have distribution lanes, water and wastewater processing.”
The food and beverage hub led by Jelly Belly, Calbee Foods, Anheuser-Busch and Guittard is attracting similar companies to Fairfield. Saxco International took much of the large Solano Logistics Center warehouse project finished across Cordelia Road from the Gateway80 site last year. Just Desserts last May expanded to a 75,000-square-foot plant built by Buzz Oates Group of Companies on seven acres at 5000 Fulton Dr. Colliers brokered the lease.
VACAVILLE ABSORBS SPACE, GETS BACK MUCH MORE
In Vacaville at the north end of the county, Buzz Oates earlier this year built 2060 Cessna Dr., a 128,758-square-foot warehouse in Vacaville Business Park. Buzz Oates has been building in the park for years and has remaining land. Vacaville-based Automatic Bar Controls, Inc., doing business as Wunder-Bar, moved into 81,225 square feet of the building.
The remaining 47,000 square feet in the building just were leased to Los Angeles-based Acorn Paper Products Company (acorn-paper.com), which had a sales office and distribution center at 118 Dodd Ct. in American Canyon.