Welcome to Capital Rivers Connect – California Edition, a podcast that explores how communities in the Golden State are investing and growing their local economy to enhance the prosperity and quality of life for their residents and business owners. In this episode, Banning Together, Capital Rivers’ CEO Greg Aguirre connects with Marisol Lopez, Economic Development Manager for the City of Banning, where transparency and communication are attracting development opportunities.
The City of Banning has a rich history of economic development dating back to the gold rush era. Initially serving as a stagecoach station for routes to gold boomtowns, Banning experienced growth with the introduction of the railroad. Officially incorporated in 1913 and named after Phineas Banning, a prominent stagecoach line owner and the father of the Port of Los Angeles, the city continued to prosper. Notably, the construction of the aqueduct system by the Metropolitan Water District in the 1930s and 1940s further stimulated economic growth by boosting commerce.
Experiencing a resurgence in economic development, the City of Banning is attracting new residents. After a period of decline due to recessions, the city is now booming with 12,000 permitted and approved homes, including two master-planned communities. Many new residents are relocating from coastal areas in search of affordable housing and modern amenities offered in brand new homes. The residential growth, starting with the Atwell project in 2018, has ignited economic opportunities and conversations with retailers looking to establish a presence in Banning.
One significant milestone in Banning’s economic development is the acquisition of a million-square-foot warehouse. With the support of the Economic Development Manager, the warehouse’s tenant was secured, and is in the final stages of obtaining their occupancy permit. This project is expected to create up to 300 jobs for the city. The city also emphasizes the importance of supporting local businesses through initiatives like shop local programs and market nights to boost the downtown area and strengthen the community’s economy.
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Photo Source: City of Banning Website