Orange County Partnership - News

  • Distribution and logistics projects will again dominate the headlines in 2022
  • Remote working has become a permanent part of the new workplace landscape

Site Selection Trends Point to Suburban Preference

Ron Starner, Executive Vice President of Conway Inc., in an article in Site Selection Magazine, says that site selectors across the country are once again predicting that supply-chain tightening, remote working and worker shortages will continue in 2022 and that other trends exacerbated by the global pandemic will become even more pronounced this year.


Based on a Site Selection survey this past November, Starner lists “Seven Signs of a New Site Selection Reality.” Among the most notable trends that will continue in 2022 that could impact Orange County include:


  • Distribution and logistics projects will again dominate the headlines in 2022.
  • Most corporate clients are expected to expand their facilities sometime this year.
  • Reshoring projects are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
  • Suburban and rural communities will benefit as more employers look outside of large central cities to establish new workplace hubs.
  • Remote working has become a permanent part of the new workplace landscape.
  • Governmental mismanagement will continue to be the main barrier to getting deals done.

In terms of why major distribution and logistics projects will continue to close in 2022, he stated, “Seventy percent of site selectors polled by Site Selection in November 2021 said that distribution and logistics projects were the most active industry sector right now. The next most active sectors, according to the consultants, were biomedical and health care, advanced manufacturing, food processing, and finance/insurance/real estate.”


All those sectors have invested in Orange County and dominate the county’s current development pipeline in 2022.


Another promising trend for Orange County is the movement to the suburbs.


Starner writes: “Another huge dichotomy was revealed when we asked site selectors how COVID-19 was impacting the domestic locations decisions of their clients. Nearly half (46.94%) said their clients were considering moving from central cities to suburbs and rural areas, while just 6.12% said their clients were considering consolidating operations in central cities. The remaining 46.94% said their clients would stay about the same.”


He continued that several site consultants explained why companies are considering the suburbs over urban centers. “One said, ‘Social unrest, crime and spiraling taxes are compounding the pace of migration away from central cities.’ “Another wrote that the ‘trend is toward suburban or smaller metros with reasonably good labor markets and available buildings.’”


In terms of whether remote work policies will continue this year even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, 59% said yes, 20% said no, and 20% said they did not know, according to the survey.


To see the full article in Site Selection Magazine, go to: