New Development: An Overview of What’s Being Built and Where

The objective of the New Development in California 2017 report is to keep the industry informed on the most significant projects that have, or are likely to, break ground in coming years
By Allison Paul

California is about to be hit with a large wave of development activity from San Diego to Sutter counties, the coastal regions, and everywhere in-between.
New development is necessary for the wellbeing of our state, and until recently, proposed large residential and commercial projects have not been documented in a comprehensive and descriptive compilation made available to the public.

Fifteen years ago, the California Economic Forecast—a Santa Barbara-based consulting firm—began the laborious efforts of tracking and chronicling the state’s principal projects, culminating in a highly anticipated publication entitled, New Development in California 2017.

The report was released in December of 2016, available exclusively from CIRB (Construction Industry Research Board), a building permit research service provided by the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF).

Authored by California Economic Forecast Director, Mark Schniepp, the New Development report contains over 130 pages of detailed statewide project information by city and county, including plan history, builder company names, maps and images of the construction sites and more.

The New Development report also addresses the most prominent challenge currently facing the state’s housing industry: a growing population combined with a lack of available dwelling units.
According to a 2015 report published by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), “On top of the 100,000 to 140,000 housing units California is expected to build each year, the state probably would have to build as many as 100,000 additional units annually” to meet population demands.

Historical construction data from CIRB reveals that California has not issued permits for at least 100,000 new annual housing units since 2007. However, New Development report findings indicate residential and nonresidential California development will be widespread and continuous through the year 2050.

Specifically, there’s a noticeable trend in large commercial and industrial projects being planned in the Central Valley, which will initiate a population shift inland.
“California will require more homes to accommodate the expanding population, more workspace for workers and more warehouses and distribution facilities to store goods in transit to consumers and businesses,” says Schniepp.
He continues, “Many people thought that development efforts had slowed. Or that many were just plain dead in view of the onerous development environment in the State. This is not the case. In fact, quite the contrary.”

Projects included in this report are the largest currently in planning, or even in the early stages of entitlement, for the region in question. A few of the report’s most notable projects—some of which have been in planning for as long as 25 years—are listed below:

• Yokohl Ranch (Tulare County)—Proposed  new town in the Sierra foothills consisting of  10,000 homes and 6 new schools.

• Newhall Ranch (Los Angeles County)—Five neighborhoods totaling 21,242 homes and 9.5  million square feet of commercial and  industrial space.

• Quay valley (Kings County)—Master-planned  project including 24,906 new single- and multi-family units and 20.9 million square feet  of commercial space.

• Centennial at Tejon Ranch (Kern/Los Angeles County Border)—Project including more than 23,000 homes, 14 million square feet of office and retail space, and 10 schools.

• Sutter Pointe (Sutter County)—3,500-acre project with 17,500 residential units, 3 new parks and schools, and 41.4 million square feet of industrial space.

• Rio Mesa (Madera County)—Master-plan to build a total of 33,000 homes over a 30-year period to accommodate an emerging population of 100,000. The objective of the NewDevelopmentreport is to keep the industry informed on the most significant projects that have, or are likely to, break ground in coming years, serving as a useful reference document for any and all professionalsaffiliated with the development community.

The report is now available for purchase as a downloadable PDF from the CIRB Online Store ( or by request from the CIRB research team (

The California Economic Forecast plans to provide an updated edition in the late summer of 2017 and another in December. For additional information on the New Development in California 2017 report, please contact CIRB at 916-340-3340.

Allison Paul, CIRB Lead Analyst / Media Specialist, directs the research operations of CHF’s CIRB (Construction Industry Research Board) Report and facilitates all media and public relations for CIRB and the Foundation. She may be reached at

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