Oceanside officials see economic recovery

Oceanside officials see economic recovery
Oceanside ranked near the bottom in a comparison of economic recovery of large U.S. cities. City officials say Oceanside is in a good place, and new businesses are opening. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — A comparison of the recession recovery of the 150 largest U.S. cities by WalletHub ranked Oceanside in the bottom 25 percent.

The comparison looked at city growth, or lack of it, over the past seven years.

Eighteen metrics were used, which included number of new businesses, unemployment rates and home price appreciation.

WalletHub ranked Oceanside 118 in employment and earnings, and 125 in economic standing.

Tracey Bohlen, Oceanside economic development manager, said Oceanside had some flat years between 2010 and 2012, but city businesses and industry are increasing.

A major hotel was built in 2010.

Currently tap houses and restaurants are opening, investing in operations and providing more jobs, as well as major companies including Genentech pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences and Kaiser Permanente.

“In the last two years there’s been a $340 million investment in construction, equipment, tenant improvements and building,” Bohlen said.

“I think we’re in a really good place.”

City Manager Steve Jepsen said the city is doing well economically.

“We’re doing better than most of California,” Jepsen said. “The whole coastal economy is recovering faster than the state as a whole.”

“Oceanside has made a remarkable increase in the past two to three years. The property tax and sales tax have resumed and passed peaks from before the recession. I’m not at all concerned with where we are, and the direction we’re heading.”

The WalletHub comparison states collateral effects of slow economic recovery include business closures, a rise in crime and decline in property values.

Its findings of violent crime rates, home price appreciation and changes in unemployment rates do not place Oceanside at the top or the bottom of the lists.

City officials say Oceanside’s overall crime rate has bumped up a bit.

“We had a slight increase in crime in the last year after a measurable remarkable decrease in the last decade,” Jepsen said.

Bohlen added additional funding has increased policing to address specific city needs including forming a homeless outreach team.

“Police officers are doing a great job,” Bohlen said. “They’re responding as proactively as possible.”

Changes in property values are a bright spot. Oceanside housing prices have increased from 2 to 49 percent with the higher increases seen in newly built and beachfront homes.

Other California cities that faired better than Oceanside in the comparison include San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Chula Vista, San Diego and Fresno.

California municipalities that ranked lower include Santa Clarita, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Modesto, Stockton and San Bernardino, which ranked the lowest in the nation.



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