Future Cities

Emerging Industrial Markets: Otay Mesa, San Diego

October 25, 2023 5 Minute Read

The cross-border manufacturing partnership between San Diego and Mexico benefits all parties involved. Many occupiers in Otay Mesa/San Diego support maquiladora (tariff-free) manufacturing operations in Tijuana. This includes many industries, from medical heart valve manufacturing to Tacoma truck production. Otay Mesa also has a large base of 3PL users to assist in moving goods and products from Tijuana and Otay Mesa to the Port of Long Beach, and throughout the U.S. Many food and beverage manufacturers and e-commerce companies rely on cross-border employees with U.S. work visas.
Rob Hixson IIISIOR, CBRE Senior Vice President


Approximately 12 million people–26% or 3.1 million aged 18 to 34–live within 100 miles of Otay Mesa, and 24 million live within 250 miles.

Figure 1: Otay Mesa Population Analysis

Source: CBRE Location Intelligence.

Otay Mesa’s warehouse labor force of 5,952 is expected to grow 13.5% by 2033, according to CBRE Labor Analytics. The average salary for a non-supervisory warehouse worker is $19.84 to $22.20 per hour, with an overall average of $20.71. Otay Mesa is part of the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA area where the unemployment rate is 4.3% as of August 2023 versus 3.5% a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the same time period, the state’s unemployment rate rose from 3.8% to 4.6%.

Figure 2: Otay Mesa Warehouse & Storage Labor Fundamentals

Source: CBRE Labor Analytics.

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