The History of Economic Development in Banning

The City of Banning is located in Riverside County, California, situated in the San Gorgonio Pass and has always been a strong location for economic development dating back to the days of the gold rush.

Gilman's Ranch just north of downtown Banning served as a station for the stagecoach lines that were headed to the gold boomtowns. Later, the railroad became a major contributor to the area's growth.

The town of Banning was incorporated on February 6, 1913 and was named after Phineas Banning, a stagecoach line owner and the "Father of the Port of Los Angeles."

Between 1930 and 1940 a new economic development emerged. The Metropolitan Water District planned to build an Aqueduct system. The plan was to drill a 26 foot in diameter hole through a13 mile section of the San Jacinto Mountains. Beginning in Cabazon and exit below Gilman Hot Springs. This was the largest and most significant engineering project ever to affect the San Gorgonio Pass area and led to a massive boom in commerce and the local economy. Subsequently, between 1940 and 1960 Banning’s population tripled in size.

Today, the City is committed to a growing Banning, and maintains a business friendly approach to economic development, And thanks to continued investment in capital improvement projects, such as park facility rehabilitation, widening of roads, underground infrastructure, and new housing stock with over 4,000 new units under development and another few thousand more approved for construction in the near future, our story is just beginning.

DSCF2223Roosevelt Williams Park improvments - Circa 2018

Our vibrant commercial environment are also home to large businesses and institutions that continue to invest in the city, including Diamond Hills Chevrolet GMC Buick,  Lawrence Equipment, & many others.

What were once vacant buildings throughout the city are now vibrant commercial shopping centers such as Sun Lakes Village, which is now home to several large retailers such as Party City, Big 5, Marshalls and Hobby Lobby. We have also recently welcomed Harbor Freight Tools to Stagecoach Plaza.

HobbyLobbySun Lakes Village - 2018

95e2482f-598a-4649-95df-592f7a12ef24-originalStagecoach Plaza - 2018 - 2018

Meanwhile, Pardee homes recently broke ground on Atwell, the city’s largest residential development opportunity in 30 years. This 1,543 acre property will soon welcome families of all sizes. Featuring over 4,862 homes, two new schools, Commercial zoning, Community centers and plenty of open space.

Banning-Atwell-Homes-744x383Pardee Homes Ground Breaking with Banning City Council - 2018

And that’s not all… Revitalization is coming in the form of capital improvement projects and replacement of old, deteriorated water infrastructure, and road widening and beautification along the Ramsey Corridor

Banning’s small town charm is attractive to small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to tell their story. And with its close proximity to the I-10 freeway, It’s an ideal location. Within Downtown Banning you’ll find a variety of unique shops, the historical Fox movie theatre, and a bustling restaurant scene, which makes it an ideal location for a start-up storefront.

_MG_1949Fox Theatre, Banning, California - Circa 2018

Whether you’re a corporate company looking for that next big opportunity, or a first time business owner trying to make your vision a reality. We’re here to assist you every step of the way. After all, starting a business is hard work. You have the dream, and we can help you make it happen. Whether merchant, manufacturer, or regional hospital, the city’s efforts to support all of your ideas big and small makes Banning the perfect home for business.

Historical photos courtesy of, The Banning Library DistrictThe San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society & Local Historian Bill Bell.
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Banning, California - Circa 1917

William Banning driving
the stagecoach - Circa 1905

The "old stage station" at the Gilman Ranch in Banning, California - Circa 1900 

Phineas Banning circa 1883
Phineas Banning - Circa 1883

City of Banning - Circa 1907

41646992_1160417427444963_6704788242224381952_nCrew of railroad men, steam locomotives and water tanks in Beaumont, California - (near Banning) - Circa 1890s

Downtown Banning at night looking east on Ramsey St. - Circa 1940