Home to one of the largest concentrations of industrial plants in the country, Los Angeles already has 475 major operational manufacturing and energy plants. This number is only expected to grow in the future. Second only to Harris County in Texas, Los Angeles County in California is expected to be the second most active county in the nation for industrial project activity in 2007, according to Sugar Land, Texas-based Industrial Info Resources. Based on planned construction starts in 2007, the research firm is currently tracking 59 industrial projects on the books, totaling more than $3 billion in total investment value (TIV).

Noted more for Hollywood and the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles County is often overlooked as the industrial hub of the U.S. West Coast, notes IRR, with historic roots in oil & gas, agriculture, and international transportation. With major ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, this shipping hub handles about a quarter of all container traffic coming into the United States.

The largest project scheduled to begin construction in 2007 is a $1.4 billion extension of the light rail system in Arcadia, Calif. Metro Gold Line Construction Authority, Monrovia, Calif., is using Parsons Brinckerhoff, Los Angeles, to engineer a 24-mile extension, known as the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, which will run from the Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena, Calif., to the Montclair Transportation Center. The power industry is also planning $695 million worth of work from seven projects in 2007. One of these is a $350 million simple cycle, 500MW power plant in Hacienda Heights, Calif.