How real-estate investors see Seattle tech

Seattle ranks No. 6 among the 25 most elite technology hubs in America. Here’s why.

Lists, I get lists. As newsrooms have cut 40 percent of their journalists since 2007, public relations people now outnumber us by about 5 to 1 — and the story pitches are unending. Most of the lists that come over the transom are clickbait with lazy and even misleading methodology. A few are gold standards, and some others are rigorous and command attention.

So here comes Tech Cities 1.0, a new report from Cushman & Wakefield, the giant commercial real-estate services outfit. It attempts a deep dive into what makes a real technopolis (my term), as these metros have outperformed others during the recovery. This is also influential, because real-estate investors and site selectors pay attention to analyses such as this.

Seattle has an overall grade of No. 6 nationally, among the top 25.

At the top, not surprisingly, are San Jose and San Francisco. They are followed by Washington, D.C., Boston and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. Portland ranks No. 14.

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Every industry is driven by technology today. But what makes a true tech city, or “tech stew” as the C&W authors put it? The report identifies:

  • Leading institutions of higher learning.
  • Venture capital.
  • An ample supply of tech workers.
  • Knowledge workers in support services.
  • A high level of educated people.
  • A high concentration of “growth engines” that support entrepreneurship and startups.

“Today’s tech cities are what they are because of a ‘stew’ made up of institutions of higher learning, investment funding, a well-qualified workforce, and entrepreneurship,” the report reads. “They have outperformed the U.S. as a whole in terms of job growth, income growth, net absorption of office space, and rent growth over the past seven years.”

But property investors weigh these assets in particular ways. For example, “from a…

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