By: Robert Kramp, Vice President and Director of Research, JLL
In the latest High-Technology Office Outlook, JLL researchers ranked the top 34 high-tech markets in the U.S. Researchers selected cities based on traditional metrics, such as wage growth, intellectual capital, and venture funding—as well as nontraditional metrics, like amenities.
It’s no surprise to see cities like Boston, New York, and Silicon Valley on the list. But, this year, JLL was able to uncover several new emerging tech frontiers—including Detroit.
What’s Happening in High-Tech?
The high-tech industry has played a starring role in the office recovery. Nearly 22 percent of the 65.4 million square feet currently under construction in the United States is in tech-focused markets. And, the industry continues to drive job creation. At the end of July, there were an astounding 3.3 million high-tech positions.
At the center of market recovery, the high-tech industry has—in the process—revolutionized the design of the modern office space. From JLL’s report:
“Never before has an industry single-handedly shaped the way we work together and how we configure space more than the high-tech industry. This has had broad implications on location choice, investment strategies, and market performance.”
Location, in particular, is key for high-tech success. As companies compete for talent, they look beyond traditional real estate in the hopes of creating a certain lifestyle for employees. Surprisingly, popular high-tech markets aren’t always urban. JLL research found that most high-tech hubs offer a mix of urban and suburban qualities. The suburbs are not dead. In fact, the high-tech industry is bringing more opportunity to markets outside of downtown areas. (See page 14 of the report for details.)
With ongoing innovation, JLL expects the upturn in high-tech to continue throughout 2014.
Detroit & Pittsburgh Make the Cut
In our region, both Detroit and Pittsburgh made JLL’s list of high-tech hubs. Detroit was given a market score of 28.5, while Pittsburgh was graded at 35.7. According to the report, “This score is not a ranking per se, but it does quantify market position relative to the others based on employment growth, high-tech office employment concentration, market dynamism, innovation, and investment trends.”
When you think high-tech, you might not think Detroit. But, you’d be wrong.