The Research Triangle metro region places No. 5 in a new study of “Tech Cities” from international corporate real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, which specializes on the high-tech sector.
The firm, which has an office in the Triangle, ranks the cities based on what it calls a “tech stew” of factors, including:
- Work force talent
- Growth opportunities
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill are often broken up in other reports due to federal government Metropolitan Statistical Area statistics, which split Raleigh from the other two.
However, the Cushman & Wakefield analysis groups the three along with Cary and other towns and communities, thus creating a grid of data that captures the region as a whole.
And a powerful region it is, given that the only cities/regions to beat the Triangle include:
1. Silicon Valley
2. San Francisco
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Boston metro
Thus, the Triangle outranks rivals such as Austin, Texas (No. 7), Atlanta (No. 17) and Nashville. (No. 25).
Charlotte didn’t make the list.
So why did the Triangle rate so highly?
“Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, often referred to as the ‘Triangle’ by locals because of the shape these three proximate cities form on a map, has developed into a major market for technology companies given the area’s deep pool of skilled labor, the presence of three prominent universities, and its reputation as a medical and technology research hub,” said Rich Harris, Managing Principal for Cushman & Wakefield, who focuses on the Triangle.
The report is the first from the firm and is titled “Tech Cities 1.0”
Cushman & Wakefield created the “Tech Cities 1.0” report to provide greater insight for its clients and industry stakeholders into existing and emerging tech centers that are driving much of today’s U.S. economy.
Harris also pointed out the Triangle’s booming startup community with hundreds of new and emerging ventures alone packing The American Underground and HQ Raleigh startup hubs. Various other startup and co-location hubs also boast a growing clientele.
Here’s what Harris had to say about the Triangle:
“It’s not uncommon to see a doctor leave a career at a hospital to start a company based on decades of research, or a technology executive at one of the major R&D companies in the Park leaving a position to pursue a specialized line of technology that’s too specific for a larger company to pursue; and they often separate amicably and with the backing of their previous employers. Once they start their companies, the feeder of local graduates – coupled with the talent migrating to the Triangle – serve as a potent workforce.”
“One of the more interesting transformations has been the impact of the ‘live-work-play’ phenomenon, which has rapidly built up our city centers across the Triangle, particularly in downtown Durham where there was an abundance of historic tobacco warehouses that were converted to sleek tech workspaces with hardwood floors, big bay windows, large timbers, and high ceilings.
“Most of these buildouts were aided by historic tax credits, which enabled companies to create one-of-a-kind destination spaces for tech companies. In both Raleigh and Durham, we have seen a proliferation of co-working and entrepreneurial support organizations such as the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, American Underground, Raleigh HQ, and others.”
“Other factors contributing to tech growth are more basic,” Mr. Harris elaborated, “such as the Triangle’s quality of life, which boasts direct access to the beach to the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. The Triangle is also very competitive from a cost-of-living standpoint, especially when compared to first-tier city tech hotbeds that are often triple the price to do business.”
Cushman & Wakefield employs some 45,000 people across more than 70 countries.
The rest of the top 25
From No. 6 through No. 25:
No. 6: Seattle
No. 7: Austin
No. 8: Denver
No. 9: San Diego
No. 10: Madison, Wis.
No. 11: Minneapolis/St. Paul
No. 12: Baltimore
No. 13: Oakland
No. 14: Portalnd
No. 15: New York
No. 16: Chicago
No. 17: Atlanta
No. 18: Los Angeles
No. 19: Columbus, Ohio
No. 20: Orange County, Calif.
No. 21: Dallas/Ft. Worth
No. 22: Kansas City
No. 23: Indianapolis
No. 24: Salt Lake City
No. 25: Nashville