Editor’s Note: The “Future of Work” is a WRAL TechWire series, supported by commercial real estate firm JLL and other partners.  Each week, WRAL TechWire will interview a subject matter expert on LinkedIn Live to delve deep into the themes discussed throughout the series.  WRAL TechWire’s LinkedIn page is here.  JLL’s John Mikels joined WRAL TechWire on LinkedIn Live earlier today in a broadcast that can be accessed online.


RALEIGH –  The groundwork for the economic development activity in the Triangle was laid well before the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, John Mikels, a director of capital markets for JLL Raleigh, told WRAL TechWire reporter Jason Parker today during a live broadcast on WRAL TechWire’s LinkedIn page.

In the interview, Mikels discussed how the Triangle is viewed from folks outside of the region, including from investors who are seeking to deploy capital in commercial real estate.

“Pre-pandemic, Raleigh-Durham, the Triangle, was budding as a hot investment market,” said Mikels.  “Cost of living, among a number of different things, brought investors here, following population growth and job growth in the region.”

Impact of pandemic

Then, the economy changed quickly, and dramatically, said Mikels, when the pandemic first reached the United States.  Migration patterns changed, work environments changed, and when people move or change behavior, companies and investors notice, said Mikels.

Now, investors see in the Triangle a “lot of room to run,” said Mikels.  Compare the Triangle to, say, Austin, Mikels said on the LinkedIn Live session.  It’s much cheaper here, said Mikels, but in ten years, it’s possible that rents will have doubled.

“Raleigh-Durham has a lot of room to run from a rent growth standpoint,” said Mikels.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had such a huge impact,” said Mikels, “Where we work, where we live, and it is still affecting the future of work.”

As the “Future of Work” series continues on WRAL TechWire, our report next week will take a look at how companies are reimagining their current spaces, and what they’re doing to attract people to their company, to their offices, amidst a competitive labor market.  The next LinkedIn Live will take place on Tuesday, April 26, at 9 a.m.

More from the series

Special report: The future of the Triangle’s economy hinges on its spaces

Special report: Space in high demand, even as future of work remains uncertain

New series starts today: WRAL TechWire discusses future of Triangle’s spaces on LinkedIn Live