Has urbanization killed the suburbs? We think not…

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Last week we explored the market dynamics driving growth and opportunity for high-tech across the U.S. and more specifically San Diego in the 2014 JLL High-tech Office Outlook. This week we are focused on urban verses suburban markets, which is a debate that has been waged by economists, businesses, and industries over the last several years in an attempt to understand the successes and failures within local markets that range anywhere from employee attraction and retention to business creation and expansion. For the high-tech industry, understanding this phenomenon is paramount to a company’s sustainability and growth, but the question of which one is better is not as simple as that. Some suburban markets, like Silicon Valley and Dallas are enjoying economic recovery and expansion far ahead of others as a result of unique attributes and amenities that appeal to both employees and employers. While urban markets like San Francisco and New York, which have always maintained a cool factor, are unsurprisingly producing high-tech innovators that would never consider relocating to a neighboring suburb for fear that they would lose their edge and potentially their best and brightest employees. So what are the pros and cons when considering an urban market over a suburban one and how do the various characteristics help high-tech companies grow?


No two markets are alike

JLL analyzed the features and amenities of 34 markets across the country to ascertain the following:

  • Is public transit available?
  • Does the market have amenities that are within walking distance?
  • Is the market comprised of mixed-use real estate that includes retail and office space?
  • Or, is the market primarily comprised of traditional office parks that are without amenities?
  • Is the market easily accessible by the highway and is it within 10 miles of an airport?
  • As a market with high-tech activity, is it anchored by one particular high-tech company?
  • Is there a dominant high-tech subsector that’s clustering in the market?

Click here to get this year’s feature.

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