While Silicon Valley remains the nation’s most vibrant tech center, the area's innovative spirit is spreading across America. More than two-thirds of tech workers now feel little or no need to live in the Bay Area, and talent is migrating to new metropolises. Below are 2017’s Top 5 tech meccas looking to overthrow Silicon Valley, according to Forbes.
Years of sustained activity and record pricing in metro Denver's real estate market resulted in huge valuation increases in the 2017 countywide reassessment. According to the Denver Business Journal, the median projected commercial property value increase in Denver is 20 percent, with apartment buildings posting a record-setting projected median increase of 45 percent. Boulder County saw even larger increases, where commercial property valuations jumped 23 percent. “Limited inventory, reduced numbers of entry level properties, increased job opportunities and being a sought-after place to live has sustained the increase in values of all property types in Boulder County,” said Boulder County Assessor Cynthia Braddock.
For the past 25 years, Republican lawmakers have tried over and over again to cut the much-maligned business personal property tax in Colorado. State Senate members passed a bill Monday to increase the exemption for the business personal property tax by a hefty 27-6 margin — the kind of bipartisan agreement that one might think would lead to success for the bill in the House of Representatives. But when asked just hours before the vote about the chances for the long-sought GOP goal of making substantial cuts to business equipment tax, Senate President Kevin Grantham jokingly deflected the question by asking, “Hey, how about that nice weather we’ve been having?”
The Denver City Council Monday night adopted new legislation that will establish the city's first-ever permanent affordable housing fund, which includes asking developers to pay a new per-square-foot fee and raising property taxes by a half a mill for the first year. The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1 and is expected to raise around $150 million over 10 years to support the development or preservation of 6,000 income-restricted homes.
The city of Denver on Tuesday unveiled details of a sweeping plan to generate $155 million over 10 years to help pay for affordable-housing solutions across the city. According to the Denver Business Journal, the city said it intends to ask developers to pay between 40 cents and $1.70 per square foot and will raise property taxes by half a mill for the first year in order to create the fund, which is meant to support the development or preservation of 6,000 income-restricted homes. The changes will be included in an ordinance that will be voted on by the Denver City Council in August.
Due to low cap rates and sky high prices in gateway cities, many commercial real estate investors in search of good yield are turning to non-gateway markets as a more appealing and affordable option. A recent “State of the Market” survey by global law firm DLA Piper found that 78 percent of real estate professionals it surveyed agreed that non-gateway markets will come to the forefront of investment preferences in the next 12 months (33 percent said they agreed, and 45 percent said they somewhat agreed). The preference was more pronounced among domestic rather than foreign investors, DLA Piper reports.
Louisville took the top spot of a new list of the Top 20 U.S. Cities for Commercial Remodeling by BuildFax, a North Carolina-based company that compiles and distributes data on the construction industry. The company says it has compiled a national database that includes more than 23 billion data points of building and remodeling records. Holly Tachovsky, CEO and founder of BuildFax, said in a news release that commercial remodeling is a popular choice nationally because it helps preserve cultural history, revitalizes neighborhoods and encourages urban density, noting that it also is a "great eco-conscious alternative to new construction."
All across the country, both companies and cities alike are competing to attract STEM-educated employees. STEM - which stands for science, technology, engineering and math - related fields are transforming the economy, and office building owners and investors wanting the best returns need to look no further. Industries such as health care and energy, job markets where STEM dominates, are already driving growth. And as baby boomers begin to retire, the competition for STEM employees will only get fiercer. For example, almost 55 percent of the energy industry’s current workforce may retire over the next decade, affecting both the office and manufacturing sectors, according to a recent report from commercial real estate services firm JLL.
Since voters in Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012, growers and distributors have gobbled up most of the available warehouse space in the Denver area. Because marijuana producers require lots of space to grow, package and store their products, and because the industry is quickly expanding, other Denver business owners are struggling to find affordable warehouse space. In all, growers and distributors took up a third of all the warehouse space leased in Colorado over the past 18 months, according to Cresa Partners, a brokerage.
U.S. Apartment growth is not showing signs of moderating, according to the July 2015 edition of Matrix Monthly, a report on U.S. multifamily market trends in the 101 U.S. markets surveyed by real estate software developer Yardi. Apartment rents in the United States rose 6.5 percent year-over-year in July to a record $1,155, up 20 basis points from June and the highest rate of growth in the current market cycle. Technology-fueled markets in the Western U.S. continued to spearhead year-over-year growth, led by Portland (14.6 percent), Denver (13 percent) and San Francisco (9.8 percent). Although markets in the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic continue to lag the rapidly-growing metros in the South and West, growth is strong across the board. Rents increased by less than 4% year-over-year in only five metros, and only three were below the national long-term average of 2.8%.