The commercial real estate sector has rebounded in many markets, which is good news for investors and owners. But if you sat out the recession or waited to get started in the industry, there are a few cities where there’s no need to wait further. Here are five cities full of opportunity:
Texas’ major cities have experienced some of the highest job growth – and lowest unemployment – in the U.S. over the last few years. Dallas-Fort Worth is a major contributor to the state’s success and continues to thrive due to the city’s focus on building a highly skilled, diversified workforce, ease of doing business, and tremendous job growth thanks to a pro-business state government. In fact, DFW is expected to enjoy a job growth rate of nearly 3 percent through 2019. The city’s growth indicates built-in structural advantages that have taken years to create, giving it a competitive edge. The mild winters and extensive opportunities for both urban entertainment and outdoor recreation make it a great place for people to work and live.
Atlanta has many of the same attributes of Dallas-Fort Worth and will continue to remain a relevant commercial real estate city due to its outstanding infrastructure – and the busiest airport in the world. Atlanta has always been the transportation hub of the South, which has led to many large corporate headquarters in the city (Coca-Cola, Home Depot, AT&T Mobility, UPS, Delta Air Lines, and Turner Broadcasting). In addition to a busy airport, Atlanta boasts a strong rail subway system and more than 45 miles of bike paths. More than 30 colleges and universities are located in Atlanta, making it a city where talent is easy to find.
Austin, like nearly all other Texas markets, was affected on a much smaller scale during the recession, primarily due to the highly educated and vibrant community that’s transformed Austin into an innovative tech town. Austin hosts a huge number of small company startups, in part due to its 0 percent corporate tax rate; consequently, it’s become the destination of choice for many who seek a pioneering city that has yet to hit full stride. Austin recently invested in major expansions in public transportation, including a commuter light rail built in 2010. The city also is home to many high-quality schools, both public and private, creating a strong pool of potential employees.
Home to some of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, the metro Denver and northern Colorado areas attract a diverse group of industries. In fact, Colorado is ranked first for labor prospects and fourth for growth prospects by Forbes. More companies are choosing to make Colorado their home, including Siemens Energy R&D, Arrow Electronics, DaVita, Vestas, SMA Solar Technology, Bridgepoint Education, and Juwi. With the Rockies right next door, it’s not hard to see why people want to move to the picturesque city. Denver has handled growth well, developing an extensive bus system with more than 10,000 stops. The airport is the fifth busiest in the country, and all that traffic in and out of the city means more potential connections for growing businesses.
Charlotte has become a major destination for company relocations due to it highly educated workforce and strong economy. The financial sector in Charlotte is second only to New York‘s and has driven downtown vacancy rates into single-digit territory. In addition to a thriving business environment, Charlotte has much to offer in terms of natural beauty and a relatively low crime rate. With a low cost of living and a spot on Forbes’ list of 10 best cities for newlyweds to live and work, Charlotte attracts lots of young, eager talent. Charlotte may be a surprising choice since it’s not quite as big as the other cities, but it’s easy to get around, even to the suburbs. Commuters can choose among light rail, buses, and even historic trollies.
Entrepreneurs are looking for the right city to launch their businesses, and these thriving areas are attracting both new and established investors. As every realtor knows, success depends on finding the perfect location.