Little orphan Washington is now in the Big Leagues. A recent study validated Washington as an innovation center only behind California and Massachusetts. Another study of 200 community colleges placed 6 of our institutions in the top 200, but the State of Washington was number one in this study. Our starting wages for engineers in the technology industry are 13% above the national average ($116,500 per year) and only slightly below the $126,000 in San Francisco, but we don’t have a state income tax (yet).
All of this has come to light in the recently announced 5G Opportunity Zone. This collaborative effort featuring partners such as the University of Washington, T Mobile (their initial lab will be over 20,000 square feet), Amazon, Microsoft, Intel…you get the idea. The projection is by 2021 there will be as many as 115 start ups generating an average employment of 288 people with 120 mentors.
As commercial real estate professionals, Seattle Commercial Real Estate needs to break this down to the basic levels of its impacts on residential demand, transportation and its gridlock, the affect on retail and the demand for industrial real estate. Hang on, it should be an interesting ride. The millennials are now starting to push into home ownership with projections to transition from rental multi-family projects to as many as 65% projecting to become owners in one to five years.