- Washington D.C. is emerging as a major hub for tech companies because of its proximity to policymakers and the large investments from the cybersecurity community, according to new report from Cushman and Wakefield. The nation's capital is already known as a hub for life sciences and government, but its influence in the tech community is growing.
- The report places Washington behind Silicon Valley and San Francisco as tech epicenters. The Boston/Cambridge area in Massachusetts and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill areas in North Carolina round out the top five of U.S. tech hubs.
- With mass transit concerns and rising housing costs in leading tech areas, secondary markets are growing. Seattle, for example, is seen as the biggest competitor to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, according to the report. "Seattle has played catchup over the past few years but with housing creation now outpacing that of the Bay Area and with a huge $54 billion transportation initiative that recently passed at the ballot box, it will likely allow it to compete much more aggressively with those markets at the very top of the list," said Robert Sammons, co-author of the report and Regional Director, Northwest U.S. Research at Cushman & Wakefield.
Every company is becoming a tech company, in a way, and access to tech resources is imperative to remain competitive.
For Washington, the access to policymakers is important as tech becomes a societal issue, requiring more understanding from leadership to create laws that keep up with the rate of change in technology. It is standard practice for leading tech firms to have offices in the D.C.-metro area, especially because of the proximity to Virginia's "Data Center Alley," which houses more than 70 data centers for over 3,000 tech companies.
Unlike other areas of the country Washington has room to expand, thanks to its metro system, which will open expansions into Virginia in 2020. Housing prices, however, do remain a concern. Some firms are rushing to build offices locally. Amazon Web Services plans to open a corporate campus outside of Washington in Herndon, Virginia, creating 1,500 jobs locally, the Washington Business Journal reports.