Why DMV is so good for business
One of the things that sets a good real estate development company apart from competitors is the knack for scouting out untapped potential. Our clients often rely on us to find the “diamonds in the rough,” so to speak – something we thrive on in any economic climate.
Some years the challenge is greater than others. Right now, the biggest challenge just may be choosing where to focus. The entire DMV region is ripe with potential. Just take a look around; renovations and new construction are everywhere. And, of course, the possible arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 would mean a significant boon for the area. Montgomery County, D.C. or northern Virginia are on the mega-company’s short list, and it’s raised national awareness of our region. Business owners around the globe are taking note that while the DMV area was once driven solely by politics, we’ve evolved into a viable business destination that welcomes start-ups, small businesses, national organizations and giant corporations.
What are we doing right to draw more business to the area? The list is long, but here are a few of DMV’s most compelling attributes:
- Start-up funding. According to PricewaterhouseCooper, venture capital firms pumped over $700 million into D.C.-based tech firms last year.
- Stability. The presence of the Federal government has long provided our region with an unusually secure economy. Even in lean times, local businesses have been able to depend on a steady stream of revenue from the Feds.
- Diversity. When you look beyond the government sector, DMV supports an increasingly diverse collection of business ventures. Financial services, defense contractors and the hospitality industries have become serious players in the market, and a significant number of tech companies are also following suit. The 2016 TechCities 1.0 report names the Washington D.C. Metro area as the third best city for tech, just behind Silicon Valley in San Francisco.
- Space. Businesses seeking lots of space to build sprawling headquarters often find exactly what they need in Northern Virginia, Montgomery County or Prince George’s County. On the flip side are the space constraints of D.C. While it may seem counterintuitive, the limited amount of space in the District introduces interesting and exciting possibilities for innovative uses of new construction technology and unusual approaches to building. Incoming businesses (and their savvy development team, of course) have found some really cool, unique ways to convert unused or underused space into a bustling epicenter for their business.
- Transportation. The region’s robust (and still growing) Metro system is widely appealing to potential employers, and extensions deeper into Fairfax and Loudoun counties will likely make those areas even more attractive to organizations and businesses seeking a new location.
- Education. The District alone is home to over 20 colleges and universities, with northern Virginia and Maryland bringing the number to over 100. For employers, this translates to a bigger pool of highly qualified candidates.
- Economic policy. The District and surrounding Counties continue to establish incentives and policies that encourage business growth, entrepreneurship and economic development. As the region’s business-friendly reputation continues to grow, so will our ability to attract and retain more corporations and businesses.
For those of us in the real estate development, investment and construction industries, keeping an eye on the trends of incoming business, understanding the evolution of each sub-market and watching for new ways of building and occupying land all comes with the territory. It looks like we remain poised for growth, which means more work, more opportunity and more challenges to make us rise to the occasion.