Factors Such as Millennial-Friendliness, Cost of Living and Access to Funding Contribute to State’s Increasing Ability to Attract Tech Firms and Top Talent
FLORIDA, January 1, 2019 – With Florida’s tech sector growing rapidly, Cushman & Wakefield has released a report analyzing how tech is impacting the state’s commercial real estate markets.
The report examines the qualities that attract innovative companies and their employee base to Florida’s major markets, as well as the role tech-based companies are playing in Florida’s ever-changing office landscape.
“Florida is more than tourism and retirees. It has a thriving and expanding tech sector that dominates in fields that are changing how we live and get around,” said Chris Owen, Florida Director of Research for Cushman & Wakefield. “Our urban areas have the live and play amenities that millennials crave with the affordability needed as many start out their careers.”
- Florida ranks fourth in the nation for high-tech employment and third in the nation for high-tech employment growth.
- Positions in the tech sector account for over a quarter of a million jobs in Florida and are anchored by companies in modeling, simulation and training (MST); fiber options/photonics; software and computer systems design; microelectronics; digital media and telecommunications.
- When it comes to attracting tech companies and their workforce, Florida benefits from clear tax advantages, a lower cost of living and exceptional quality-of-life amenities.
- South Florida, which serves as a gateway to Latin America for many tech companies, receives majority of the state’s venture capital (VC) funding, with more than $1.5 billion invested into cutting-edge companies based in the market.
- In addition to South Florida’s Central Business Districts, access to unique tech-friendly submarkets, such as Wynwood and FAU Research Park, have enticed many tech companies to stake a claim for South Florida talent.
- Access to mass transportation, such as the Brightline high-speed rail system that connects the tri-county area, is also a key draw for tech companies and workers.
- Tampa has one of the highest percentages of millennials in the Southeast, and tech companies are taking advantage of the local, highly educated talent pool. Tech accounts for 5.6 percent of all employment in Tampa and is growing faster than in any other market in Florida.
- Several tech hubs such as Tampa Bay Wave and Embarc are fostering innovation and attracting millions in VC investment.
- Co-working has exploded in the Tampa market within last couple of years, creating a space for new tech companies to foster collaborative development.
- Orlando ranks as a top MSA for job creation in the United States, and the tech sector plays a significant role in the area’s increasingly diversified economy.
- Orlando is home to the University of South Florida, one of the largest research universities in the country, which provides programs for students to develop tech talent and skills.
- The University/Research Park submarket, where UCF is located, has become a hub for innovation in simulation technology, game development, virtual reality and tech-focused defense contracting.
- While Jacksonville is not thought of as a traditional tech market, factors such as its lower cost of living and lower cost of doing business compared to other Florida markets make it ideal for tech companies.
- Millennials make up more than 20 percent of the Jacksonville population and a considerable portion of the talent pool.
- Jacksonville is also one of few major markets with large blocks of available office space, which can be more difficult to find in other markets, without building new.
About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value by putting ideas into action for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with 48,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 70 countries. In 2017, the firm had revenue of $6.9 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, advisory and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.
Communications Specialist, Florida