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cities tech cities

Global Tech Cities: Washington, D.C.

Nathan Edwards • 9/2/2022

The Catalyst

The DC Metro region boasts the third highest density of tech talent in the U.S. after San Jose and San Francisco. Couple this with the world’s most active data center market; the birthplace of the internet with more than 70% of the world’s internet traffic flowing through its dark fiver; the headquarters of the national security apparatus; and location next to the biggest purchaser of goods and services (including technology) in the world — the U.S. Government — and you have all the hallmarks of a world-class tech market.

Quality of Life

The DC Metro region offers an enviable quality of life for the most well-educated and highest-earning households in the U.S. The DC Metro covers a portion of two states and the cultural treasures of the nation’s capitol region. Tech companies are dispersed into pockets for easier commute whether through driving or public transportation. Employees enjoy a “work, live, play” lifestyle in the city and in growing submarkets and enjoy easy access to state parks, museums, sporting events and more.

Tech Real Estate

The tech industry proliferates in several distinct submarkets throughout the region. Several of these include: 

  • “Datacenter Alley” in Loudon County, home to the world’s strongest and biggest data center market. 

  • The “Dulles Toll Road Corridor” stretches from Dulles Airport through Herndon and Reston to Tysons Corner, which hosts tech and cybersecurity firms such as AWS, Microsoft, Google, Verisign, MircoStrategy, Appian and Oracle among many others.  

  • Arlington County, Virginia, has several pockets of tech companies including National Landing and is the home of Amazon’s HQ2 and a large Microsoft operation in Rosslyn. 

  • In Suburban Maryland, many biotech companies choose to locate in the I-270 Corridor, close to the National Institutes of Health. 

  • Finally, the East End is where many tech firms base their lobbying among other operations, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon and TikTok.   

 

Tech Cities: The Global Intersection of Talent and Real Estate
In this report we assess how tech cities are competing for business across key talent, real estate, and business environment metrics.
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