Leading Tech Corridors: Part 1
Inside, a coast-to-coast look at where the tech elites--and hopefuls--congregate and innovate.
1) Venice-Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Inevitably dubbed Silicon Beach with its advent as a tech breeding ground, Santa Monica and once-scruffy Venice have in recent years lured start-ups including Snapchat, Whisper and Honest Co. (among a reported 800 others) and accelerators like Amplify LA toward the Pacific coastline. Fledgling tech bigwigs praise the laidback vibe of the area even as they increasingly rub shoulders with big guns like Google, which in 2011 took 100K SF in Venice.
2) Brooklyn Tech Triangle, NYC
Midtown South still gets the lion’s share of press as New York’s preeminent start-up hub, and for good reason. But as Kings County continues to be a residential magnet for young New Yorkers, Dumbo, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and an ascendant Downtown Brooklyn are luring the companies who employ them. Etsy’s 200K SF lease at Kushner Company’s imminent Dumbo Heights campus confirmed the area’s ability to compete with Silicon Alley for the TAMI set. Also making waves along the East River: Midtown Equities’ 327K SF Empire Stores redevelopment.
3) Kendall Square, Boston-Cambridge
As with so many popular tech ‘hoods, Kendall Square’s skyrocketing rents have forced some start-ups to disperse to the Boston Seaport and Davis Square, just up the Red Line in Cambridge. But the enviable and evergreen concentration of MIT students ensures future innovation in a brainy city that gave rise to Runkeeper, Dropbox and, of course, Facebook.
4) 7th Street and Dupont Circle, Washington DC
As it would suit the political capital, the exact location of DC’s tech center is up for debate. Earlier this year Mayor Vincent Gray established an “official corridor” on 7th Street between New York and Georgia Avenues. But critics complained that the area lacked the concentration of start-ups seen in Dupont Circle, Chinatown and St. Elizabeth’s East Campus.
5) Mid-Market, San Francisco
San Francisco’s notoriously steep rents have driven a slew of tech players to this once-blighted neighborhood sandwiched between SoMa and the Civic Center. Its transformation was largely pegged to Twitter’s tax-incentivized move to 1355 Market in 2012. These days, Twitter can count Jack Dorsey’s Square as a neighbor. And a residential and retail boom has flowered in the wake of the district’s tech-led reinvention.