Ohio’s Midwestern Charm Appeals to Big Tech Needs
Over the last couple of years, Ohio has been making headlines as the newly dubbed “Silicon Valley” of the Midwest, as companies moved to this unlikely hub for a variety of benefits. For Ohioans, the greatness of the state has not gone unnoticed, but big companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are now finding out why the Buckeye State is so great.
All three of these tech giants have committed to building data centers in central Ohio, and in 2019, Google announced that they are investing $13 billion for these data centers in 14 states, including Ohio.
“Today we’re announcing over $13 billion in investments throughout 2019 in data centers and offices across the U.S., with major expansions in 14 states,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google wrote. “These new investments will give us the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees, and enable the creation of more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia.”
Projects like these help stimulate job growth, creating thousands of jobs to support the construction and operation of these data centers.
Where in Ohio Are These Companies Moving?
Columbus has welcomed the majority of this company movement and is quickly transforming from the capital of Ohio to the capital of the tech industry. For professionals in Columbus, this quick change is no surprise - frankly, it was expected. Kenny McDonald, CEO of One Columbus, an economic development organization, has an idea as to why Ohio is such an appealing place for business migrations.
"It starts with a culture and an attitude, I think," McDonald said. One Columbus has worked with several companies that were either born in Ohio or are planning to move here soon. "Our openness to the best companies and businesses and people and talent from around the world is a big deal.”
Why Are Tech Companies Moving to Central Ohio?
For most companies looking to make a strategic move to benefit their business and create growth, you’d think cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, or Austin would be top contenders. Sure, there’s a little more appeal to these big markets, but with that comes increased competition and more importantly, higher costs. Chris Olsen, a former partner at Sequoia Capital, left Silicon Valley to move to Ohio where he started Drive Capital. He’s not afraid to admit that at first, the thought of moving to Ohio seemed terrible.
“I thought, Rust Belt, yeah, sure, and went to look at the data, figuring I would prove this was a terrible idea. I found instead that it was a great idea,” Olsen said. “There were plenty of potential entrepreneurs out there, along with universities and — one thing Silicon Valley doesn’t have — affordable housing.”
To say that the housing markets in Columbus and San Francisco are different is an understatement. The median home value in San Francisco currently sits at $1,401,327, while the median home value in Columbus is $231,028. Beyond housing, the cost of living is also drastically lower in Ohio.
How Can You Capitalize on This Movement?
If you’ve been involved with real estate over the last decade, you’ve probably seen a growth of out-of-state residents moving to Ohio. As companies continue to move, and new work on completing their commitments to development and growth is accomplished, Ohio’s population will inevitably grow. Be aware that you will be working with both in and out-of-state homebuyers who might be new to Ohio or the Midwest as a whole.
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