Is 2017 the Year for Portland? A Permit Expediter’s Prediction
Is 2017 the Year for Portland? A Permit Expediter’s Predictions
Every year by December I’m asked for a permit expediter’s predictions for the following year, and most often I end up with a question. This year I’m scratching my head and asking if 2017 is the year Portland’s commercial developments build up? In the previous three years we’ve seen San Francisco, Seattle, and Miami take off and compete with developments in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, New York, and D.C. These cities will always be booming with growth, recession not withstanding, but what’s exciting are the newcomers. I may not be able to predict which city will be the biggest but I am left wondering if Portland will be among the newcomers in 2017. Further, will my clients understand what’s need for Portland permits?
Social Impacts of Portland
We’ve talked at nauseam about millennials and, I will need to give them a line or two in this article. Portland appeals to this group due to the green lifestyle and mix of work/play components. Additionally, as these millennials grow into their 30s they often are looking for places to buy starter homes as well as to raise their burgeoning families. This is compounded with the fact many e-commerce businesses are looking for reasonable real estate to build their distribution centers on. So, we have jobs and people moving into Portland which means they will need places to live, play, and eat. This is where I see an opportunity for my clients, and many of them have already been calling to ask if I have reach for in the area.
The influx of new people is due, in part, to the reasonable rates for housing as well as for development on Portland soil. Many companies that traditionally have looked for space in the Silicon Valley of California are finding a home in Portland where their rates for renting space or building an office are considerably lower. San Francisco eclipsed Manhattan in 2014 for rent per square foot which means start-up companies just can’t afford to be in business there. Meanwhile, Portland offers some of the same lifestyle at a lower cost. In business terms, it just makes sense to pay a lower rent, offer quality of life to their employees, and have room to scale.
I also ask myself about the needs of Portland as businesses and people move to the area. I believe some of the trending data suggests there is a need as of today for quality food and shopping experiences in Portland. With a need this large in the area I do have to ask myself if the need will drive more retailers, developers, and restaurants into the area. It is an open market ripe with opportunities, and the question remains if 2017 will, indeed, be Portland’s year.