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About Those Micro-Apartments—Boston Now No. 3 in Tech

Hoh boy. A new report shows New York City blowing right by Boston to become the No. 2 tech hub in the nation. Until fairly recently, Boston easily claimed the silver to Silicon Valley's gold, with Gotham's Silicon Alley lucky if it were even in contention. Thanks to a relentless push by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, real estate shifts, boosterism from New York business titans, and the economic recovery, that's all changed. From the report from the Center for an Urban Future (PDF):

“In 2006, I wouldn’t have put New York anywhere on the map [of leading tech hubs],” adds Vivek Wadhwa, a national expert on tech entrepreneurship. “Now it is literally number two. If there is any second to Silicon Valley, it’s now New York, not Boston.” Even prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs like Paul Graham now acknowledge that New York has surpassed Boston. ... Indeed, in April, Boston-based venture capitalist Jeff Bussgang said that about a third of students surveyed in his Harvard Business School entrepreneurship class expect to relocate to the Big Apple.1

Why's this matter in particular for Boston real estate? Because Mayor Tom Menino has put such an emphasis on the tech sector as an economic development engine for the city. Actually, scratch that. Hizzoner has emphasized growth in the tech sector as an economic development engine for the city. It is the tech sector that is supposed to power all the commercial and residential development in places like the Southie waterfront and even East Boston (including hundreds of micro-apartments), that is supposed to justify changes in transportation as well as in tax and development incentives. And it was the tech sector that started a virtual border war earlier this year between Boston and Cambridge over where Google would put one of its satellite offices. Google's HQ, of course, is in New York City.

· New Tech City [Center for an Urban Future]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston All In on Google Move from Cambridge [Curbed Boston]
· Boston's Tech Sector and Real Estate: What If, Part II? [Curbed Boston]

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