Success can be found in unlikely places

Last week, the Arizona Cardinals announced Jen Welter would join the team’s preseason coaching staff, making her the first female coach in the NFL. Welter has been coaching and playing professional football for 14 years and was the first woman to play in a professional men’s league in a contact position, making her a more valuable coach than some of the NFL’s current coaching staff.

In a sport dominated by men, the Arizona Cardinals turned to an unlikely source in hopes of having a successful season this fall. The Cardinals did all right last year, going 11-5 during the regular season, but they only made it to one postseason game; maybe someone like Welter is exactly what they need to make it to Super Bowl 50.

How does this relate to real estate, you ask?

A recent report from CBRE Group shows that Midwest secondary markets are becoming more and more popular for development. The 11 cities included in the study — Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and St. Louis — have all experienced significant population growth during the past decade and as a result are seeing a strong demand for new development.

The data suggests it is not only millennials that are moving to urban centers, but recent empty nesters as well. This in-migration, combined with the generally lower cost of living, involved public leadership, various incentive programs, and vibrant and innovative urban cores, has made these Midwest secondary markets appealing to employers and employees.

In Pittsburgh, technology jobs represent about 5 percent of total employment, notably higher than other markets across the United States, and while the technology sector only makes up 3.4 percent of the total U.S. workforce, it accounted for the largest share of U.S. office leasing activity in 2013 (13.5 percent) and 2014 (19 percent). Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis currently have more than $1 billion of new construction projects under way.

Perhaps, like the Arizona Cardinals, real estate investors will find success in these less frequently considered markets.

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ZoeWolff119x91Zoë Wolff is a reporter with Institutional Real Estate, Inc.

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