Minneapolis-St. Paul’s lower costs draw in tech

New occupiers continue to relocate to the Twin Cities from costlier markets.

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Jan 26, 2017, 1:52 PM

2016 Tech Outlook - Minneapolis-St. Paul

A unique mix of tech innovation across a wide range of industries, including life sciences, retail and food, is helping to elevate the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro tech economy. And national companies are taking notice.

Key stats as of Q2 2016

Office supply

Total vacancy14.7%
Average asking rent (per square foot)$25.76
12-month rent growth+3.0%

Talent pool

Employee cost (average wage 2015)$108,161
% of population with bachelor's degree or higher40.0%
Share of Millennials20.9%
Change in tech employment YoY+2.7%


VC funding (Q3 2015 - Q2 2016)$168.8M
YoY change+55.2%


Average monthly apartment rent$1,078
Urban core premium+34.0%

Where there's opportunity

Diverse industry base: As tech talent moves between jobs, innovative best practices are shared. Retailers like Target are implementing scanning technology to grade the freshness of produce for sale. Hearing aid manufacturers are developing apps to improve their user experience. Nanotechnology, traditionally the domain of the life sciences, is being applied to food packaging and apparel.

VC support expanding: National VC firms are looking at a variety of investment opportunities within the Twin Cities, including local solar panel manufacturing and IoT apps, after traditionally focusing the majority of their dollars towards medical device companies.

Expansion potential: New occupiers continue to enter the market either via acquisition or strategic expansion. MSP’s lower operating costs are a particularly strong draw for tech companies comparing location options.

Where there's a challenge

Lack of tech talent: Though Minneapolis-St. Paul already claims one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, tech industry labor demand is not expected to slow anytime soon. And there just aren’t enough trained tech workers to fill these jobs. In reaction, some of the largest tech services firms in the market plan to open subsidiary offices in places like California, Denver and Austin.

Want more? Download the complete 2016 Minneapolis Technology Office Outlook.


See how other markets stack up in the 2016 Tech Outlook:

Boston | Chicago | Los Angeles | New York City
Orange County | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Portland | San Francisco

Seattle |Silicon Valley | Washington DC

Or check out the full national 2016 Tech Outlook.

Researcher: Carolyn Bates | Editor: Michael Cronin