Home Depot Leases 500,000 Square Feet at Duke Realty Warehouse in LA County

Home improvement retailer Home Depot inked a lease deal that will allow it to fully occupy Duke Realty’s newly built smart industrial building in Los Angeles County. The property — which is located at 13131 Los Angeles St. in Irwindale, Calif. — is part of a major investment push by Duke into build-to-suit, last-mile facilities within the Southern California area.

In addition to the Irwindale industrial property, the effort also includes the 146,000-square-foot facility at 6450 Katella Ave. in Cypress, Calif.; a spec industrial development in Rancho Cucamonga; and  warehouse space in Los Angeles at 13344 S. Main St.

Home Depot has been bullish on expanding its operations in Southern California. The current deal comes just a few months after the company leased 1.1 million square feet in the Inland Empire market. Nancy Shultz, Duke Realty’s West Region president, suggested that the state-of-the-art facility on Los Angeles Street was designed around its prospective tenant.

“By partnering with tenants in the design process, we can implement the features and systems that help us share information, ideas and results,” she said. “Ultimately, we all want to save money and limit our carbon footprint — this helps us achieve both.”

“Duke Realty has been an industry leader in sustainable building practices and our pledge to achieving carbon neutrality,” said Megan Basore, Duke Realty’s vice president of corporate responsibility. “This first-of-its-kind facility proves our commitment and allows us to work closely with our customers to limit our impact on the communities we serve.”

The 529,866-square-foot Irwindale, Calif., industrial space is equipped with a building automation system (BAS), smart metering system, solar panels and high-efficiency air conditioning units. The building is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 800,000 kg CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year when compared to an air-conditioned warehouse powered by traditional electrical energy sources. Additionally, the facility features 40-foot clear height, level floors, 73 dock doors, 149 trailer stalls, 261 automobile parking spaces and four grade-level loading doors.

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Top 20 Cities for Gen Z: Atlanta, Minneapolis & Boston Steal the Spotlight

Key Takeaways

  • Atlanta earned the title of best city for Gen Z thanks to its affordability, low unemployment, highly educated Gen Z population and large number of parks.
  • Minneapolis and Boston earned the #2 and #3 spots, with affordability and Generation Z education level as their respective strong suits.
  • New York City reached #10 due to its steeper affordability, but still had the best internet, largest number of entertainment venues and most green commute options.
  • The best cities for Gen Z were concentrated in the Northwest, Midwest and Southeast.

Generation Zers are graduating and looking for their first jobs — and with the ubiquity of remote jobs, they have more flexibility than ever in choosing where they settle down. With this in mind, we set out to rank the cities that have the most potential as Generation Z havens.

Notably, the majority of the best cities for this generation are concentrated in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest. Moreover, our list features both affordable options with low unemployment, as well as larger cities boasting a variety of entertainment options, lightning-fast internet and highly educated Gen Z populations. Read on to learn the strong suits of each city:

Atlanta Secures Top Spot as All-Round Gen Z Magnet

Atlanta reached first place on our list of best cities for Generation Z with a total of 66.9 points — more than 3 points above the second position.

Specifically, Atlanta had the largest number of parks per 10,000 residents at 7.61. With gems that include Centennial Olympic Park; Piedmont Park (which is only a mile from the city’s downtown); and the historic Grant Park, just to name a few, Atlanta is a paradise for Gen Z joggers, pet owners or those who simply enjoy long walks.

However, the ratio of parks to residents wasn’t the only thing that Atlanta had going for it. First and foremost, members of Generation Z constituted 9.8% of the city’s population in the period of the study — the fourth-highest share on our list and a figure that is likely to increase given the city’s steady growth. Companies are also flocking to the city and Atlanta offices are in high demand, thanks to the area’s availability of educated young professionals.

Additionally, 55% of Atlanta Gen Zers were enrolled in some form of education — the second-highest Gen Z educational enrollment nationally. Coupled with a cost of life index near the national average and low unemployment (5.1%), Atlanta is a great candidate for ticking all of Gen Z’s boxes — community, walkability, economic prospects and educational opportunities.

Minneapolis, Boston Reach Podium with Strong Scores in Gen Z Population, Unemployment & Education

Minneapolis earned the runner-up spot thanks to its strong performances across most metrics for a total of 63.8 points.

The city had the third-highest percentage of Gen Zers of its total population, and more than half of Minneapolis’ adult-age Zoomers are enrolled in some form of education. Additionally, the city also had the fourth-lowest unemployment rate (3.8%) of the cities in our analysis, as well a cost of living on par with the national average. Clearly, with many companies looking for talent and a booming Minneapolis coworking scene, the city is a strong contender for freelancers and telecommuters.

Boston has the most educated Gen Z population of all of the cities in our study, with almost two-thirds of the city’s Zoomers aged 20 to 24 enrolled in some form of education. Meanwhile, Boston also had relatively low unemployment and a good availability of green commute options, while also having the second-highest percentage of Gen Zers out of all of the cities on our list.

In our previous ranking of the best metro areas for Generation Z, the Boston metro topped the list thanks to its high internet speed and personal income. And, while at a city level, Boston lost out due to lower affordability than the other podium entries, it still presents ample opportunities and advantages for Zoomers who graduate from one of its numerous universities or those who want to relocate to one of the nation’s tech and coworking hot spots.

Promising Generation Z Hot Spots Cluster in Northeast, Midwest & Southwest

The Northeast, Midwest and Southwest claimed the majority of the 20 best cities for Generation Z. With the exception of New York City closing out the top 10, all of the cities on our list had fewer than 1 million residents. However, they also varied greatly in aspects such as economy, Gen Z community, walkability and even climate, thereby providing a wide array of options for Zoomers looking to relocate or settle down for their first job — remote or otherwise.

Best Cities for Generation Z Concentrated in Northeast, Midwest & Southeast

The highest-ranked Southwest city was Tucson, Ariz., which reached #4 with a total of 59.1 points.

With the highest percentage of Gen Zers of all of the cities in our study (11.3%) — as well as great affordability, low unemployment and impressive internet speed — Tucson landed just shy of the top three. Compared to the cities on the podium, Tucson lost out due to a middling Gen Z educational enrollment and a lower number of green commute options and parks per residents. Still, members of the generation looking to join one of the companies operating from a Tucson office space should know that the city has plenty to offer, especially in one of its highly walkable and vibrant neighborhoods such as Armory Park or the Spanish-influenced El Presidio.

Besides Minneapolis, another flourishing Midwestern city also made the list: Columbus, Ohio, at #6 with a total of 53.7 points.

Columbus is one of the nation’s hot spots for young professionals looking for affordability in tandem with community. In fact, it was also ranked among the top 10 best U.S. metros for Millennials. Additionally, Columbus’ cost of living is 11% below the national average. The city’s affordability — as well as its relatively low unemployment — secured its finish high in the standings, while also cementing it as a strong option for Midwestern Gen Zers and more.

The only West Coast entry to crack the top 20, Seattle reached the seventh spot with stand-out unemployment and internet speed, as well as above-average showings in most other categories. Of course, it’s no secret that the city has become a hub for tech workers, freelancers and other digital nomads. Seattle coworking offices are also among the most sought-after in the U.S.

That being said, Seattle was the third-least affordable city in the top 10 (aside from New York City and Boston), but it made up for that with great education and job opportunities. So, if you’re looking for an economically booming city with a great sense of community, easy access to nature trails, and excellent walkability, Seattle should definitely be near the top of your list.

A duo of Texas cities reached #8 and #9 on our list of Zoomer-ready cities: In the eighth spot, Austin — a certified haven for Millennials and Zoomers alike and one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. — boasted affordability near the national average, as well as a 3.9% unemployment rate and good internet speed.

In the northwest part of the state, El Paso was the fifth-most affordable city of the 45 we analyzed. Boasting a larger percentage of Gen Zers than Austin, El Paso also had a higher unemployment rate at 5.9% and fewer entertainment options, so you’d have to counterbalance community with fun factor. However, if you’re considering one Lone Star State city over the other, keep in mind that both cities are heavily car-centric for commuting: Only 2.7% of El Paso commuters and 6.7% of those in Austin walked, biked or took public transportation to work.

NYC Places 1st in Internet Speed, Entertainment & Green Commuting as Omaha City Scores Lowest Unemployment

Some of the highest-ranked cities for Generation Z reached higher positions thanks to top performances across particular metrics.

For example, Boston’s percentage of Generation Zers older than 20 enrolled in education — 64.1% — propelled it to a podium finish, contributing almost one-third of its total points earned. Similarly, Tucson is the city with the most members of Gen Z out of the total population at 11.3%, helping it climb to #4 on our list, while Atlanta’s large number of parks also helped its claim to a top spot.

New York City is notable for being #1 in three different metrics: average internet speed (636 MB/s); number of entertainment venues and eateries (10,311); and percentage of commutes by public transportation, bike or on foot (63.9%).

Still, even with a full score in these indexes, NYC could only climb to #10. In particular, it was hindered by its low affordability, low Generation Z population share and relatively high unemployment. As such, while having the second-highest cost of living in the country, being in the country’s epicenter of business and taking advantage of the vibrant New York City coworking scene provides clear advantages.

Two cities could not crack the top 10 despite earning top scores in two respective metrics. Omaha, Neb., had the lowest unemployment of all 45 cities we analyzed at 3.1%. Besides full marks for its unemployment, the city also fared well in terms of school enrollment and number of parks, reaching #12 — less than a point behind New York City.

Likewise, Oklahoma City was the most affordable city on our list (followed by Tulsa, Okla., and Memphis, Tenn.). However, average or below-average scores in all other metrics except unemployment meant it secured a #24 finish. Yet, for remote workers or Zoomers looking for a quieter life, Oklahoma City could still be a great contender.

Whether Gen Zers are looking for a small-town feel or a bustling hub with plenty to do, there are a variety of options with specific advantages.

RankCityTotal PtsAffordability Index (%)
(20 pts)
% of Gen Zers
(15 pts)
School Enrollment
(20 pts)
Unemployment Rate
(10 pts)
Internet Speed
(10 pts)
Recreational Establishments
(10 pts)
Green Commuting
(10 pts)
Parks per 10k residents
(5 pts)
1Atlanta, GA66.8615.9711.1915.218.086.512.682.225.00
2Minneapolis, MN63.8216.8911.6913.429.335.391.763.242.10
3Boston, MA63.196.6612.2020.007.405.830.427.343.33
4Tucson, AZ59.1316.4715.0010.267.696.790.860.961.09
5Raleigh, NC56.3017.958.1412.328.656.760.550.281.66
6Columbus, OH53.7319.007.1210.477.984.631.370.652.49
7Seattle, WA53.646.686.3611.219.427.412.995.224.35
8Austin, TX53.0316.435.0811.429.236.312.380.731.45
9El Paso, TX51.7119.127.1210.007.314.810.740.082.54
10New York, NY49.920.762.5410.163.4610.0010.0010.003.00
11Houston, TX49.6218.444.836.056.836.306.020.620.52
12Omaha, NE49.2318.444.079.9510.002.840.590.263.08
13Philadelphia, PA49.1915.594.329.324.136.773.055.020.97
14Milwaukee, WI48.5916.997.637.376.735.290.921.542.13
15Washington, D.C.48.345.065.3410.536.637.081.647.464.61
16Nashville/Davidson, TN47.3317.394.836.478.945.761.150.362.44
17Baltimore, MD47.1715.453.569.635.675.670.643.403.13
18San Antonio, TX46.7118.925.595.477.984.702.880.410.76
19Chicago, IL46.4011.535.087.745.674.585.915.120.76
20Virginia Beach, VA45.9317.694.324.899.424.640.420.244.30
21Wichita, KS45.7019.164.836.058.275.460.130.021.78
22San Diego, CA45.637.886.8612.687.025.793.030.831.54
23Jacksonville, FL45.1018.133.314.638.566.740.980.262.50
24Oklahoma City, OK44.9620.003.564.959.135.240.910.021.15
25Charlotte/Mecklenburg, NC44.3217.354.
26Portland, OR44.1411.330.769.897.795.612.543.262.97
27Tulsa, OK43.5419.684.074.008.655.
28Dallas, TX42.9216.555.081.327.508.072.660.551.19
29Kansas City, MO42.5517.833.564.267.795.790.440.392.50
30Colorado Springs, CO41.8716.016.612.747.605.450.340.182.95
31Sacramento, CA41.8413.162.809.375.876.190.970.912.58
32Albuquerque, NM41.7718.313.055.846.923.580.590.393.09
33Miami, FL41.1812.721.028.537.984.323.301.851.47
34Denver, CO40.7414.801.534.687.316.172.351.752.16
35Louisville, KY39.8117.993.056.328.372.180.880.490.54
36Phoenix, AZ39.6315.954.322.218.276.531.930.420.00
37Fort Worth, TX39.1217.873.813.847.603.581.030.001.38
38Cleveland, OH38.8718.
39Los Angeles, CA38.056.445.0811.634.423.335.491.640.01
40San Francisco, CA37.500.000.009.848.177.263.497.261.48
41Memphis, TN37.4419.405.852.685.102.530.410.111.36
42Long Beach, CA36.586.445.0812.373.755.960.181.071.72
43Las Vegas, NV34.9616.551.530.004.905.893.320.422.35
44Oakland, CA33.
45Detroit, MI30.8316.135.081.320.004.330.001.412.56


We ranked the largest U.S. cities on their potential for relocating Gen Zers based on eight select indexes. Each city could score between zero and maximum points for each metric directly proportional to its performance in the respective index:

  • Composite cost of living index provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research. Expressed as a percentage above or below 100%, which is the national average (0 to 20 points).
  • Generation Z educational enrollment, based on the percentage of people aged 20 to 24 who were enrolled in education between 2016 and 2020 provided by the U.S. Census Bureau (0 to 20 points).
  • Percentage of Gen Zers of the total population, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau (0 to 15 points).
  • City-level unemployment rate in 2021, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (0 to 10 points).
  • City-level average internet speed provided by BroadbandNow.com (0 to 10 points).
  • Number of entertainment establishments, including sports venues, museums, amusement parks, arcades, bars and restaurants. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data on NAICS codes 7111 (Performing Arts); 7112 (Spectator Sports); 7121 (Museums, Historical Sites and Similars); 7131 (Amusement Parks and Arcades); 7139 (Other Amusements and Recreation); 7224 (Drinking Places – Alcoholic); 7225 (Restaurants and Other Places to Eat). Data is available at a ZIP code level and was summed up to provide city-level statistics (maximum 10 points).
  • Percentage of commutes carried out through public transportation (excluding taxi) by walking or biking, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau (maximum 10 points).
  • Number of parks per 10,000 residents, provided by the Trust for Public Land (maximum 5 points).

The cities of San Jose, Calif.; Fresno, Calif.; and Mesa, Ariz., were excluded from the list due to the unavailability of the composite cost of living index for these locations. Indianapolis, was also excluded due to unavailable park data.

The post Top 20 Cities for Gen Z: Atlanta, Minneapolis & Boston Steal the Spotlight appeared first on CommercialCafe.

Expert Insights: Christine Mastandrea Discusses Texas Commercial Real Estate

A businesswoman and businessman discussing a project - featured image

A businesswoman and businessman discussing a project - featured image

Christine Mastandrea, Adjunct Professor in Management – Real Estate, Rice University Jones School of Business

For our latest expert interview, we discussed the Texas commercial real estate market with Christine Mastandrea, adjunct professor in management – real estate at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Mrs. Mastandrea also works as Chief Operating Officer at Whitestone Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WSR).

Previously, she was Chief Operating Officer for Midwest Development Corporation, a privately held residential and commercial real estate company. She began her career on the trading floors on Wall Street and then as an investment banker with Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.

Read on to find out more.


Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose a career in teaching real estate.

My career evolved to commercial real estate [CRE] from beginning in finance, to learning my ‘ops chops’ in a private real estate company, and eventually combining the experience as a fellow founder of Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) and currently as chief operating officer.

Teaching at Rice University Jones School of Business allows me the opportunity to share firsthand knowledge, in addition to learning from newer generations of students, their views, curiosity and perspectives.

Q: Considering the COVID-19 outbreak, what are your thoughts on the CRE market in the U.S. today in terms of trends and challenges?

Cigna has an excellent study on loneliness and the impact on individuals and society. The impact of COVID contributed to more disconnectedness. Designing for human connection and not just the function of the space is becoming more important than ever.

Q: What differentiates the commercial real estate market in Texas from other major markets in the United States?

We are in the major markets in Texas — Houston, Dallas, Austin, [and] San Antonio — as well as the Phoenix metro. We specifically targeted our investment in business-friendly states and the fastest-growing metro markets in the country. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and know the challenges with starting a business. Focusing on unconstrained demand — rather than constrained supply — is a great benefit to Texas growth and opportunity.

Q: How have you seen the industry evolve in the last 10 years?

The availability of data is super helpful. [For example,] Placer.ai and ESRI. I use both to teach my class. In addition, knowing how to ‘kick the bricks’ and operate real estate — not just invest — is becoming more important as a differentiator.

Q: Where do you see it going in the future?

Bigger is not necessarily better and [also considering] how to build with flexibility for the future. How to address the needs of the environment with the average age of U.S. buildings being almost 50 years old is a challenge that will be interesting to address effectively. New positioning around ESG will continue to impact investment.

Q: Are there any lessons from the past few years that you would impart as an absolute must for those looking to get into the CRE industry?

Begin with the land and the rights to understand how it impacts the value. Know the customer and clients; understand their needs and aspirations and how they will use the space. Observation is important. Too many decisions are designed on the screen versus being on-site.

Q: What is your general assessment for the commercial real estate market in 2022? Have you spotted some interesting market trends?

The move to suburban markets was happening prior to COVID as the Millennials shift to more affordable communities. They are no different than their parents before them. They just landed later due to school loans and household formations occurring at a later age. This group and Gen Z are creating new needs.

[Also,] more entrepreneurialism. It’s interesting in the gig economy how many young people have a side hustle that [they] develop into full-time opportunities. It’s the American dream!

Q: How has the evolution of online marketing affected the commercial real estate industry?

It just fixed a problem. Time-crunched consumers needed convenience, although not everyone needs Amazon delivered within the day. It’s nice, but not always necessary.

Omni channel is expected and ease of access and delivery with one click is not profitable for all retailers. More ‘e-tail’ is moving to a physical storefront for presence. How brands are being built between online and inline storefront is interesting to observe. Again, it evolves around creating community for customer stickiness.

Q: Are there any other insights that you’d like to add?

Gray hair and experience matter in CRE — unlike tech, where you can age out quickly. Having gone through a number of cycles built fortitude and foresight and is extremely valuable. Plan for the long-term and you will do well.

Interested in being interviewed for our Expert Insights series? Feel free to reach out to us at contributors@commercialcafe.com or check out other articles from our series here.

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Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan Signs New Lease Deal for Midtown Office

Law firm Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan recently closed a 15-year lease deal at Global Holding’s 875 Third Ave. The company will occupy 27,000 square feet of prime Manhattan office space located between East 52nd and East 53rd streets, marking a significant downsizing from its current 48,000-square-foot lease at Silverstein Properties’ 120 Broadway. The move reflects a wider trend of companies adjusting their office space needs to accommodate employees’ preferences for flexible work schedules.

Asking rents were between $69 and $75 per square foot. The new tenant is scheduled to move in by March 2023 and will occupy the entire fifth floor of the building. The 29-story tower features a diverse tenant roster: It includes the likes of retailers I Tavolo, Starbucks, and Dunkin and is set to house Chopt in the renovated lobby. Currently, KUR Skin Lab, massage salon A’s Body Works and skin care treatment provider Janet Sartin also reside in the building.

JLL’s Paul Glickman, Diana Biasotti, Kristen Morgan and Harrison Potter represented the landlord, while Barry Lewen of Cresa and Howard Greenberg of Howard Properties negotiated on behalf of Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan.

“With over 600 linear feet of windows, 875 Third’s floor plates provide a uniquely efficient envelope for law firms,” Glickman said in a statement. “Along with the first-class amenities, transportation and ownership, the building offers an extremely attractive package for today’s tenants.”

Completed in 1982, the 700,000-square-foot tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as a 14-sided structure. Its long axis is also positioned at a 45-degree angle toward the avenue. Notably, the building was part of Madison Equities portfolio until 1998, when it was acquired by Boston Properties, which went on to renovate the property and resell it to its current owner by 2003. The building was then renovated once again in 2014 by Global Holdings.

The post Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan Signs New Lease Deal for Midtown Office appeared first on CommercialCafe.

2022 Update: Top 10 Metros for Millennials Who Want to Relocate

Nearly 72 million people living and working in the U.S. today are part of what’s commonly referred to as the Millennial generation, which currently represents the most significant cohort of the country’s demographics. And, given their outsized role within the nation’s economy and influence on everything from culture to the social and political spheres, CommercialCafe has made a concerted effort to track their movements and preferences throughout the years.

For instance, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted a study to determine the top 10 most attractive metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for Millennials across the U.S. Now, two years later, there have been some major shake-ups in the ranking — from the meteoric rise of San Jose, Calif., to significant drops for Raleigh, N.C., and Denver — along with new entries making their way onto the list.

In revisiting our previous assessment, we followed each entry’s performance across these seven indicators:

  • Millennial population growth between 2016 and 2020
  • Proportion of Millennials in the overall population in 2020
  • Regional price parity
  • Median Millennial household earnings
  • Unemployment rate
  • Percentage of Millennials with employer-based health insurance
  • Percentage of Millennials in the labor force, with a bachelor’s degree

NOTE: Due to the rise of flexible working schedules and changes in commuting patterns for employees, the metric indicating average commute time estimates used in the previous iteration of this analysis has been replaced by median earnings for Millennial households.

For more information about our analysis, check out the methodology section. The map below highlights the top 10 metro areas for Millennials, according to this study.

West Coast Metro Areas Hungry for Talent — & Ready to Pay For it

While all of the locations on this list are exceptional in their abilities to attract Millennials, performances vary significantly across most metrics. That said, here’s a quick overview of the leading metros for individual indicators.

One of the first findings that stood out in our study was that the top position for each individual indicator was no longer evenly distributed, with the San Jose, Calif., metro occupying three of the leading spots. In fact, San Jose witnessed the most spectacular shift in the ranking, going from 10th place right up to the head of the list by earning a total of 77.8 out of 100 points. Most notably, the California metro area boasted the highest median earnings for Millennial households. It was followed by another West Coast MSA (San Francisco), as well as Boston and Seattle.

Best Metro Areas for Millennials

However, the largest change in the overall Millennial population was recorded in the Seattle metro, where the number of residents within that age group jumped by 13.7%. In raw numbers, that meant that an additional 80,000 Millennials chose to make this Washington metro area their home between 2016 and 2020 — bringing the total for that age group to roughly 668,000.

Notably, these numbers were also in line with the demographic evolution observed during our previous study, which looked at data for the period between 2014 and 2018. At that time, Seattle also ranked first, with a similar percentage.

Meanwhile, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.4% of residents in the Austin metro residents were part of the Millennial cohort, which landed the Texas MSA in the top spot for its share of Millennials within its total population. And, even with all but two of its seven metrics below the ranking average, Austin still managed to maintain its runner-up position in the top 10.

Next, the San Francisco metro — a newcomer to the list — landed in fifth place, gaining notable points for its second-highest median Millennial household earnings. Educational attainment and healthcare coverage levels for Millennials were also within the top three for this California metro area.

In terms of unemployment rates, Salt Lake City metro outranked all other entries in the list. and performed above average across three other indicators — including health insurance coverage and regional price parity.

Finally, despite previously ranking first among the top metro areas for Millennials, the Denver metro had to settle for sixth place this time round. This MSA’s top performances across its demographic metrics — second place for the largest growth in its Millennial population and third place for the highest percentage of Millennials within the total population — were insufficient to garner it enough points to break into the top three.

The median earning for Millennial households is roughly $150,806 per year across San Jose MSA. As such, they can expect to earn an extra $17,000 when compared to those in San Francisco metro, as well as $44,145 more than those in Boston metro.

Home to Stanford University; the founding campus of California State University (CSU); and California University of Management and Technology (CALMAT), the metro area unsurprisingly received top scores for its educational attainment levels. As a matter of fact, with approximately 61% of its Millennials boasting a bachelor’s degree or higher, only Boston and San Francisco’s MSAs came even close to matching it.

Moreover, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers for March 2022, unemployment in the San Jose metro area stood at 2.5%. Although that was only the third-lowest rate among the 10 entries, it nevertheless proved useful in offsetting some of the region’s more modest performances across other indicators, such as regional price parity (ninth place) and its Millennial demographics.

Austin had the most Millennial-heavy demographic among the entries on this list, with Millennials making up roughly 17.4% of the MSA’s 2.3-million population.

Specifically, between 2016 and 2020, the Millennial population in the Austin metro area increased by 12.8% — the third-largest such increase within the ranking. Going by the numbers, that meant an additional 43,000 new residents within that age group chose to live and work in this Texas metro area. Plus, according to a previous CommercialCafe study, the Austin metro area has been especially successful in attracting new residents from in-state rivals Houston, Dallas Fort-Worth and San Antonio.

Furthermore, despite significant rent increases throughout the last couple of years and median Millennial household incomes below the $100,000 threshold, the region’s cost of living remains competitive when compared to other large MSAs: Austin finished in fifth place, outranking Denver, Boston, Seattle, San Jose and San Francisco.

Here, a robust STEM sector — which also boasts one of the highest female participation rates and incomes in this field within the Southern U.S. — has further contributed to making Austin one of the nation’s top spots for people looking to relocate.

As mentioned, Seattle performed exceptionally well in terms of its increasing number of Millennials, landing in first place for this indicator. But, it’s also important to note that the region also had the second-highest share of Millennials within the overall population in our ranking at 17%.

With median Millennial household incomes around $101,000, the Seattle metro landed in fourth place for this metric. It also received additional points for ranking fourth for its share of health insurance coverage among people between the ages of 25 and 34 (72.5%, just below San Francisco).

Clearly, the Seattle metro area has a lot going for it, such as its willingness to invest in parks and green spaces; its dedication to creating an exciting environment for innovation and startups; and more. But, for those considering a move to Seattle, the cost of living might be a complicating factor. That’s because the MSA had the third-worst regional price parity in our ranking, outpriced by only the two Bay Area entries (San Jose and San Francisco).

Salt Lake metro settled in fourth place, pulling ahead of San Francisco after it outranked the California MSA on several metrics. For instance, the Utah metro boasts a larger share of Millennials with employer-based health insurance amid its residents than San Francisco — 73.8%, enough to earn it second place.

Salt Lake also performed better than the northern California metro area for its share of Millennial residents within the overall population. According to most recent estimates, some 16.4% of people living in Salt Lake City metro were Millennials (fourth place).

Most notably, the Utah metro earned the top spot for the lowest unemployment among the ten entries. Its 2.1% rate — recorded as of March 2022 — is mirrored at the other end by Denver and Columbus’ 3.3% unemployment.

Few places exhibit such a clear division in their evolution before and after the internet and tech boom as San Francisco. Once the home of counterculture and independent artists, it’s now become one of the most exciting — and lucrative — destinations for tech professionals. And, with median yearly incomes for Millennials households of approximately $133,778, it’s also the second-best performing metro area in our ranking for this indicator.

San Francisco also gained points for placing third for both its health insurance coverage and its educational attainment scores among its resident Millennials. According to the latest American Community Survey estimates, roughly 72.9% of people between the ages of 25 and 34 were covered by employer-based health insurance, while 58.9% of people within the same age group had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Notably, the California metro area recorded its lowest score across its cost-of-living indicator: It landed in 10th place behind other West Coast destinations, such as San Jose and Seattle.

The Denver metropolitan area repeated its performances in terms of its Millennial demographics: Once again, it recorded the second-largest gain in residents from this age group (12.8%), bringing the share of Millennials within the MSA’s total population to 16.9% for third place.

However, Denver picked up far fewer points across the remaining indicators this time, with its unemployment rate being its greatest liability. At 3.6%, it was the highest rate of unemployment registered within the ranked metro areas.

Residents here have also felt the squeeze from an increase in consumer prices, as demonstrated by the declining performance of Denver’s regional price parity. According to the Consumer Price Index for Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, the most significant price hikes occurred in used car, gasoline and energy transactions.

Naturally, since the scope of this analysis was limited primarily to demographic and economic factors, we recognize that decisions regarding one’s location or relocation within a metropolitan area are influenced by a wide range of objective and subjective criteria. This includes, but is not limited to: proximity to family and friends; educational opportunities; the local food scene and night life; air quality; public transportation options; and climate.

An active and exciting coworking scene can also be important as it allows many Millennials the flexibility to work in places that meet their needs. To that end, young professionals can further explore various coworking spaces within their city or wider metro area via CommercialCafe.com.

Coworking spaces in ManhattanCoworking spaces in Los AngelesCoworking spaces in HoustonCoworking spaces in Chicago
Coworking spaces in DallasCoworking spaces in San FranciscoCoworking spaces in AtlantaCoworking spaces in Washington, D.C.
Coworking spaces in BostonCoworking spaces in DenverCoworking spaces in AustinCoworking spaces in Seattle
Coworking spaces in PhoenixCoworking spaces in San DiegoCoworking spaces in MiamiCoworking spaces in Brooklyn
Coworking spaces in IrvineCoworking spaces in PhiladelphiaCoworking spaces in CharlotteCoworking spaces in Las Vegas


To define the Millennial cohort, we used the 25 to 29 and 30 to 34 age groups, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Points for all indicators were distributed directly proportional to their value, except for the regional price parity and the unemployment rate indicators, for which points were awarded in inverse proportion. Entries could earn a maximum of 100 points.

“Millennial population growth” refers to the relative difference in each metropolitan area’s Millennial population from 2016 through 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Values scored represented the change in the Millennial population in five years. The maximum weight for this metric was 15 points.

“Proportion of Millennials” represents the percentage of Millennials of each metropolitan area’s total population. The values scored were based on five-year estimates of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2016-2020). The maximum weight for this metric was 15 points.

“Regional price parity” (RPP) measures the cost of living in a region by comparing it to a national average, conventionally set at 100. Areas with high or low RPPs typically correspond to regions with high or low price levels for rents. In addition to housing costs, RPPs also cover all consumption goods and services. Values scored were the 2020 Bureau of Economic Analysis numbers. The maximum weight for this metric was 15 points.

“Median Millennial household earnings” includes the income of the householder and all other
individuals 15 years old and over in the household, whether they are related to the householder or not. Because many households consist of only one person, average household income is usually less than average family income. Although the household income statistics cover the past 12 months, the characteristics of individuals and the composition of households refer to the time of interview. Thus, the income of the household does not include amounts received by individuals who were members of the household during all or part of the past 12 months if these individuals no longer resided in the household at the time of interview. Similarly, income amounts reported by individuals who did not reside in the household during the past 12 months but who were members of the household at the time of interview are included. However, the composition of most households was the same during the past 12 months as at the time of interview. Age group used: Householder 25 to 44 years. Values scored were based on five-year estimates of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2016-2020). The maximum weight for this metric was 15 points.

“Unemployment rate” highlights the percentage of those unemployed and actively searching for a job. Values scored were 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics percentages. The maximum weight for this metric was 15 points.

“Millennials with employer-based health insurance” measures the percentage of Millennials covered by an employment-based health insurance plan. Values scored were 2019 U.S. Census Bureau demographic percentages. The maximum weight for this metric was 15 points.

“Millennials in the labor force with a bachelor’s degree” is the percentage of individuals between the ages of 25 to 34 who are active within the labor force and have a bachelor’s degree. Values scored were based on five-year estimates of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2016-2020). The maximum weight for this metric was 10 points.

We excluded metropolitan areas with less than 1 million residents.

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