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Roundup 1-20-2017

January 20, 2017

Contents

Transportation – The New/Old TBX

Transportation – Who Is Driving This Show

— One More Thing

— And Another Thing

Transportation – PTC

Port – Cruise Control

Tampa Heights – Pearl Breaks Ground

Hyde Park – Rebuilding

Transportation – A Flight Mystery

Planning – Cool Feature from the MPO

St. Pete – Nice to Be Noticed

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the Country

List of the Week I

List of the Week II

_________________________________

Transportation – The New/Old TBX

The first news of the revised TBX plan has started to come out:

Bill Jones, the recently hired director of transportation development for DOT’s local office, told Tampa City Council members at a community redevelopment area meeting that the state has devised a new plan for rebuilding the northbound span of the main bridge connecting Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Unlike a previous version that faced harsh political blowback last fall, this plan will not convert an existing free lane to a toll lane, leaving just three free lanes on the northbound and southbound spans.

“The recommended concept has changed,” Jones said, “and we are now having four non-toll lanes in either direction as well as the express lanes on the Howard Frankland Bridge.”

The department will hold a public hearing to review the plan sometime this spring, he said.

That is about what we expected: save all the free lanes and add express lanes, because express lanes are what FDOT really wants.  We doubt FDOT will address anything else, like how TBX rips up the urban core, mostly because most local officials don’t seem to care (as exemplified by so many of local officials supporting TBX before even bothering to find out what was in it as revealed by the Howard Frankland issue).

Nor do we think FDOT will wait until the transit studies are done to try to create a comprehensive transportation system.  It did not do that before and local officials did not care.  Why start now?  As for the public hearings, we doubt there will be much change there either.

Basically, the only change to TBX we foresee FDOT making is giving us more of it.  We could be (hope to be) pleasantly surprised, but, given past events, there is little reason to expect it.

Transportation – Who Is Driving This Show

There is a lot of talk these days about autonomous vehicles and how they will transform transportation.  While it is not really clear when they will be fully ready for the roads, there are also indicators that there are still some issues with them, like a number of issues in San Francisco. In the event, California told Uber that its cars did not meet California requirements, so Uber moved the program to Arizona, which has very limited regulations.

So does Florida,

“Hey @Uber, unlike California we in Florida welcome driverless cars — no permit required. #OpenForBusiness #FlaPol,” Brandes tweeted Dec. 22.

Brandes, who has been advocating for laws to allow driverless cars, is correct that Florida does not require a permit to operate or test a driverless car. But that doesn’t mean people should expect to hitch an automated ride any time soon.

* * *

“Florida has the least restrictive active state laws for the operation of autonomous vehicles,” said John Terwilleger, an attorney at Gunster law firm in West Palm Beach. Terwilleger represents a company that’s involved in developing and using autonomous vehicles in Florida.

In 2012, the Florida Legislature passed a law co-sponsored by Brandes that allowed a person with a valid driver’s license to operate an autonomous vehicle. Before companies could test autonomous cars, they had to submit proof that they had $5 million in insurance.

But in 2016, the Florida Legislature passed new rules that eliminated some of the previous requirements, including the $5 million in insurance. The new law also got rid of the requirement that a human operator be present in the vehicle, as long as an operator can be alerted in case of technology failure and stop the vehicle.

Since there is no permit for autonomous vehicles, the state has no information regarding how many Floridians own one, said Beth Frady, spokeswoman for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Florida law treats an autonomous vehicle in the same manner as any other motor vehicle operating on its roads, said Chris Spencer, a spokesman for Brandes.

Given that it is an unproven and potentially lethal technology, we are not sure that really is the best idea.  We are not saying that our rules should be as strict as California.  But, until the technology is proven safe (and even afterward), there should probably be some rules and oversight.  Testing is not the same as daily operating. And that is not even getting into the question of liability if there is an accident. We are all for pushing technology and creating an environment for having it developed and tested here.  However, there are responsible ways to do it.

There is also this:

Another hurdle to Uber’s autonomous cars in Florida is that Uber’s human-driven cars are not everywhere in Florida. Only a handful of jurisdictions specifically allow Uber: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Hillsborough counties, as well as the cities of Gainesville and Tallahassee.

Correoso said that Uber wants a statewide law to allow for Uber before it would move ahead with driverless cars in Florida.

Statewide rules would take care of that.  But they would not take care of the fact that having anyone operate an autonomous car without any oversight regarding the autonomy part is questionable.  They may prove to be quite safe, but we would like someone to make sure.

— One More Thing

There was a reminder of how important getting this right is was given this week:

Amazon was awarded a patent for a network that manages a very specific aspect of the self-driving experience: How autonomous cars navigate reversible lanes.

Reversible lanes indicate a change in direction of traffic with an overhead signal, making it a potential disaster zone for self-driving cars that haven’t yet been programmed to understand those signals.

In the patent, Amazon outlines a network that can communicate with self-driving vehicles so they can adjust to the change in traffic flow. That’s particularly important for self-driving vehicles traveling across state lines onto new roads with unfamiliar traffic laws.

In December, the online retailer bought up thousands of its own truck trailers to deliver goods from one Amazon warehouse to another. It’s likely Amazon is thinking about its own self-driving ambitions — particularly since autonomous delivery trucks would eliminate the cost of hiring drivers.

We are not opposed to the idea of autonomous trucks.  However, consider being on the road with autonomous trucks rolling around in a very heavy Florida thunderstorm with very limited regulation and oversight.

— And Another Thing

Many, often those who are also slowest to do anything substantial about transportation, say we do not need mass transit because ridesharing will take of it.  Interestingly, Uber does not seem to agree.  In an article on Citylab, the Uber head of transportation, after studying their data, tells us:

“There’s no way in any system that Uber and any sharing models can move as many people as rail trains can, and I think we’ve demonstrated that with the shutdown,” Salzberg told reporters afterward. “If you look at the data for that day, you get a dramatic increase in congestion when rail transit doesn’t run. That’s one reason we’re putting this data out there—to be helpful in policy arguments around how to use these [road] spaces effectively.”

Surely ridesharing and autonomous vehicles will help move people around today and in the future, but they are still cars on roads, which take up space. Even if autonomous cars are moving around constantly, the main improvements they likely will make are reduced need for parking (and thus allowing greater density) and hopefully (though not necessarily) reduced costs for transportation.   When you need to get a lot of people around in a limited amount of space, cars will still not be the best way.

Transportation – PTC

We really don’t feel like writing much about the PTC anymore.  So we’ll keep it short. The PTC has avoided an FDLE investigation (though there is another investigation involving former PTC personnel), but, regardless, it seems that even the PTC is getting resigned to being abolished.

Port – Cruise Control

There was an interesting article in the Times regarding the cruise industry in the Port.  While it probably in anticipation of the State of Port speech where we learned

. . . that several issues, like the consolidation of global carriers, uncertainty following the U.S. presidential election and new regulations placed on the commodities industry made 2016 a tough year to navigate.

Because of this, the port’s annual revenue dropped to $49 million from $51 million, and total cargo remained flat at 37 million tons. But port staff took proactive and strategic steps toward creating opportunities for future growth.

The port purchased two $25 million Post Panamax cranes earlier this year, which allows the port to handle larger ships and build upon its cargo container business with the expansion of the Panama Canal. The port is already underway on building a 130,000-square-foot cold storage facility to receive and ship perishable goods. The port opened a brand new eastern berth that was made using fill dirt from dredging. Other plans are in the works to build upon its car import business from Mexico and luring new cruise ships. Port staff also outlined its longer term goals for its business through 2030 in an updated master plan.

On the other hand:

But there are challenges still ahead. The new cranes, which have been operational since this summer, have yet to service a ship the size they were meant to lure to Tampa Bay. No new cars are flowing into Port Tampa Bay from Mexico yet either. And the future of that business is uncertain under President-elect Donald Trump, who has said he wants to impose a 35 percent tariff on cars imported from Mexico.

So not much has happened with that yet.  We’ll see what happens.

But we digress.  We want to talk about the cruise article.

Port Tampa Bay may have finally found a formula that works to grow its long-limited cruise business.

The port is poised to serve 1 million cruise passengers for the first time this year, a sizeable feat considering the height limitations of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and competition from larger, more active cruise ports better positioned around Florida.

It’s making the leap not by bringing in the top-of-the-line megaships, but rather relying on refurbished, smaller ships, a growing population and easy-to-reach destinations. 

Ok.

In 2016, Port Tampa Bay handled 813,800 passengers. For the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year — which falls in line with the busy winter cruise season — the port welcomed 239,301 passengers, a 3 percent increase over 2016. More ships will set sail out of Tampa Bay this year, too — the number of cruise liners have grown from five seasonal and year-round ships to seven this year, including the addition of the Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas, which will be among the first to sail to Havana, Cuba, beginning in April.

“We’ve been projecting for years that we’d see a short-term ramp up in cruise business, and that’s what we’re seeing now,” said Edward Miyagishima, vice president of communications and external affairs at Port Tampa Bay. “But the cruise business is a big part of what we do here, and it will play a major role in what we do going forward.”

And, in FY 2015:

The number of cruise ship passengers, however, fell slightly at 2 percent to 867,114 from 888,343 in the prior fiscal year. The port directly employs 135; indirect and related jobs reach about 80,000, according to TBBJ research.

These are the numbers since 2010, with the number of calls in parentheses (from the Port stats here):

FY2010: 807,082 (187)

FY2011: 875,611 (199)

FY2012: 974,259 (213)

FY2013: 854,260 (187)

FY2014: 888,343 (198)

FY2015: 867,114 (206)

FY2016: 813,800 (180)

Assuming that the economy holds up and the number of ships increases, yes, the number of passengers will increase. But in 2012, this was the concern:

Still, Wainio said, if Tampa doesn’t do something, changes in the cruise industry could make the port less and less attractive to the cruise industry. In other words, the cruise ship industry could begin to bypass Tampa’s port, which already is considered a secondary market. “If we are not satisfied with our limited market growth potential, we must be thinking ahead,” Wainio said. The Port of Tampa handles nearly 1 million cruise passengers annually. That number could grow to 1.5 million if more year-around ships are recruited, but that may be the limit with midsized ships.

So what is the plan now given those existing concerns?

The master plan forecasts a robust growth period ahead for Tampa’s cruise business, with annual revenues from passengers potentially nearing $1.4 million by 2030 compared to about $900,00 recorded in 2015. The forecast considered the limitations of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

That would seem to basically be what was discussed in 2012.  And then there is the market from which those passengers are drawn:

The plan isn’t to try to compete with the mega ships and bigger ports, said Wade Elliott, vice president of marketing and business development at Port Tampa Bay, it’s to create a niche market in Tampa Bay.

“A lot of the new demand we’re seeing for cruise traffic is connected to the population growth in Florida and the I-4 corridor,” Elliott said, noting that the majority of Port Tampa Bay’s cruise traffic come from Floridians and other “drive-in” markets like Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia. “Now that we’ve added new ships that serve some new destinations, the goal will be to make those seasonal itineraries year-round.”

Which also speaks to this concern from 2012:

“Tampa gets very little of the tourism dollar,” Crist said. “When you study the data, it’s clear travelers who book on the megaships tend to come in a day early and stay a day after, enjoying the port of call, something we don’t get now serving midsized ships.”

In other words, setting aside decreasing numbers in an era of record tourism (we set that aside mainly because we think more ships will mean more passengers, though not necessarily almost doubling the numbers any time soon), nothing material seems to have changed since the questions about the long term future were raised in 2012.

There is one additional factor:

Where Tampa falls short at times is that the amount of ships we have here is based on seasonality,” said Julio Soto, director of group product operations and sales for The Auto Group in Tampa. He noted that more than 60 percent of his company’s group travel bookings are for cruises. “In the winter, we’re fully booked. In the summer the ships leave because of hurricanes, and it cuts the amount of options in half. Year-round cruising at that same volume would be tremendous for Tampa Bay.”

Soto said that travelers are lured to Tampa Bay over other cruise destinations because they don’t want to be one of 5,000 people aboard one ship. Cruises that sail from Tampa are smaller and more personal, and they’re not so crowded.

Clearly, having more cruises means more passengers.  Full year round schedules increase numbers.  And what happens in Cuba may also change things a bit.

The bottom line is that cruise passengers bring in a substantial chunk of the Port’s revenue. (in 2012, it was a quarter of the revenue.)  We hope the business keeps growing.  However, right now there is a clear ceiling created by the Skyway and the channel.  It is the same with cargo ships.  Nothing in the plan seems to be much different from the thinking in 2012.

We understand that there are no easy answers and nothing is going to happen about the major impediments to growth soon, however, the question is whether local officials are just resigned to the problems or they are actually looking into changing, even at some time in the far future, the conditions that will restrict our growth.  The real question is what attitude will the Port, which is a main economic engine of this area, have as a Port (not a developer).  Is it the old airport attitude of just playing up incremental steps or the new attitude of making what improvements can be made while aggressively pursuing the future  even if there are issues and occasional setbacks?

Tampa Heights – Pearl Breaks Ground

While work has been under way on it for a little while, the Pearl in the Heights development has finally officially broken ground.

Developers, city and county officials pulled up in Infinitis, BMWs and Escalades for a walk through the dust and dirt. They grinned with golden shovels in their hands as they took part in the symbolic start of construction on a $68 million apartment complex — 314 units in four buildings, called the Pearl — that’s one of the main pieces of the neighborhood’s grand revitalization project.

What about Mercedes and Maseratti?  Anyway, jsut to refresh your memory, this is a rendering:

From Pure Properties Group - click on picture for website

From Pure Properties Group – click on picture for website

After a number of plans have come and gone, finally there is real development on a mixed use project in Tampa Heights.  Hopefully, it will get built out (without the surface parking in the plans shown to date).  That is definitely something to be happy about.

Hyde Park – Rebuilding

Work to rebuild Hyde Park Village is proceeding, per the Business Journal:

WS Development, the Boston-based owner of Hyde Park Village, confirmed Tuesday that demolition began this week on Block H, the vacant building across West Snow Avenue from French restaurant Piquant Epicure & Cuisine.

* * *

The demolition and rebuilding of that portion of the South Tampa shopping district has been planned for years. The new building will be 37,543 square feet, replacing a 44,250-square-foot building, according to plans filed with the city. That space includes a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and 22,234 square feet of retail, as well as loading and storage space.

Because there are many pieces to the project, this is the exact building in question:

Block H is the building between Snow and Dakota avenues that is home to Nature’s Table, adjacent to the southernmost parking garage on the property.

* * *

The only confirmed tenant for that space is Meat Market, a South Florida steakhouse concept that will likely have about 175 seats. Meat Market will be on the northern point of the new building, where Snow and Dakota avenues meet.

This is the old building:

From the Business Journal - click on picture for article

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

This is the new proposal:

From the Business Journal - click on pciture for article

From the Business Journal – click on pciture for article

We are a little confused how a two story building is significantly smaller than a one story building (unless the footprint is much smaller).  And while we like the street parking, we hope the sidewalks are not made too narrow by it.

Nevertheless, we are all for bringing Old Hyde Park Village back.  It was really the first modern attempt at developing walkability in area. While it was controversial when built, it was a very successful and nice area – and there is no reason it couldn’t be again.  (It is just too bad that the concept of walkability was not extended down Swann towards Howard rather then what was actually built there, which was much more sprawling.  At least that is being slowly changed a bit.)

We look forward to seeing the new Old Hyde Park Village.

Transportation – A Flight Mystery

A while back, there was news that Bahamasair had posted flight from Tampa to Nassau on a flight database.  Those flights then disappeared without explanation.  Then, in December, the flight was back with news you can make reservations.  However, if you go to the Bahamasair website, Tampa is not listed as a destination.  On the other hand, if you search the various websites for tickets, you can find the flights (with a flight number).  While it is not a huge service announcement if we get a Bahamasair flight, we can’t help but wondering what the deal is.

Planning – Cool Feature from the MPO

We saw an 83 Degrees Media article on a cool tool from the MPO:

Thanks to a new, citizen-driven app created by the Hillsborough MPO, Tampa Bay area pedestrians and bicyclists can help the county identify problem areas and pedestrian woes that may otherwise slip between the sidewalk cracks. 

* * *

The new interactive map is meant to collect data that picks up on those smaller details the MPO might otherwise overlook: incomplete sidewalks, bus stops that are difficult to access, and spots with heavy motorist speeding patterns, in spite of pedestrian density, are some of the prime concerns.

“We know that in those high traffic corridors in our crash database, it isn’t feasible to stop traffic for an entire day, or two, to paint the road — but we can do just that, and really create an impact, in some of the spots that are being identified on the Vision Zero map,” Torres says. 

The Vision Zero interactive map runs on the Wikimapping engine, a public engagement tool used by planners, governments and nonprofits across the U.S. to “crowdsource” input on a map to identify safety concerns in a region. Hillsborough MPO added the Wikimapping platform to the Vision Zero project page in early November.  

You can check out the MPO website here, and the interactive map is easier to use here.   Note that you can add new items or click on items that are already there and provide a comment (like it or dislike it). Of course, there is a risk of just having some out there ideas put on the map, but it is a really interesting tool.  It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

St. Pete – Nice to Be Noticed

There was a recent item on Curbed.com entitled “16 U.S. museums with outstanding architecture.”  It listed a number of very cool buildings in LA, San Francisco, DC, and various other places.  It also included the Dali in St. Pete.  In fact, the lead picture in the item was of the Dali.  While we would not necessarily put it in the same category as the Guggenheim in New York, it is nice to be noticed, especially in an area that lacks much architecture of note.

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the Country

As we have said for a number of years, despite the best efforts of some to make it so, rail transit is not a partisan issue.  There was recently another indication of that from Texas:

This month, the Federal Transit Administration signed an agreement with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or The T,  to provide a $499 million grant for the TEX Rail project. The other half is being paid for with local and state money, officials said.

* * *

The rail line will span nearly 27 miles, with nine stops in Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, Grapevine and DFW Airport. From the airport’s Terminal B, passengers can move to Terminal A, where they can catch a train to Dallas via the Orange Line operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

TEX Rail will share two stations with another commuter rail line, the Trinity Railway Express, which runs parallel to Interstate 30 from Dallas to Fort Worth. The T and DART operate that route together.

The T’s new line is the western half of what is known as the Cotton Belt rail corridor. This year, the DART board approved plans to develop its portion, running from DFW Airport to Plano, in the next decade. 

From the Dallas Morning News - click on map for article

From the Dallas Morning News – click on map for article

Some would say that Dallas, with a very developed rail network, is a much bigger and denser are than we are, but Ft. Worth, which has less developed rail but wants more, is not nearly as much so.  Nor is it particularly liberal (nor is the Texas legislature).  And, even more interesting was this:

Paul Ballard, chief executive officer of The T, said the rail line is critical for the long-term economic viability of the Fort Worth area.

“Business today is global, and as businesses look to where they would locate or relocate, one of the check-offs on their list is, does the city and the county have a rail connection to the airport?” Ballard said. “And there are businesses that if you don’t have that connection, they move on to the next city.”

And that is definitely true . . . and should be remembered in this area.

List of the Week I

With all the talk of how attractive we are to Millennials and STEM jobs, this week’s first list is Wallethub’s “2017’s Best & Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals.”  You can see the methodology here.  One of the key things to note is that it is not clear what the definition of a STEM job actually is.  (Sometimes it includes tech customer service.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  We are not sure about this list.)

Because we are 39th, here are the top 39: Seattle; followed by San Jose; San Francisco; Boston; Springfield (MA); Austin; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Atlanta; Washington; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Harrisburg (PA); Denver; Cincinnati; Albany-Schenectady-Troy; Madison (WI); Dayton; St. Louis; Sacramento; Hartford; Columbus; Grand Rapids; Rochester (NY); Baltimore; Raleigh; Houston; Syracuse (NY); Colorado Springs; Dallas-Fort Worth; Charlotte; Cleveland; New York; Orlando; Knoxville; San Diego; Greenville (SC); Richmond; Detroit; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater

It is an interesting list, with some odd inclusions above us (Dayton? Harrisburg? Rochester?) and some odd ones below us, like LA and Portland (OR).

As the Business Journal noted:

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area has dramatically increased its standing among communities nationwide in terms of STEM-related jobs.

The Tampa metro came in No. 39 on WalletHub’s Jan. 10 list of 100 best and worst areas for STEM professionals.

That’s a big bump up from the No. 65 spot the Tampa metro held on the same list a year ago.

Two other Tampa Bay area metros also moved up the ranks but remain near the bottom of the list.

That is a bump, which is good, though we are reticent to celebrate being 39th.  We did ok (30) on opportunities, though that is still not great.  What really hurt was “STEM friendliness” which has these factors:

  Mathematics Performance*: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metric considers standardized math test scores of fourth and eighth graders.

  Share of Best Engineering Schools: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the number of engineering universities in the top 100 of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Engineering Schools ranking.

  Quality of Engineering Universities: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metric is based on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Engineering Schools ranking.

  Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Annual Median Wage for STEM Workers / Median Gross Rent.

  Transit Accessibility of Workplace: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the number of jobs accessible within 30 minutes by transit held by workers with at least a bachelor’s degree divided by number of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree.

  Recreation-Friendliness: Half Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s Best & Worst Cities for Recreation ranking.

  Family-Friendliness: Half Weight (~2.50 Points) 

We suspect that housing affordability (based on low wages) and lack of transit did not really help.

As with all lists, this one is not definitive.  Nevertheless, hopefully, the improvement will continue.

List of the Week II

The second list is in a way even more speculative, but so be it.  The Business Journal had an article regarding population projections:

Business First has developed a computer formula that uses 15 years of demographic data to estimate the population of any community at any given moment. It focuses primarily on the 108 markets with more than 500,000 residents, which are defined as major metros.

The formula has generated each area’s populations for the beginning and end of 2017, as well as the anticipated dates when specific milestones might be reached. 

The article included a database of the projections, so we played with it and came up with a list of areas (we admit the choices were subjective but we included most of those around our size, as well as some usual suspects).

 

Metro area
Population (1/1/2017)
Rank Population (1/1/2018) Rank Raw change Percent change
Houston 6,871,608 5 7,017,872 5 146,264 2.10%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale 6,114,927 7 6,183,978 7 69,051 1.10%
Atlanta 5,832,478 9 5,914,659 9 82,181 1.40%
Phoenix 4,683,802 12 4,757,755 12 73,953 1.60%
Riverside-San Bernardino 4,590,259 13 4,658,607 13 68,348 1.50%
Detroit 4,298,157 14 4,295,580 14 -2,577 -0.10%
Seattle 3,810,303 15 3,862,087 15 51,784 1.40%
Minneapolis-St. Paul 3,572,458 16 3,604,588 16 32,130 0.90%
San Diego 3,354,826 17 3,392,039 17 37,213 1.10%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 3,030,953 18 3,068,511 18 37,558 1.20%
Denver 2,888,820 19 2,939,339 19 50,519 1.70%
Baltimore 2,820,185 20 2,835,403 20 15,218 0.50%
St. Louis 2,816,670 21 2,820,048 21 3,378 0.10%
Charlotte 2,489,479 22 2,532,268 22 42,789 1.70%
Orlando 2,464,477 23 2,517,181 23 52,704 2.10%
San Antonio 2,454,061 24 2,501,637 24 47,576 1.90%
Portland (OR) 2,434,704 25 2,465,360 25 30,656 1.30%
Pittsburgh 2,345,962 26 2,341,273 27 -4,689 -0.20%
Sacramento 2,315,068 27 2,342,599 26 27,531 1.20%
Cincinnati 2,171,054 28 2,179,949 29 8,895 0.40%
Las Vegas 2,163,070 29 2,195,710 28 32,640 1.50%
Kansas City 2,109,513 30 2,124,270 31 14,757 0.70%
Austin 2,087,345 31 2,146,793 30 59,448 2.80%
Columbus 2,057,967 32 2,082,440 32 24,473 1.20%
Nashville 1,877,123 36 1,908,824 36 31,701 1.70%
Jacksonville 1,482,345 40 1,504,565 40 22,220 1.50%

Keep in mind that these numbers are speculation about the future, though it is interesting to compare the projections of the usual suspects with the projections for us.  Feel free to play with database here.

The last estimated population from the census bureau for our area (released in 2016 giving estimates from 2015) is 2975225.  We assume we are now somewhere near our 2017 population number in the chart above. We’ll know the actual numbers soon enough.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2017 10:25 AM

    The inclusion of Dayton (Wright Pat Airforce base and 20+ supporting government contractors) they also have a government incubator and two VC/PE backed accelerators, Harrisburg has a very fast growing economy post Kodak and is home to Hershey’s D&H, Rite Aid, United Healtcare’s Tech division and Rochester has the Rochester Institute of Technology, Xerox, Wegmans, Unity Health, Paychex and the University of Rochester with a massive med school. All of these cities have engineering schools, large internship programs through those schools, both startups and companies with growth opportunities at above average wages for STEM workers.

    What is probably the most important is that the picture they paint to the outside world is reality. We often get too caught up in the “fake it til you make it” mode which becomes a liability when people check behind the curtain. Maybe we could label it the Savtira Syndrome. While it is important for startups to demonstrate strength there is a difference between presenting yourself in the most positive light possible and not openly discussing things which might hold you back versus outright lying. Marketing metrics which can easily be debunked are harmful, especially in the area of attracting top talent and venture capital. The focus should be on building real products which speak for themselves versus marketing spin. When you have paying customers or even a proven pathway to them, raising capital is easy.

    • January 26, 2017 9:51 PM

      We might just use that “Savtira Syndrome” label, and not just for start-ups.

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