“If you go to Silicon Valley, you continually hear that they’re busing in a ton of people who want to live in San Francisco,” Gattuso says. “That’s where the technologically skilled talent wants to be, in the cities.” Given that, he says, it makes sense to actually put a tech campus in the heart of a vibrant urban core such as Philadelphia’s Center City. “This area is one of the great secrets of American cities. We’ve got a core with a growing population of 150,000, and a lot of arts and culture. When you place this technological focus in the middle of it, it fits into a larger vision to attract and retain this type of talent.”
True or not, that's what the company investing in the real estate project believes. The intent defines the urban geography in a way that wasn't true as early as a decade ago. If yesterday's company sought productivity in expensive real estate, today's company beckons human capital.
I'm going against the flow. The likes of Edward Glaeser insist that productivity dictate high end rents. Save they don't. I wonder how long they haven't. Forever?
If forever is post-WWII, then I'm correct. The defining economic geography of the United States during the Cold War and post-Cold War is talent attraction. Build a work palace where the smartypants want to be.
If a high density urban environment fomented high value innovation, then we wouldn't have a Google Bus. Live urban, work suburban undermines Richard Florida's entire creative class paradigm. The city, for the affluent, is a residential space. The city is no longer a work space.