Introduction to the Washington, DC Tech Office Market

April 8, 2016

Jon Glass

Tech Leader

Corporate Managing Director, Savills Studley

DC/MD/VA Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Call 202-540-5509

It’s easy to think of Washington, DC as a buttoned-up city full of lobbyists, lawyers and politicians. And truth be told so long as the government is here that perception will never fully change. Let’s be honest, most people view Washington as one giant set from House of Cards, teaming with politicians plotting their next move to take over the world!

However, there is a tangible transformation occurring in the Washington, DC business landscape that is changing the culture and footprint of this historical town – and it’s in large part due to the booming tech industry.

By now, DC’s flourishing tech scene shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. The area has been gaining national attention as a tech-friendly town with a deep pool of qualified talent. The dense urban community, healthy presence of VC funding, diverse and educated workforce, growing municipal incentives and opportunities in government contracting have all contributed to DC’s tech rise, garnering recognition from Forbes Magazine and more.

Washington, DC has long been the epicenter for people and industry leaders working to make the world a better place. And in today’s inter-connected society there are few better paths to impact a mass quantity of people than tech.

So, what exactly is the tech scene in Washington, DC?

First, it is important to define what we categorize as “tech”. Clearly “tech” is a broad term that blankets a wide range of industries and services. This can be especially challenging in times of rapid innovation, when new tech sectors emerge in a short period of time. It is like mentioning the term “cloud” to a savvy IT person – it is incredibly broad and means something different to everyone.

Traditionally, the technology sector is defined as those involved in making, creating, enabling, integrating, or supporting technology, whether as a product, platform or service. For purposes of this blog, the audience we will be targeting are largely start-ups, software developers, cybersecurity, digital media, advertising and creative firms throughout the DC Metropolitan Area. We will be showcasing office spaces that become available in non-traditional buildings and that promote the latest trends in office leasing, such as collaboration, flexibility, and that unique feel most companies strive to achieve.

Now let’s get down to the numbers. According to Cyberstates 2016: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry published by CompTIA, here is a high-level overview of the tech industry in the Greater Washington, DC area:

Washington, DC

Tech-Industry Jobs: 36,293
Tech-Industry Establishments: 3,142
Tech-Industry Payroll: $3.9 Billion
Average Wage in Tech Industry: $108,439
% of Private Sector Workers in Tech: 7.2%
% of DC’s Economy From the Tech-Industry: 7.4%
2014 VC Funding: $242.2 Million


Tech-Industry Jobs: 284,681
Tech-Industry Establishments: 19,568
Tech-Industry Payroll: $31.0 Billion
Average Wage in Tech Industry: $109,038
% of Private Sector Workers in Tech: 9.5%
% of VA’s Economy From the Tech-Industry: 8.8%
2014 VC Funding: $476 Million


Tech-Industry Jobs: 181,320
Tech-Industry Establishments: 13,879
Tech-Industry Payroll: $19.0 Billion
Average Wage in Tech Industry: $104,659
% of Private Sector Workers in Tech: 8.6%
% of MD’s Economy From the Tech-Industry: 8.1%
2014 VC Funding: $363.5 Million

It is difficult to determine how much space is currently being leased by the tech industry in Washington, DC given the difficulties in defining the industry as a whole, and the revolving door of start-ups that come in and out of co-working and shared spaces. The reality is, there isn’t enough tech-oriented office space in Washington, DC right now. The supply simply isn’t keeping up with the growing demand, with the majority of the available and new office product aimed to accommodate the more traditional DC industries such as legal, non-profits, and government-related businesses.

This blog will work diligently to uncover all of the latest opportunities in tech-industry leasing, as well as provide the latest trends, tips and news relating to the tech sector as a whole. Please feel free to reach out to us directly with your input, questions and especially requirements as it relates to your real estate needs.

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