Indy: The New Low-Cost Option?

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By Denice Michel
Jones Lang LaSalle

Over the last few years, the number of companies looking to move their shared services, back office, customer support, logistics or call center operations from high real estate and labor cost markets to lower cost markets has increased exponentially.  Based on the low cost of living and doing business here – 100 is the average cost across the US and Indy scores a 97 – in addition to an attractive labor market, and strong incentives packages, the Indianapolis  MSA consistently makes the short-list of companies looking for real estate cost savings.  JLL is currently tracking over 300,000 sf of active office multi-market deals that are considering Indy– that number equates to over 1,700 new jobs that could come to the Indianapolis market in the coming years.

Recent examples of companies that chose the Indianapolis MSA over other low cost markets include:

  • GEICO – up to 1,200 new jobs in Carmel
  • Guitar Center – up to 246 new jobs by 2015
  • Amazon – 300+ new jobs in Indianapolis area fulfillment centers
  • OHL – 200+ new jobs in Plainfield for e-commerce  customer

Indianapolis is also attracting more attention from site selection experts acknowledging that Indy is not just a good market for back-office operations.   Indiana’s strong network of world-class universities can provide companies looking for higher skillsets (such as software engineers) with outstanding entry-level talent and low real estate costs.  Keeping talented young engineers in the State after graduation will be a key component of driving Indiana’s economic growth in the coming years.   To that end, Purdue University recently announced its plans to expand its engineering and computer science programs, with the goal of Indiana becoming one of the nation’s leading educators of science, technology, engineering  and math graduates.

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