Halton Tech Strategy

Tech sector is about attracting people. These people are likely to be young and oddly they tend to not to like driving. Attracting them requires a complete eco-system. Companies are going to “import” workers for us into the region if we can figure out how to provide a complete system. Nice places to live, work, opportunity for restaurants and entertainment, nice parks and easy travel.

1) Live. Condos seem like a good fit here. Tech salary at 75k plus should land them a unit in the $300,000 plus range. Lots of places for this, but we need to tie in transportation.

2) Work. Commercial tax rates in Halton are not reasonable. New residential developments do not pay for themselves. The budget “profits” off commercial developments to fill the gap. This is why you see so little commercial space in the region and we have locked in this insane commuting culture. The job to resident ratio in Halton should be one to one. Anything less than this ratio locks in endless traveling to work. We need to make the development fees on new residential buildings pay for themselves, then use the funds to lower the commercial tax rates as much as we can.

3) Entertainment. Don't build new buildings unless the ground floor contains flexibly sized space, commercial venting, transport truck access, etc. You need to make sure you can provide bars and restaurants for this type of person. In Silicon Valley they go out almost every night. These people don't cook; they barely have kitchens. You need a massive set of restaurants, bars and pubs to accommodate them. 

4) Parks. When you build a new development you need parks and tree lined path ways to your executive bus stops. Tech workers want to have a nice walk to the stop. It's 5-10 minutes of decompression time, but they don't want it around cars. You make the walk to the stop feel like a walk through the park.

5) Travel. Rail impossible in short time frame. I recommend guttering (providing a place to pull off) at all city bus stops. This will allow companies to run executive busses for employee pickup. This is very popular in San Francisco with workers. Great for employers as they have wifi in the busses and people use laptops all the way home.

 

Imagine assembling all this into a complete package and running it by all the execs in Silicon Valley. You show them the offices, condos, bus routes and connected pathways. You set it all up so it's nice and easy for them. Remember the companies will automatically import these young mobile workers for you. They want to work at the company, it's the company that then specifies the location.

Currently San Francisco has a growing backlash against tech workers. Silicon Valley office expansion is very difficult as protected Burrowing Owls inhabit the undeveloped land. It's a super opportunity if we could just organize and jump on it.

 

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