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AUSTIN-The Capital City still ranks as the top technology destination, despite the loss of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the past year. Fortune 500 company executives, surveyed by A.T. Kearney, have put Austin at the top of the list of cities where they would put technology operations.

For Austin property owners and real estate brokers facing rising vacancy rates, these companies can’t come to town fast enough. The city’s northwest submarket, the favored spot for tech companies, has hemorrhaged office space at an alarming rate in recent months. It accounts for more than 60% of the 2.9 million sf of vacant sublease space.

Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay area, including San Jose, and Dallas followed Austin in the survey. The cities were ranked according to the highest percentage of desirable attributes. The attributes were availability of skilled workers, quality of life, cost of living, access to research universities, quality of a transportation network, presence of “pillar” companies, strong local and regional government, state and local corporate tax policy and access to venture funds and other sources of capital.

Austin certainly has a pool of available tech workers. Companies have cut more than 15,000 jobs since January and the local unemployment rate reached 4.2% in June, almost a full percentage point increase from May, and job growth was just 1.7%.

As for the other factors, Austin has always relied on its quality of life and the looming presence of the University of Texas. And, while the city’s cost of living has increased in recent years, it still is lower than places such at the Bay Area and Atlanta.

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