Viewpoint – Time for Portland, Oregon?

Categories: News

It has been two years ago since my last article on Forbes’ “Best Places for Business and Careers” in the USA and given that they have just released their 19th annual comprehensive analysis, I thought it was prime time to revisit the topic and see what has changed.

This year’s top spot has been taken by Portland, Oregon for the first time ever, climbing four spots from last year thanks to strong growth prospects and a large influx of highly-educated millennials.

When I last wrote in 2015, Portland hadn’t attracted any attention from the Islamic Finance world and sadly seems to remain unchartered territory. Maybe Portland’s new-found fame will give it the recognition it deserves. Luckily, aside from Portland, 90 North’s research suggests that the Islamic Finance world has been extremely busy buying and selling in Forbes’ other top cities (with populations in excess of 1 million) over the past year.

Raleigh, North Carolina took 2nd place and I am still delighted that 90 North made the decision to invest here in the Lenovo Global Server Headquarters back in 2015.

Other top cities for acquisitions included Charlotte, North Carolina (ranked 5th) which saw QInvest purchase land in South Boulevard to develop an upscale 200-unit multifamily apartment complex; whilst Brennan Investment and a client of Arch Street Capital acquired significant industrial real estate across both Charlotte and Dallas, Texas (ranked 8th) and not to forget 90 North’s own Lash Group Headquarters.  Denver, Colorado (ranked 4th) also remained a popular choice and became home to QInvest’s first acquisition for their US multifamily residential fund earlier this year.

Sadly, for Atlantic City it remains in last place, unchanged from when I wrote in 2015.  We still haven’t heard of any Islamic Investors venturing there, hardly surprising given its reputation as the “Gambling Capital of the East Coast”.

So, it continues to encourage me that Islamic investors are frequently looking beyond perhaps the obvious choices of say New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to seek out dynamic cities that show the economic and population growth frequently not seen in the big gateway cities.  But what’s wrong with Portland, Oregon?! Looks like an opportunity to me.

Original article appeared in Islamic Finance News.