IBM Creates A Shortage

7 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, June 08 2010 Jun 8, 2010 Tuesday, June 08, 2010 8:43:04 AM CDT June 08, 2010 in News

The IBM center made an impact on the city of Dubuque, Iowa. It created a shortage of something every community needs.

"Its caused a shortage, there's no question about that," said Greg Adams, a broker in Dubuque.

"I had difficulty finding a place at first, yes the housing market here is pretty tight," said Mark Warner, an IBM worker at the Dubuque location.

That's the same story heard again and again in Dubuque.

"I just had a personal house I put in for rent and the number of calls I got was overwhelming..it was just interrupting my day," said Adams.

When IBM opened an IT center in Dubuque last year, hundreds came calling. But with a job, the employees needed a place to live.

"We're literally down to about a zero percent vacancy factor," said Adams.

"In our desperation we are placing people in temporary housing," said Dubuque Economic Director David Heiar.

Some IBM employees are forced to live in college dorms or senior living centers. One even has an entire 2nd floor devoted to IBM employees.

"We've experienced a tremendous demand for housing and you know we're scrambling to meet that demand," said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol.

"There are developers out there answering that demand, building 16 plexes in different areas of town, but it will be interesting to see if they get done before the next wave of IBMers come here," said Adams.

"As we speak there's over 290 market rate rental units under construction in our community. That never would have happened without IBM coming to Dubuque," said Dick Richardson of Greater Dubuque Economic Development.

"I was almost like the stars we aligned. The employees were coming and now we've got to create housing," sad Mayor Buol.

The employees do need housing, but aren't necessarily looking for a permanent investment in a house.

"Alot of people they hired were their first jobs out of college so our biggest impact was in our rental market, not necessarily in our real estate sales market," said Adams.

"Young people as they're getting out of school are not looking at buying a house as the first thing with their diploma in hand...its less about houses and more about apartments. Because there are still a sufficient number of houses," said Heiar.

Sufficiency, even surplus is something Mid-Missourians can relate to because the housing market in Columbia is different from Dubuque.

"New development right now is very very slow, we actually have an over supply in alot of areas," said Columbia Developer Rob Wolverton.

So instead of a shortage, IBM might help even out the housing market in Mid-Missouri.

"The greatest thing for any real estate market is slow and steady growth...and I think IBM will bring a very stable and steady employer that will give us that slow steady growth we like," said Wolverton.

Growth, that hopefully doesn't come too fast because it if does, the word mid-Missourians will learn from IBM is....housing.

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