Fort Wayne makes Forbes’ Opportunity Cities list

File Photo.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Forbes released a list Thursday morning of 19 cities where it could be easier for enterprising people make their mark in as opposed to major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Columbus, Ohio topped the list with Fort Wayne coming in at number 11.

Forbes compiled the list based on data from cities with a population of more than 150,000.   Part of Fort Wayne’s appeal is it median home sale price of $98,500 and its six percent unemployment rate.

“We definitely went through a slump like so many other communities did with the 2006 housing crisis that was national,” says Pamela Holocher, deputy director of planning and policy for the City of Fort Wayne. In the last five or so years, the city has seen some $500 million in downtown investment, she says. “We really looked at a lot of quality of life issues. Not only are we a low-cost community, our taxes are very low, but we pay a lot of attention to trails, park systems—we probably almost have more trails than any other community I know.”

Here’s the entire ranking which is dominated by cities located in the Midwest and South:

  1. Columbus, Ohio
  2. Rochester, New York
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. Toledo, Ohio
  5. Buffalo, New York
  6. Rockford, Illinois
  7. Lubbock, Texas
  8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  9. Memphis, Tennessee
  10. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  11. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  12. Greensboro, North Carolina
  13. Akron, Ohio
  14. El Paso, Texas
  15. Detroit, Michigan
  16. Amarillo, Texas
  17. Shreveport, Louisiana
  18. Cincinnati, Ohio
  19. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Forbes indicated that Opportunity Cities typically fall into two categories: those that have suffered urban decline and are trying to reverse the tide and those where real estate has been cheap and wehre there’s a positive business climate.

Forbes is a business magazine that is published bi-weekly in a print edition and online.

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