Friday, November 21, 2008


Apparently Adams County residents don't have to travel far to find an ideal place to hibernate during the economic downswing - according to, their own backyard will suffice.

On Nov. 12, the business magazine's Web site published the top 10 counties nationwide to "weather the downturn" based on affordability, job growth and proximity to a major metropolitan area. Adams County placed third on the list that included counties in Arkansas, Ohio, South Carolina, Louisiana, Iowa, Alabama, Texas and Kansas.

The story cited Adams County's 3.4 percent job growth year-over-year, a "diversified" economy, which includes aerospace, aviation and bioscience jobs, low property taxes and inexpensive housing as the reasons why the county was chosen.

Positive publicity is always welcomed, although getting lauded as a desirable place to live when unemployed or in financial turmoil isn't exactly comforting news for people in distress. But if that's the reality of the moment, then the news represents a very positive turn for Adams County, which for the past five years has been battered by foreclosures and falling home prices.

Forbes probably considered well-paying aerospace, aviation and bioscience jobs in nearby counties in addition to Adams County, which includes Brighton, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Northglenn, Thornton, Aurora, Bennett, Westminster and a small section of Arvada.

Nearby Jefferson County also has the highest number of aerospace jobs in the Denver-metro area.

Other businesses that might have been factored in include wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, which recently announced its expansion to the Weld County part of Brighton, and will be hiring 1,400 people. Ascent Solar, a developer of thin-film photovoltaic materials, is moving its headquarters to Thornton.

As for the affordability factor, the average price of a house that sold in Adams County in 2007 was $175,000. I have worked with many investors and first-time buyers who have taken advantage of affordable housing prices and strong rental demand in Adams County, and I expect that trend to continue in 2009. Brighton East Farms, in particular, is one area where first-time buyers can buy "nearly new" homes for less than $200,000, with good schools, newer infrastructure and strong community roots.

That makes Adams County an extremely affordable - and attractive - place to live. The county is also adding more jobs than new housing units, which should put it on the leading edge of the state's housing market recovery.

To view the Forbes article in its entirety, click HERE.