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The Evolution of Office Space: What Today’s Tenant Want

Michael Anderson

LAS VEGAS – (Realty News Report) – Offices today are more varied, with open floor plans and fewer – and more compact – offices. Building lobbies are being expanded and shops are no longer hidden behind walls. And fitness centers– long relegated to some of the worst space in a building — are now located prominently in the building with windows and increased accessibility.

Those are some of the trends in commercial buildings today according to experts assembled for in Las Vegas the “Workplace Evolution” panel at the 52nd annual real estate journalism conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) here late last week.

“One of the biggest changes we’re seeing as a whole is a major change in the developer’s mindset,” said Michael Anderson, Executive Vice President at Colvill Office Properties, who oversees the firm’s leasing team. “Developers are now focused on the tenant experience and understanding the trends going on in the marketplace.”

Robert Perry

Older buildings with separated, disconnected space is passé since tenants want more sustainable, connected, and more interestingly-designed office space, added Robert Perry, leader of CBRE’s Strategic Partners U.S., responsible for all aspects of existing and future Strategic Partners funds, including capital raising, investment and operations decisions, and financing strategy

“Developers now are concentrating on the tenant experience — how to create workplace space that energies people and is useful for recruiting tenants,” he continued. “Tenants want sustainable, connected, collaborative space. They are looking for interesting design that brings the outside inside as well as transition space for gathering. It makes a more appealing place to work.”

One of the reasons for this change in designing corporate space is today’s younger workforce wants open, collaborative space, added Natalie Snyder Bode, director of Cushman & Wakefield in Dallas.

“Office space has become a recruiting tool because companies want to retain their talent,” she added. “Most of the offices are open plan. Tenants are also densifying. An office is now 10 by 10 feet and cubical space is 6 by 6 feet.”

Natalie Snyder Bode

Would-be lessors of space are also zeroing-in on abundant amenities. “They are asking where employees will eat, and they want a variety of options at a variety of price points,” Snyder said. “Many want a deli onsite and restaurants that you can walk to.”

There is more planning now of offices. Rather than use a windowless spot as a conference room or fitness center, developers are earmarking better spaces for employee amenities, the panelists agreed, noting that recruitment and retention of talent is of the utmost important nowadays since the biggest expense to tenants is employees.

“The comfort of employees is important,” said Anderson. “We’re seeing traditional amenities like the fitness center and conference room being more thought out. The fitness center is not crammed into a 2,000 square foot windowless space near the garage anymore.”

Fitness centers and conference rooms now have natural light. Rooftop space is also being used for employee amenities, said Anderson. “Buildings lobbies are opening up and retail spaces in lobbies are no longer hidden behind granite walls. They are spilling out to the lobbies that provide additional interaction for all tenants.”

June 18, 2018 Realty News Report Copyright 2018


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