Jun 06, 2018

Your Next Office Space Might Not Be Office Space

By Don Catalano


Your Next Office Space Might Not Be Office Space
The way we work has changed completely. Nevertheless, the way we look for places to work has, in many ways, remained the same for many companies. After all, office space should be located in office buildings, right?


While there are examples of this trend already in existence, it is becoming more and more likely that your next office space could be in a mall. Or a converted apartment building. Or a warehouse. While traditional office buildings still have a place, many other types of real estate can be reconfigured to serve as workspace.


The most common example of this is the conversion of CBD or CBD adjacent historical buildings into creative workspaces. The loft movement that sprouted out from places like Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood fueled redevelopment of historic mills or warehouses in many cities, creating vibrant areas in or next to city cores. However, these types of redevelopment only scratch the surface of where you could locate your next office space.

During the economic boom of the aughties (the period from 2000-2009), the Sacramento metropolitan area found itself running short on office space in desirable submarkets. Between tech companies moving back office operations to Sacramento for its seismic stability and low costs of doing business and a rapidly expanding population, companies needed offices, and there were few to be found in the fastest growing areas. One solution was to turn glass-fronted flex industrial buildings into garden offices by building out the entire depth of the bay with ceilings, floor coverings and other tenant improvements and filling in the roll up door.


After the economic boom, some Florida cities were left with vacant condo buildings. Enterprising developers were able to reconfigure them to offer workspaces, allowing companies to take advantage of Florida's business friendly climate.

Retail properties are also becoming prime candidates for office space. The city of St. Paul in Minnesota found itself with a vacant two-story building (formerly a Borders bookstore) right in the middle of a redevelopment corridor. A local hospital system converted a large block of that space into a medical clinic, upcycling the building and improving the neighborhood.


In the suburbs of San Diego, a large and highly successful mall has tenants including Bonobos, Tesla, Nordstrom, and a major financial services company's office. Having a mall-based location gives the brokers and clients places to meet and eat as well as easy ingress and egress, supported by the mall's large parking lots and valet service.

With these examples in mind, your company may have the opportunity to cast a much wider net than just looking for office space in office buildings. Instead of looking for which offices have vacant space, you can now work with your broker to more clearly define what you need from your space, and then to find the building -- of any type -- that will serve your needs and fit your budget.


Here are a few other articles you might enjoy:

Commercial Office Touring 101

5 Office Amenities To Look For When Leasing Space

8 Things to Consider When Looking for Office Space


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Don Catalano

Don Catalano