Landlord Considerations: Creative Workspace Designs

By Michael Siino  |  January 3, 2019

As competition to attract and retain high-quality commercial tenants has intensified, it becomes more important for landlords to be creative in enhancing their office and common spaces to suit the desire of employees to work in environments that are collaborative and stimulating. Let’s look at some key elements.

1) The “social environment” seems to be key: lobbies with soft seating, coffee bars and attractive lighting, new or updated facilities such as cafeterias, gyms, childcare facilities or outdoor spaces.  Also in demand are tech savvy (or even unconventional workspaces) that are designed so that working collaboratively and productively is done in a fun, comfortable and healthy environment.  Flexibility and adaptability is key in the modern workplace: furniture that can be easily moved and open space suited to accommodate impromptu meetings.

2) Go Green. In addition to adaptable design, today’s employees tend to prefer working in green environments. The addition of plants and greenery, textured natural wall coverings, rooftop gardens, stone surfaces, indoor fountains and purified air and water systems can address these needs.

3) Efficient energy. Opening up space along the perimeter of an office and reducing the number of interior walls allow for the penetration of more natural outside light to filter through. Likewise, natural shared heating will reduce the need to excessively rely on expensive HVAC systems.

4) Speaking of which…HVAC systems should be designed with multiple, independently controlled zones and with sensors to automatically adjust heating and cooling according to set parameters. Likewise, air-cooling systems can be designed in a way that distributes cooling air more efficiently and consistently throughout the space.

Looking to the future it is imperative for landlords to recognize and anticipate the technological trends and needs of their tenants. For example, as the use of augmented and virtual reality find their way into the methods we use to communicate and interact with each other, it may be necessary to incorporate new technology into workspaces to accommodate its use.

Happy, hard-working employees lead to happy tenants, willing to pay higher rents to be in a productive office space. Today’s landlords must be aware, ready to react, and willing to redesign and market their spaces in order to attract the best tenants.

This blog post is excerpted from Marks Paneth’s Fall 2018 Real Estate Perspectives newsletter. Click here to read the full-length article by Michael Siino.

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About Michael Siino

Michael Siino, CPA, is a Partner at Marks Paneth LLP. With over 30 years of public accounting experience, Mr. Siino primarily concentrates on the real estate industry, where he serves commercial and residential real estate clients, real estate management companies as well as co-ops, condominiums, retirement plans and trusts. He also advises high-net-worth individuals and family partnerships. Mr. Siino advises his clients on all facets of accounting and tax issues. Mr. Siino's experience also includes... READ MORE +


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