Recently, I had the opportunity to visit our firm's new Columbus, Ohio offices. The office design and space use is so refreshing and sharp. What caught my attention most was the creative re-design/re-purposing of the office kitchen (picture above). No longer a galley room with a microwave, refrigerator and a toaster; today's office kitchen is similar to the open kitchens in our homes and the social collaborative spaces in coffee shops (which many use as defacto offices when out and about). The New York Times picked up on this trend not long ago in an article describing variations on the theme of social networking spaces. So, while office size contracts, the space dedicated to collaboration and networking expands.
As more workers and entrepreneurs are requiring space to hold meetings and appointments outside the company office, there is a growing need for locations away from homes in which to "plug in", make phone calls without the background music and noise of a Starbucks or other such cafe. The industry which addresses this need is referred to as the "co-working office space industry."
Two companies on the west coast are now meeting this need: NextSpace and Blankspaces. Both offer a table, chair, phone and Internet, coffee, conference rooms, private offices all for a daily, weekly or monthly fee.
The benefits of "co-working office space" is that the working space is quieter, easy to plug in computers and cell phones, meet and collaborate with colleagues and clients. This is another way to take our over abundance of retail and suburban office space and adaptively reuse it.
So, whether you are managing a work force and need space for them to operate from outside the company's offices or you are a property owner looking to turn empty space into income producing space, this is an idea worth considering!
According to Steve Timmel of Grubb & Ellis West Shell 94% of the Cincinnati area office/industrial deals completed in the last 36 months have been to buyers from outside the Greater Cincinnati area. This statistic is astounding ! What is it about the Greater Cincinnati commercial real estate market which is so attractive to out of state buyers and investors ? Could the stability of the economy and lack of large swings have something to do with it ? After what we have all been through in the last 24 months a commercial/industrial market such as Greater Cincinnati is like a breath of fresh air. The new normal to coin a phrase !
Vacancy rates are up; occupancy rates are down. This spells opportunity for tenants and challenges for landlords. The instinct which once prevailed in the real estate industry was to "go for the jugular" and cut the best deal you possibly can. But real estate professionals know that today's "tenant market" will become tomorrow's "landlord market." So, savvy real estate professionals are approaching the present "soft" market with a creative approach which has the intention to make everyone a winner.
Consider surplus space give backs; move-up to better space for the tenant with better terms for the landlord; percentage rent structured office leases for certain types of revenue generating space users (such as micro-office suites). The options and opportunities are endless. So, before you slit the throat of your adversary remember, what goes around comes around !