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The Post-pandemic Career Shuffle

Originally published on April 15, 2021 by Kathryn Hamilton for NAIOP.com.

Employees – office workers, in particular – have firm expectations about returning to the workplace as vaccines become more widely available and companies begin bringing the team back together. At the top of their wish lists: hybrid work schedules, says start-up workforce platform Envoy’s Return to the Workplace report.

Safety and flexibility, says the report, are the top two reasons behind the desired hybrid model, with office workers pinpointing the ideal number of days at their worksites to 3.3 per week. And it’s not just office workers, says Human Resource Executive. The appeal of a hybrid schedule is increasing in health care, construction/manufacturing, retail and hospitality fields as well.

The split workplace schedule is so desired by employees that many say they are willing to change jobs – even careers – to make it a reality.  

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Making the Office a Community-driven Workplace Destination

Originally published on March 26, 2021, by Cary Chandler and Ellen Lieder for NAIOP

Although the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the office environment are yet to be determined, many knowledge workers could eventually go back to the office. When workers return to urban office towers, they may anticipate an exceptional experience that delivers more than their home office could offer: a workplace destination that has community attractions they’ve craved over several months of remote work.

While in the short term, building owners are addressing immediate safety issues and protocols, the longer-term reality is looming. As a private, dedicated workspace has become a luxury rather than a given, the need to deliver more than places to perform tasks has become an imperative. The workplace must now deliver a first impression that will serve as an impetus for community building and shared purpose, productive individual spaces, and “third places” (neither home nor office) that support innovation and collaboration.

All of that might seem like a tall order, even for high-rise office buildings. Here are a few ways office building owners in downtown Chicago are reinventing their properties as urban workplace destinations.

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CLT Development Center Announces Digital Plan Room Launch and Training

Join the CLT Development Center for the launch of our new Digital Plan Room! 

The CLT Development Center has partnered with ePermitHub to launch the Digital Plan Room, a new electronic document review solution that is seamlessly integrated into the Accela Citizen Access environment. The Digital Plan Room is the next generation of electronic plan review. This solution will introduce many new features to optimize the plan review process, making it easier and faster for design professionals and plan reviewers to communicate so reviews can be approved faster with greater efficiency.

The Digital Plan Room system includes:

  • Simple file uploads and automated versioning at the sheet level
  • Collaborative issue/condition communication for plan review comments
  • Seamless user experience within Accela Citizen Access

Join the CLT Development Center for our virtual customer training session Friday, March 5th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM to learn more about the enhancements and latest features, ask questions and get answers. Cate Marshall, ePermitHub Project Manager will be moderating with a live demo/walkthrough conducted by our project consultant, Seth Axthelm. Those unable to attend the virtual training session will also be able to watch the session recording on our website!

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New Report: Overall Gains in Office Demand Following Short-term Challenges

Originally published on behalf of NAIOP Research Foundation on November 19, 2020. 

Negative Absorption of Office Space Expected to Continue in Short Term, Trend Positive Beginning Q2 2021

The NAIOP Research Foundation has published the NAIOP Office Space Demand Forecast for Q4 2020.

Key Takeaways:

  • Given the continued challenges facing the U.S. economy, office net absorption is forecast to be negative 18 million square feet in Q4 2020 and negative 10 million square feet in Q1 2021.
     
  • Growth in net absorption is forecast to resume in Q2 2021, and the total net absorption over the period from Q2 2021 to Q3 2022 will exceed negative absorption from the recession, resulting in overall gains in absorption over the next two years.
     
  • The largest office-using industries have been more insulated from the effects of the pandemic than the economy as a whole, but their shift to remote-work arrangements has diminished demand for office space.
     
  • Multiyear lease terms have mitigated the effects of reduced occupancy on vacancy rates, which have risen to 14% in the third quarter. Vacancy rates are likely to continue to rise through the end of 2020 as more leases come up for renewal.

 

View the full report.

NAIOP study examines how retail, office buildings will become part of the 'last mile'

Originally published by Marc Stiles on November 5, 2020, for Puget Sound Business Journal 

The tech-fueled evolution of industrial real estate is creating opportunities for underused assets, large and small. The possibilities seem almost endless.

 

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There's Opportunity at the Office Park

Originally published in NAIOP's Development Magazine Fall 2020 Issue by Ray Kimsey. 

COVID-19 could spur greater interest in transforming suburban office parks into mixed-use developments.

Suburban office parks were already experiencing a renaissance in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. A combination of rising commercial and residential rental rates in urban core areas and the desire of millennial workers to reduce their commutes had led real estate developers to transform older office parks into competitive properties by offering the right mix of uses and amenities.

The pandemic, which may have effectively reset corporate America’s work/life balance equation, has given new impetus to this strategy. Nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas in the wake of the pandemic, according to recent data from a Harris Poll conducted among 2,050 U.S. adults from April 25-27. This could significantly impact the attitudes of both office tenants and residential buyers regarding location and amenities. It would also be happening as futurists predict a “new normal” following the pandemic where remote working could become more accepted. In addition, even when restrictions are lifted, there will be an emphasis on outdoor amenities that support social distancing. 

As commercial real estate leaders plan for the future, many are evaluating changing user preferences and are looking for creative solutions to meet the needs of changing demographic preferences. Here are some insights into reimagining aging office parks by realigning space and tenant engagement strategies through the introduction of residential and mixed-use elements.

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Apply for NAIOP’s National Forums Program

The National Forums program brings together industry professionals in select groups to share industry knowledge, develop successful business strategies and build strong relationships in a confidential and non-competitive setting. Learn more about this unique opportunity and apply for appointment today. 

The Forums provide a unique opportunity for members to openly discuss project challenges, business opportunities and lessons-learned in a confidential and non-competitive setting. Over time, fellow members become a trusted circle of advisors.

The National Forums are an excellent way to become involved, stay in touch and develop new connections with key industry leaders.

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Open For Business Directory

The City of Charlotte Small business network is more than 10,000 strong.

Add your small business to the Open for Business directory to have your information displayed on the Open for Business website and receive notifications when new access to capital opportunities and resources are available.

The Open for Business platform is a resource for Charlotte small business owners to help them withstand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. By providing access to capital and other resources, the program is intended to help businesses survive the recovery phase of the pandemic and help prepare businesses to thrive in a post-pandemic future.

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Office Occupancy Varies Widely as Workers Trickle Back: Report

Having—for the most part—quickly sheltered in place in March and April, office workers across the U.S. are slowly venturing back to their workplaces, according to a new weekly report from Kastle Systems International.

The Kastle Back to Work Barometer is an average based on millions of aggregated, anonymous daily building access data points from Kastle-secured properties in 10 major metro areas: Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose and Washington. 

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Will Teleworking Change the Future of the Office?

The COVID-19 pandemic might not have a massive economic effect on the office sector, but it could spark big new ideas on the use of space.

The office sector appears to be less vulnerable to disruptions associated with the coronavirus pandemic than retail or hospitality, but it’s not entirely immune to an economic downturn — or the acceleration of changes in the ways people have been working  during the crisis.

Mandatory closures and other social distancing measures have taken a toll on firms that are closely tied to the consumer economy, such as the British airline Flybe, which went bankrupt in March after travel bookings plummeted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that cannot conduct most of their business remotely are also in peril. On the other hand, many companies have learned that they can run their operations without anyone physically in the office, a trend that has the potential to depress demand for traditional office leases.

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Preparing for a New Normal in Commercial Real Estate

Originally published on June 5, 2020 by Shawn Moura, Ph.D. 

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated social and economic changes that were underway before the outbreak, while also leading consumers, workers and employers to adopt new preferences and behaviors. Collectively, these changes will require that commercial real estate firms adopt new approaches to design, customer relations and business operations to be successful in the future. Christopher Lee, founder and CEO of CEL & Associates, offered his predictions for how the outbreak will reshape demand for commercial real estate in the U.S. and outlined steps that firms can take to remain competitive during a recent NAIOP webinar.

Lee observed that the commercial real estate market is currently about halfway through a downturn. Although the Federal Reserve’s intervention in credit markets and fiscal stimulus measures have mitigated some of the outbreak’s effects on the economy, “all of that is going to burn off fairly soon unless another economic stimulus comes forward.” Substantial economic uncertainty and fears about the coronavirus have paralyzed decision-making in most markets. Buyers are concerned about the pandemic’s effects on building revenues and expenses as well as potential liabilities from infections, and some may no longer be able to secure favorable financing for an acquisition. Sellers are uncertain whether they should sell now or wait out the pandemic, and are unsure whether they will have good options for investing the proceeds of a sale.

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10 Renovations to Consider Before Reopening the Office

Originally published on June 3, 2020 by Clay Edwards

As offices are set to reopen across the country over the next few months, many companies are considering all their options to make the workplace as safe and healthy as possible for returning employees. Companies will need to do more than put hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere and rearrange desks to put employees’ minds at ease.

Regardless of whether your company is heading back into the office ASAP or still managing a remote workforce, there’s still time to make updates with no or little disruption. At Skender, we’re actively collaborating with our clients to modify density and employee circulation to meet social distancing guidelines, and we’re seeing installations and renovations of all sizes. Here are 10 office updates that we’re recommending to support a healthy return to work...

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What Happens When We Return to the Office?

Originally published on May 18, 2020 by Elizabeth Brink and Arnold Levin

At Gensler, we’ve been thinking hard about how to help our clients through these extraordinary times. As we’ve adjusted to the strange reality of the global work-from-home experiment, our clients have begun to ask what the future of work holds post-pandemic.

In order to move forward, we must rethink past workplace design paradigms, mine the present situation for lessons learned, and create smart, scenario-based road maps for how, and when, we return to the office.

The Workplace Context

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Even Coronavirus May Not Quell Appetite For Flexible Office Space

Bisnow interviewed Michael Kloppenburg, senior consultant for flexible office solutions at Avison Young, and Daniel Levinson, chairman, CRE Holdings, subject matter experts for NAIOP’s new Real Estate as a Service course on the REaaS model.

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What’s Happening with the Office Market? A Real-time Brokerage and Legal Perspective

As workers largely operate remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, will the shift out of the traditional office permanently change the sector? Register for the next Advantage Series webinar, April 8, 2 p.m. ET, to hear two experts share their perspectives on how the pandemic and its ripple effects have impacted office leasing activities and rates. 

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COVID-19’s Impact on CRE: What We Know Today (and Don't)

Join NAIOP Charlotte on Tuesday, March 24th at 2-2:30 p.m. ET for The Advantage Series is an exclusive member benefit, delivering expert insights into the latest research to help you make informed business decisions.

Repercussions from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and still quite unknown, but one thing is for certain: the impact on commercial real estate will be substantial. A week ago, CRE fundamentals were solid; will that improve our recovery timeline? What do experts see for the potential future of the industry? How do you recognize a deal today, and know whether it’s better to act quickly or hold? The questions are numerous, and NAIOP is here with guidance to support you today and get you thinking ahead for tomorrow. Have a question for our speakers? Submit it now.

Speakers:
Larry Lance, Executive Vice President-Asset Services, EverWest Real Estate Investors, and 2020 NAIOP Chairman
Al Pontius, National Director of Office & Industrial, Marcus & Millichap
John Chang, National Director of Research Services, Marcus & Millichap

Click Here to Register

The Forces Shaping Office Space Demand Webinar

Posted on November 26, 2019

Get the inside track on upcoming opportunities in the office sector in this member-only webinar on Dec. 17, 2-3 p.m. EST. This webinar will provide insights and data from the latest NAIOP Office Space Demand Forecast, and identify linkages between overall economic activity and the demand for office real estate.

Learn More & Register Here

New Report: Office Leasing Activity to Sustain Momentum as US Economic Expansion Continues

Posted on December 6, 2019

The NAIOP Research Foundation has published the NAIOP Office Space Demand Forecast for Q4 2019.

Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S. office market continues to perform as expected, with an average of 14.7 million square feet absorbed per quarter in 2019.
     
  • The forecast for the remainder of 2019 and 2020 remains strong at an average of 13.2 million square feet absorbed per quarter in 2020 and 12.7 million square feet per quarter in 2021.
     
  • At present, the economy – and thus the office markets – are expected to remain in an upcycle for at least the next 18 months.
     
  • The effects of the WeWork situation are likely to be isolated to a small set of markets and will not broadly impact the national office market. The company's inability to expand may generate more demand for direct leases in some markets, but overall, coworking appears to be a long-term trend, and the forecast will likely resist any short-term impacts caused by WeWork's recent troubles.

Firms might slow their expansion plans in 2020, reducing the need for new office space, in reaction to overall fears of a slowdown. Still, most measures of consumer health, including wage growth, job growth and consumption expenditures, remain strong.

View the Report

The Suburban Office Park, an Aging Relic, Seeks a Comeback

Posted on November 25, 2019

By 

When Research Triangle Park in North Carolina opened in 1959, its bucolic setting was considered a major selling point. With office buildings hidden behind grassy meadows and swaths of pine forest, the quiet development was viewed as a perfect spot for the thinkers who went to work at companies like IBM and RTI International.

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New Report: The Evolution of Suburban Office Parks

Posted on October 7, 2019

The NAIOP Research Foundation has published a new report titled "Profiles in the Evolution of Suburban Office Parks," by Dustin C. Read, Ph.D./J.D.

The author interviewed five developers who have recently updated suburban office parks in the United States and Canada to learn how they made these properties relevant for today's market.

Key Takeaways:

  • Redeveloped office parks must fit the preferences of the local workforce and the needs of local employers.
  • Developers should seek to understand local officials' priorities.
  • Developers should build flexibility into their plans and partner with creditors who understand that they may need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Developers can maximize the value of their improvements by leveraging design, technology and amenities to develop a property's identity and build community.
  • Rebranding is often a critical component of a successful redevelopment strategy.
 Read the Report.