by Jodi Summers
Let’s talk about this gifted generation of Americans – called Echo Boomers, due to the significant increase in birth rates during the 1980s and into the 1990s and / or Millennials because they came of age in the new millennium. They are well-educated, enterprising and have had the bejesus scared out of them by the recession. Success is important to them – thus their office needs are important.
Have you noticed the architecture at our own Silicon Beach? Cutting edge companies like Google, Yahoo and Red Bull offer a combination of interior and exterior workspace..the interior being punctuated by open floor plans. Individual offices with walls and doors are at a bare minimum.
“It’s not just the Googles of the world anymore—it’s law firms, big real estate firms and different kinds of companies,” observes Steven Heller, an attorney with Gilchrist & Rutter PC in Santa Monica. “More creative space is permeating out as traditional businesses understand the benefits to having offices with communal space. It can be more efficient for their business because there’s a lot more collaboration going on.”
“These changes raise a host of land use and leasing issues for the industry,” Heller continues, “Building investors and operators must evaluate lease provisions carefully so that they are calibrated to appropriately accommodate and adjust to the changing use of office space.”
Possible creative-space concern for building owners is when tenants become too creative and design the office in such a way that it could have limited appeal to future tenants. Would a jungle gym become a fixture?
And what of parking? Should it still be one parking space per 500 square feet of office?
More employees can fit into the open-office layout, offers attorney Elisa Paster, also with Gilchrist & Rutter PC. “One the one hand, more people occupying a single space creates a greater parking demand. But at the same time, parking burden is relieved by telecommuting, alternate work schedules and increased use of public transportation. Building operators need to act proactively to make sure these changing uses match with municipal requirements.”
Welcome to the next generation of office space.
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