Multi-family developments may need to get creative to meet the needs of the new remote worker. Can this new amenity be the answer?

In Condo Tracker, Development, Lifestyle, Market Trends, New Construction, Press, Purchasing Condosby Lori GreenlyLeave a Comment

The past couple of months have taught many of us new behaviors and ways to do business, from zoom meetings and virtual etiquette, to learning how to manage our days in hopes of finding the same outcome and production we did when we had the structure of going to an office,  to creating home office space that we can be comfortable with and thrive in.

Are these new behaviors and this new space going to be your new norm?  Possibly.

“In a recent email to employees, JP Morgan Chase, which until last year had been the largest office tenant in New York City, said the company was reviewing how many people would be allowed to return. More than 180,000 Chase employees have been working from home.  Other major companies, including Facebook and Google, have extended work-from-home policies through the end of the year, raising the prospect that some may never return to the office. Twitter, which has hundreds of employees in its New York office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, told all its employees on Tuesday that they could work remotely forever if they want to and if their position allows for it.” ~ Matthew Haag, The New York Times, May 12, 2020

Remote working might fare well for those in more spacious single-family homes, but what about the urban dwellers who have chosen the city life over square footage and have chosen to be in the city, closer to their offices?   Co-working providers, such as WeWork, had great ideas of organic connections through shared social spaces, but will they be able to survive social distancing?  Not to mention the financial troubles the business model was experiencing before this.  Plus, you still have to leave your home to office here.

Denver High-Rise Livings is always curious.  We work closely with condo developers to learn about their projects and what they are doing for the Denver community.  We also hold focus groups to bring the community’s ideas to the developers.  During the past couple months, we have been trying to anticipate what changes urban residents might require of the developers moving forward.  Because remote working might become part of the “new norm,” we feel developers may want to take this into consideration when designing new buildings:  the need of extra space for that home office.

Building larger units while maintaining attainable prices is not an option, unfortunately.  The cost to build has forced developers to make the units smaller so they are not only within a price range most can afford, but also within conforming loan limits so buyers can have access to the best loans possible.

And what about the pre-existing buildings?  How can the need for extra space be addressed for those residents, whether condos or apartments?

Here’s what we came up with!  New and existing developments will have an opportunity to stand out from their neighbors if they can create office space for their residents in the building, basically an extension of their home.  Like the shared office space concept, but in your building, with the neighbors you already share space with.  Maybe that is a secure floor, or two, of the building that offers separate offices and shared conference rooms for residents to lease on a short or long term basis.

The idea of the business center that you find in many buildings is not appealing to most and they are rarely used.  On the other hand, developers have done and incredible job of offering beautiful community spaces in these buildings, where residents can mingle with one another or entertain their guests, it is the perfect extension of their home.  Unfortunately, this is also where you will find many residents attempting to conduct their business today, in the middle of that social setting.

So, for those needing more privacy in their office space, why not make available additional business space and services that make it a win for everyone?  It could even include an office concierge who greets you and your guests, manages the space, and connects you with resources to support your business if you need, just as any other great concierge service would.

Remote working, with the benefits of an innovative office, providing the highest level of service to you, all from home.

Of course this is a business and there would be a fee, but if I office out of my home, want to live in the city and am shopping for a condo or an apartment, and don’t want to spend over $1mm to get the space I need, I would probably be looking at the development that offers this option first!

What do you think?  Would this amenity be attractive to you?  Please share your thoughts.

The Denver-High Rise Living Team

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