Transparency Coming to Office Buildings’ Internet Connectivity

wifi-highspeedReliable high-speed internet access is mission critical to businesses today.  With rapidly changing technological improvements from video conferences to 3-D printing, a building’s connectivity must be vetted by tenants early in the site selection process as a key infrastructure element with the same level of due diligence as are utilities and HVAC.  Unfortunately, there has been a lack of transparency as to buildings’ internet connectivity which can vary greatly.  Moving to a building with inaccurate information about a building’s internet connectivity can lead to unforeseen costs and delays, not to mention loss of business.  That, however, is changing in New York and soon in Chicago as well as other cities across the country. 

Loft Tenant’s Leasing Checklist

loft buildingMany creative and technology companies gravitate to loft office buildings due to their unique character as they are typically renovated warehouse buildings (either concrete or timber construction).   In addition to the usual office building due diligence, below is a checklist that tenants should use in evaluating loft office buildings.  To thoroughly evaluate a loft office building, a tenant should consider the assistance of a knowledgeable tenant representative, project manager, architect, engineer and general contractor.

Creative Office Space Trends

loft office space with workersJust exactly what is “creative office space”?  What are today’s tenants looking for in office space?  How are building owners accommodating this demand?  Those questions were addressed a couple weeks ago at the Chicago Creative Office Summit.   It was a roundtable discussion among architects, engineers, developers, a furniture vendor, a general contractor, building owners as well as office co-location companies.  Here are the 10 key takeaways.

Tenants’ Top 10 Office Leasing Mistakes

As real estate is typically one of the top costs for companies, here is a list of the top 10 mistakes tenants make in leasing office space.  The real estate decision, however, goes beyond cost.  It also impacts the bottom line in terms of employee productivity as well as employee retention and recruitment which is becoming more and more important today.  This is based upon the joint experience of me (being an attorney by background, with 20 years of representing office tenants locally and nationally) and nationally recognized commercial real estate attorney Ted Yi, Co-Managing Partner of Quarles & Brady, with over 25 years representing office tenants and landlords (locally and nationally).

Not Your Father’s Office – Office Space Trends

In the late 1960’s, Herman Miller, an American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, spawned the idea of office cubicles.  The cubicle’s popularity was sustained until about 10 years ago, when companies began to notice that the way in which people worked was changing; people were collaborating in small teams as well as relying on portable electronic devices that do not require that they be “tethered” to a fixed workspace. 

Tenant Improvement Strategies – Turnkey Approach

As the name implies under this approach, the landlord – at its sole cost – is responsible for all elements of construction based upon an agreed to scope of work.   Many tenants are attracted to the simplicity of this approach, but if not properly structured and implemented can lead to unwanted financial surprises, delays as well as a space that is not constructed to meet their needs.  Outlined below are the pros and cons to this approach, common pitfalls and strategy to successfully implement. 

Downtowns Drawing Tenants Over Suburbs: Secular Shift or Aberration?

The December 13, 2010 Wall Street Journal has an interesting article entitled “Downtowns Get a Fresh Lease: Suburbs Lose Office Workers to Business Districts, Reversing a Post-War Trend” by Anton Troianovski.  The article summarizes a trend that we have seen across the country in office markets over the past few years where downtown markets have drawn more tenants than the suburban markets.  This is largely due to a difference in tenant demographics between suburban and downtown markets in today’s economy.   Specifically, many suburban office tenants are directly or indirectly involved with the housing industry where we have seen the largest job losses.  Whereas downtown tenants are government entities, banks, financial services companies, law firms and professional service companies.  This trend is also being driven by the redevelopment of many downtown areas around the country.

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