Sound Bites from The Office Conference 2017

Spring 2018 Issue
By: Various

Sound Bites from The Office Conference 2017, a collaboration between NAIOP and the Global Workspace Association (GWA), Nov. 9-10, in Brooklyn, New York:

“It is so cheap to start companies now; it is so cheap to get your ideas to market. Why is that? It is because of exponential technology…. In 2000, it cost $5 million to start a company. In 2011, it cost $5,000. I would argue that it is even lower right now.” Julie Whelan, head of occupier research, CBRE

“Seventy-one percent of people prefer working in the office. Everyone says, ‘oh, offices are dead,’ but actually people like to work in the office. People have a full choice to work at home, on the beach or wherever they like. They actually like to come to the office.” Andrew Garnar-Wortzel, principal, Gensler

“Coworking as a concept has been around for decades; coworking as a term is fairly new, [from] the last 10 years or so. [There are] 14,000 coworking spaces currently, and that number is projected to be up to 26,000 by 2020, so the industry is exploding and there is a lot of opportunity.” Jamie Russo, executive director, Global Workspace Association

“We recognize that coworking has created a model that almost all tenants tend to want in their own way or companies tend to want in their own space. That is why you saw IBM contract with WeWork in New York for 70,000 square feet: because they want to learn from WeWork how to curate their own space to create culture and design, [something] that they haven’t been able to do.” Greg Fuller, president and COO, Granite Properties

“Most people in the financial community have not experienced what coworking does heading into a downturn, only what it does coming out of a downturn. So that has a lot of the people in the capital markets a little gun shy about being super aggressive [in financing coworking space].” Robert Saunders, president and CIO, Kaufman Jacobs

On what coworking space can do for a suburban multifamily project: “All of a sudden, we went from 0 to 145 people coming to the building every day, which changes the complexion of what an urban/suburban [building] feels like to its residents. Now, we are finding that we are getting residents to the door who are coming to the building because [we have] that [coworking] facility.” Richard Cavenaugh, president and CEO, Stoneleigh Companies LLC

“Flexible office is here to stay. JLL says that 30 percent of office space will be flexible by 2030; … Google says that for companies that have over 6,000 employees, 66 percent will be flexible space by the end of [2018].” Nick Clark, CEO, Common Desk

“Suburban office markets still have a very viable and lucrative place in the investment portfolio. … Suburban markets with a sense of place, gravitas, with a feeling of destination/location, are still doing extremely well across the country.” John Abuja, SIOR, CCIM, senior vice president, investments, Marcus & Millichap