When it comes to renovating an office space or building, throwing on some fresh paint, adding a few new lounge chairs, or including a workout facility just isn’t enough anymore. The demand for a more engaging and livable workspace makes all the difference with today’s strong millennial demand in the workplace.
So, what is the trend? What are the latest and greatest changes we’re seeing in Chicago’s commercial real estate office buildings?
Many West Loop and Fulton Market office buildings are paving the way for the industry while pushing other neighborhoods to catch up.
Take Google’s Chicago headquarters in the Fulton Market neighborhood, for example. Whether their employees want to catch views of the city during their lunch break on the outdoor deck or work in a collaborative space (disguised as a bar), they have plenty of options to check out when they’re sparking up creativity, or even just winding down.
You can expect to see popular restaurants and bars, gaming rooms, and arrangements that make it easier to work away from a desk. Office spaces are transitioning from stuffy cubicles to open, loft-like work environments. You can even expect sleeker bathrooms, with stainless steel upgrades and granite accents.
Though these renovations have helped businesses acquire new, younger employees, what have they done for the commercial real estate industry?
For one, the rise of rent. Buildings are able to see a $2 to $3 raise per square foot when they offer unique amenities. Buildings in the East Loop, Central Loop, and River North are seeing anywhere from 25% to 44% increase in rent.
Two, occupancy. The Prudential Plaza saw an increase from 40% to 80% after opening up ceilings, updating the lobby, and adding a rooftop deck.
Three, opportunity. Renovations within the Chicago business district have risen from two million to 12 million square feet in total within just five years.
When it comes down to it, renovating old offices and constructing new properties with top-notch amenities are necessities. By taking part in the trend, commercial real estate companies and older office buildings can stay relevant and competitive in a heavily occupied market.
Chicago’s neighborhoods, no matter how big, small, and popular are growing at a rapid pace.
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