Are Today’s Buildings Prepared For Tomorrow’s Way of Working?

Rick Cleveland
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53% of the Class A inventory in top markets was built prior to 1980

Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately-held commercial real estate services firm, today issued its latest Investor Insight report exploring the changing workplace requirements of the occupier and what they mean for owners and investors. The report highlights the infrastructure risks present in many assets in core markets today and outlines five key strategies for owners as they determine the ability of their properties to support the new work environment. The report is available at the following link:

View Report

There is a potential crisis coming in leading CBDs as changing occupier requirements can no longer be adequately supported by the majority of the current inventory. C&W data show that 53% of the Class A inventory in top markets was built prior to 1980. 

Much of the inventory may not be able to support future occupier requirements such as productivity, cost controls and sustainability without significant investment. Owners who do not take the proper steps to invest in their buildings to address these requirements will likely need to discount uncompetitive space and run the risk of having their assets become functionally obsolete.

Although certain employers are designing real estate amenities to recruit and retain talent, 52.3% of respondents to a recent CoreNet Global survey of corporate real estate executives project that the average amount of square feet (sf) per office worker globally will drop to 100 sf or less by 2018, compared to approximately 225 sf in 2010. Higher density Increases the stress on the mechanical, engineering, electric and plumbing systems (MEEP), which were not designed to handle this excess capacity.

Potential investors need to consider space loss factors of older existing floor plans and the cost of capital improvements for retrofitting infrastructure to address the new occupier environment when calculating returns on investment opportunities.

Supported by an established management platform and best-in-class technology, Cushman & Wakefield’s Investor Services assists clients locally, regionally and globally with their integrated real estate strategies. Highly skilled professionals take a proactive, cutting edge approach to deliver customized solutions and work with investors to maximize the financial potential of their assets.