The conventional corporate skyscrapers are beginning to lose popularity among a growing number of companies in the technology and media industries. Instead, these companies are gravitating toward buildings in older neighborhoods that offer more character in the workplace environment. Considering the multitude of growing companies in the technology and media sectors, landlords have no choice but to take into consideration their preferences. Some of their preferences include exposed brick and reclaimed wood, a drastic contrast to the traditional, granite lobby floors. Companies are also using their real estate locations and office settings as a recruitment tool. The younger demographics of the emerging workforce prefer “edgier, hipper vibes.”
Ned Fox, Chief Executive of Vantage Property Investors, believes companies “want more real materials and less refinement.” For example, the One Pierremont Plaza office tower in Brooklyn, NY is marketing its space through pictures of the weathered brick that offers the kind of character in demand. In addition, the 180 Maiden Lane office tower is undergoing renovations that will include picnic tables, artificial turf, and a movie screen in the lobby. Such renovations are designed to capitalize on the superior performance of manufacturing districts compared to the downtown areas. Midtown South in Manhattan, the area between Midtown and Downtown had a 4% lower vacancy in midtown, regardless of the slightly higher rents. San Francisco and Chicago are experience similar trends where tech companies have moved into old warehouses in an attempt to be closer to restaurants and other amenities.