Companies starting to look for office locations in non-conventional places that offer more character

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.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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