‘Densification’ an office trend
By Howard Greenberg, President of Howard Properties, Ltd.
Densification is definitely in vogue, primarily among larger tenants. This is a fancy word for reducing the square footage per person, primarily through space plans that consist almost exclusively of workstations, rather than private offices. Instead of the old formula of 3 to 5 people occupying each 1,000 SF of space, these new layouts can often accommodate 6 to 8 people in the same amount of space. Office building parking lots are more crowded as a result of this trend. Ultimately, this will restrict buildings from leasing, as they will not have enough parking spaces available to lease the last 10-20% of space in their buildings.
Office park housing
Normandy Realty and Toll Brothers are partnering to bring multi-family to the office parks along the Platinum Mile. They have applied to Harrison for a zoning change to permit construction of more than 400 units of housing for both millennials and empty nesters on the site of 103/105 Corporate Park Drive. 103 has literally been boarded up for probably a decade, while 105 has only one tenant. This project has the potential of turning 200,000 SF of obsolete and primarily empty office space into a live/work/play community with walkways connecting it to the adjacent Lifetime Fitness facility as well as ground floor retail for services, restaurants and entertainment uses. Given that there are no residential neighbors to oppose the project, logic would dictate that it receives approval in a timely manner. It would be attractive to the surrounding corporate parks to have housing literally within walking or shuttle distance for employees. This park has already moved in new directions with the Hyatt House suite hotel, a child care center, and two buildings purchased by biotech company Histogenetics for its own use. It is fitting that the oldest office park on the Platinum Mile could be the first one to morph into a totally new environment.
To Be Continued…
Howard Properties, Ltd., which is headquartered in White Plains, NY, specializes in tenant representation and real estate consulting. Founded by veteran commercial broker Howard Greenberg in 1998, Howard Properties has completed space acquisitions, dispositions, lease renegotiations and consulting assignments in 20 states.