In part two of this series of posts, we discussed the contributing factors to the third wave of New Tech office leasing in Manhattan — or, New Tech 3.0. Here, we’ll look at how to seize the commercial real estate opportunities that New Tech 3.0 has to offer.
Of course, the most obvious opportunity is that New Tech companies — and traditional companies expanding their technology usage — need office space. If you’re a building owner, it’s a good business practice to seek out established tech players. And, if you’re a New Tech company looking for space, Manhattan has a great deal to offer in terms of proximity to talent, customers, investors and more.
For New Tech companies, the key to attracting and retaining the best and the brightest talent is in creating a workspace that enhances productivity, job satisfaction, creativity and comfort. Young tech workers are looking for flexibility, a sense of community, a “cool” factor and a workplace that simply isn’t boring.
THE WORKPLACE 3.0
Many New Tech employers are already providing workplaces with more open space, shared work areas and other designs that are the antithesis of the traditional office cubicle format. Many provide a host of on-site amenities, such as a variety of dining and beverage options — including on-demand meal delivery — plus, bike rooms, fitness centers and communal spaces that rival upscale hotel lobbies.
Even traditional firms like The Boston Consulting Group are following suit at their new offices in Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side. Instead of a reception desk, they have a concierge desk to help visitors and employees new to the area get around town or find a nearby restaurant for lunch. There’s a town-square-style café where employees can mingle comfortably, plus numerous other communal spaces that enhance informal interaction with fellow employees. Every floor has its own kitchen and dining table where people can eat and get work done. And gone are the cubicles — desks are situated in open-seating floor plan spaces. Other on-site amenities include workout rooms, wellness rooms and showers.
Not to be outdone, owners are enhancing existing — and in some cases, iconic — properties into spaces that offer their tenants Silicon Valley-like amenities. At the 13-building, 6-million-square-foot Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer now offers its office tenants a program called “Zo,” featuring perks that Tishman’s Senior Managing Director Michael Spies refers to as “strategic services for their human capital” — including on-site medical services, desk-side meal delivery and even beauty services.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR LANDLORDS, TENANTS AND EMPLOYEES
The workspace should be a differentiator that New Tech employers can use to attract and retain the new generation of workers. Offering leading-edge spaces and amenities is also a strategy that building owners should continue to pursue in order to attract qualified New Tech tenants.
In short, New Tech 3.0 is here to stay in Manhattan. Opportunities abound for landlords, tenants and employees, who have three options:
- Ignore the wave (which we hope you don’t!).
- Ride the wave and seize the opportunity that exists now.
- Help create the next wave and stay ahead of the game.
No matter which you choose, it’s an exciting time to be part of Manhattan’s New Tech scene.
As president of National Office Services for Colliers, Cynthia Foster leads our national office platform across multiple service lines, including capital markets, tenant representation, leasing agency, property management and valuation.