There are numerous articles and studies suggesting that the suburban office leasing market is strong and attracting large-scale and mid-sized tenants away from the traditional urban core. These new suburban tenants are motivated by the desire to attract and retain aging Millennial employees that are settling down in the suburbs, starting families and looking to cut down on commute time. However, research suggests that not just any suburban office building will accomplish this goal. In order for employees to view suburban office spaces as suitable replacement spaces for urban working environments, these spaces must have certain modern characteristics such as, in-building amenities and proximity to restaurants, retail, housing and transit.
A suburban landlord looking to attract tenants traditionally drawn to the urban core may want to focus on developing or rehabbing buildings in areas that contain many of the same benefits as their urban counterparts, such as walkable downtowns with easy access to restaurants, transit and retail. Some landlords not located within walking distance of these types of amenities can offer tenants shuttle services in order to create a similar sense of convenience. A shuttle service to and from nearby transit hubs may also have the benefit of assisting tenants in attracting employees that wish to reside in urban areas by providing these employees with an option to counter-commute.
The neighborhood surrounding a suburban office building may play an important role in attracting tenants, but the shared amenities located within an office building are also a key factor. Landlords have been constructing amenities such as eateries, cafés, fitness centers, communal tenant spaces and rooftop lounges to attract new tenants for several years now. These amenities coupled with the conveniences discussed earlier help create the same live-work-play environment that attracts many tenants and employees to urban areas.
Although every community is different, tenants considering a relocation to a suburban area may find that they are able to provide certain coveted benefits and amenities to their employees, while obtaining additional square footage and paying less in rent per square foot. Tenants looking to personalize their office space may also find landlords more than willing to provide tenant improvement allowances or direct space build outs to help tenants accomplish their goals.
Whether you are a landlord looking to attract new tenants or a potential tenant looking to attract and retain cutting edge talent, it is clear that both landlords and tenants have a great deal to gain from the boom in suburban office leasing, and suburban communities within the tri-state area are uniquely poised to benefit from this trend due to their proximity to New York City.
At Cuddy & Feder LLP, we regularly assist both landlord and tenant clients in negotiating office leases.