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From the Rooftop, April, 21, 2015 Edition


From the Rooftop, April, 21, 2015 Edition

By: Steve Sadler, CEO, Allegiancy

April 23, 2015

Office Space Trends


Technology “Integral” to New Office Design


Mole-Richardson Co., an entertainment lighting manufacturer, is moving from its Hollywood office location, where it has operated for 88 years, to a new headquarters facility in Pacoima, CA. Located at 12154 Montague Street, the new 36,000-square-foot facility will incorporate a variety of office trends, from increased meeting areas for employees and a welcoming reception space for entertaining to ample natural light throughout the interior. To incorporate the latest office trends and create a modern space, Mole-Richardson has tapped H. Hendy Associates to design the interior. Mole-Richardson is the latest company to opt for a more open, modern and collaborative work environment. So, to find out more about the company’s new modern space, why companies everywhere are upgrading their offices and the dominant trends in office design, we sat down with Heidi Hendy, the founding principal at H. Hendy Associates for an exclusive interview. Here is what she told us…



Office Designers Find Open-Plan Spaces are Actually Lousy for Workers


Innovations in the world of office furniture design have tended to serve one of two purposes. Some are designed to help the corporations who pay for them — open-plan offices are supposed to make workers more collaborative, for example, and cubicles or “hotel” desks help save on real estate costs. Then others are designed to help improve workers’ health — like ergonomically designed office seating, balance ball chairs and the current obsession with standing desks.

Yet increasingly, companies and furniture designers are considering a third purpose: helping workers concentrate and focus in the cavernous, noise-filled open offices that have become practically de rigeur in today’s workplace.

With roughly 70 percent of U.S. workplaces adopting an open-office environment, while in the meantime research piles up on how ineffective and stressful open plans can be, there’s a growing recognition that workers need some sort of refuge to concentrate at work (beyond putting on headphones and hoping for the best).



Industry News


Half of US Property Investors Increase Commercial Acquisitions in 2015


Based on CBRE’s newly published North America Investor Intentions Survey 2015, half of all real estate investors in North America intend to increase their property acquisitions in 2015, with San Francisco the number one target for the second year in a row.

Top Commercial Investment Target Cities in 2015: San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Austin, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Nashville.

The survey results reveal a clear picture of the current confidence and enthusiasm of commercial real estate investors in North America. Half of survey respondents said that they expect their purchasing activity to increase in 2015. Among this group, approximately one-third plans to raise their investment volumes by 20% or more.

The most compelling targets for investors in 2015 include most core markets–San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington and Chicago. The high growth Texas metros of Dallas and Austin were also considered attractive for investment. Rounding out the top metros list are four metros currently enjoying robust economic growth: Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami and Nashville. Unsurprisingly, Houston dropped out of the top 10 list due to the challenges it faces with lower oil prices.



CBRE Analysis: US Commercial Real Estate Market Showed Continued Strength In Q1 2015


The U.S. commercial real estate market showed continued strength across all property types in the first quarter of 2015 (Q1 2015), according to the latest analysis from CBRE Group, Inc.

The office vacancy rate* declined by 10 basis points (bps) from the previous quarter to 13.9% in Q1 2015. The office vacancy rate has fallen 100 bps over the past four quarters, and now sits at its lowest mark since 2008.

In Q1 2015, national industrial availability1 dropped 20 bps from Q4, to 10.1%—a full percentage point below the year-ago level.

Retail demand remained steady with the Q1 2015 availability of 11.5%, unchanged from the prior quarter.

Demand for the nation’s apartment buildings remained strong with vacancy of 4.5% in Q1 2015.

“Continued improvement in office vacancy will be dependent on the pace of hiring,” said Jeffrey Havsy, Americas Chief Economist for CBRE. “We believe March’s relatively weak job growth was a pause, but should that trend continue several markets with heavy construction activity could see a reversal in the recent trend toward lower vacancy.”





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