New Amenities in Commercial Real Estate

On-site gyms, coffee carts, high-speed internet, outdoor seating areas – five years ago, these commercial real estate “amenities” were considered just that: amenities.

by Melinda Gravitt

On-site gyms, coffee carts, high-speed internet, outdoor seating areas – five years ago, these commercial real estate “amenities” were considered just that: amenities. A small gym with a few cardio machines and weight sets was all it took to persuade a potential tenant that your building was the perfect fit for their company to conduct business in.

However, things have changed drastically in recent years. Today, these amenities wouldn’t even be considered “amenities” anymore. Today, these once-popular perks are necessary in order to attract new tenants.

Spare corner weight rooms have transformed into fully equipped, professionally staffed fitness centers; the corner coffee cart has evolved into a chic, on-site café complete with baristas serving specialty coffee; and outdoor seating areas have expanded to include meditation gardens, dog runs, and sports fields.

With the deluge of new amenities popping up on commercial real estate properties everywhere, workplaces are starting to look a lot less like workplaces and more like micro-communities. In this blog post, we’ll explore why we are seeing such a dramatic shift in the industry as well as walk through a few of the most popular workplace amenities out there!

Why Is the Commercial Real Estate Industry Shifting?

Commercial real estate is an elastic industry – as demographics change and new trends emerge, the commercial real estate industry adjusts accordingly. The latest trend that we are seeing is the idea of being able to live, work, and play all in one place.

The “live-work-play” trend considers the activities we perform outside of work, and brings them closer to the office. The end result? One centralized location where you can work, run errands, grab a bite to eat, exercise your dog, even get a haircut!

Centralizing all of these activities not only saves time and makes these day-to-day tasks easier to accomplish, but it also increases employees’ productivity at work. This may sound counterintuitive at first. After all, wouldn’t people be distracted by all of these new enhancements?

Not necessarily. Think about it: people no longer have to worry about whether or not they will have enough time to pick up their prescriptions or dry cleaning after work; people won’t have to leave at lunch to go home and feed their dogs; and dentist and doctor appointments can be held on-site. As a result, people tend to be more productive and significantly happier – leading to higher employee retention, more satisfied customers, and better work-life balance.

Upping the Ante: New Amenities in Commercial Real Estate

The new amenities we have seen popping up on commercial real estate properties over the past few years makes us very excited about the future of the industry. New amenities in commercial real estate can be broken down into two main categories: service amenities and physical amenities.

Physical Amenities

Long gone are the days when having complementary bike storage and a small convenience store on-site were enough to get tenants excited about their new workspace. Some new physical amenities we are seeing on commercial properties include:

Restaurants & Cafes

Featuring everything from grab-and-go style cafeterias to posh after-work happy hour spots, restaurants and cafes are popping up on commercial properties everywhere! Why drive 10 minutes away to pick up a sandwich for lunch when you can enjoy a freshly tossed salad and artisan soup from your on-site cafeteria?

And just because it’s convenient doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. Most commercial properties with on-site eating options are dedicated to providing farm-to-table, healthy, organic foods. Additionally, on-site cafes allow you to hit that snooze button for 10 extra minutes in the morning as there is no longer a need to stop for coffee on your way to work.

Fitness Centers

…These are a lot different than the average “gym.” Commercial property managers are now teaming up with private operators to create fully functional fitness centers with exercise classes, towel service, showers and locker rooms, and staffed by professional trainers and fitness coaches who can help you form a nutrition plan, take your measurements, and monitor weight loss initiatives.

Outdoor Amenities

Outdoor seating areas have transformed into lounge areas where employees can conduct an outdoor meeting just as easily as they can barbecue up some chicken. These lounge areas are surrounded by sports fields and courts, meditation gardens, and dog runs – forming an all-inclusive outdoor oasis.

Family Areas

Leaving work only to drive 20 minutes out of the way to pick up your child at daycare is not ideal. Luckily, some commercial properties and business parks now have on-site daycare centers where parents can easily drop-off and pick-up their children, and even visit them throughout the day!

Service Amenities

The introduction of service amenities into the workplace has helped cut down on the “second shift.” For those not familiar with this phrase: the “first shift” refers to everything you do at work, while the “second shift” encompasses everything you have to do after work.

As more and more commercial properties start to incorporate service amenities in their offering, the more people will be able to take care of second shift activities during their first shift. A few popular service amenities include:

Car Service

Not only can you get your car washed and detailed, but you can also have your oil changed, windshield replaced, and tires checked by professional auto-repair men – all while you finish up reviewing this month’s reports!

Dry Cleaning Service

No need to navigate through rush hour traffic to pick up your dry cleaning! Many commercial buildings now offer dry cleaning service wherein companies will come to pick up/drop off your dry cleaning while you work.

Mobile Barber Salons

With mobile barber salons on-site at work, there is no excuse for those split ends! Get your hair and nails done before dinner or simply get a much-needed trim before, during, or after work with on-site mobile barber shops!

Florist

Oftentimes, commercial building managers will call in a mobile florist to remain on-site during the most popular flower delivery days of the year. Employees can avoid the mad 5:00 rush at florist shops on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day by purchasing flowers for the loved ones in their lives right at work!

Concierge

That’s right! Some commercial properties allow you to have your very own personal assistant for the day. If you are swamped at work and know you are going to be working late hours, simply call the concierge and a personal assistant will run your errands for you.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, new amenities are popping up in commercial real estate properties every day. These new amenities not only support the live-work-play trend that many employees look for nowadays, but also foster productivity and happiness in the workplace.

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