Office Space Options: Startup Space and Business Incubators

Posted on February 24th, 2017

The following is the second in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking, conventional office accommodation to shared coworking options.

What is a startup?

Before discussing the qualities of a startup space or incubator, it is worth determining exactly what a startup is.

Theoretically, any new business whose market is not defined by location could be considered a startup. (For example, a newly opened restaurant is indeed a small business, but, because the market is location based, it is not a startup.)

In terms of use in today’s economy, a startup is a small business, usually technology oriented; startups generally provide service to a worldwide market. Tech startups are not confined by location or operating hours only by how many consumers or clients they can reach.

Incubators

In the non business world, an incubator is a warm safe place for a baby or a baby chick to get a nice healthy start to life. In the business world, an incubator is much the same. Incubators provide services that help startups get through those trials faced by new businesses.

Services

Some of the services provided by incubators are:

  • Legal: things like proprietary guidelines, creating bylaws or business plans, and navigating the regulations of your industry.
  • Business management: basic accounting services, business organization tips, company setup, and help with building and framing the identity of your startup.
  • Marketing: market research and networking.
  • Funding: access to angel investors or venture capitalists and help in locating other sources of funding for your startup.
  • Networking: introduction to others in your industry, networking with mentors, investors, and industry specialists.
  • Site services: an office or team workspace, access to high-speed internet, copying and faxing, and other clerical or administrative services. Read More »

USA Office Market Forecast 2017

Posted on February 2nd, 2017

Overview of USA Office Market

During 2016, the USA office market was marked by a climate of cautious optimism and moderate growth across the board. This was mostly evident in office rental rates, which increased by a modest 0.1 per cent or even declined in cities like Chicago, New York, Washington and San Francisco. This was coupled with a slow-down in leasing activity, as net absorption rates only reached 6.5 million square feet during the last quarter of 2016. The bulk of lease transactions consisted of small and medium-sized office properties, and the total number of leases exceeding 500,000 dropped by 43 per cent.

Key market indicators (such as take-up, vacancy, and availability rates) were linked to the performance of those industry sectors that make up for the bulk of office occupiers in the USA. 2016 saw a tightening of the labor market in the tech sector, driving vacancy rates down to break the 10 per cent barrier for the first time. This offset the relative stagnation in activity coming from occupiers involved in financial services, legal, and government.

Important figures that reveal the market’s performance during 2016 included:

– A total inventory in excess of 137 million square feet

– Total vacancy rates of 16.9 per cent

– Annual net absorption above 1.1 million square feet

– Nationwide average asking rates $23.91

– Office space under construction 4.9 million square feet, of which 53.7 per cent is already pre-leased

USA Office Market by City

Mid-sized markets were among the best performers in the year that has just ended. Portland, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio were characterized by occupancy increases that averaged 3 per cent. In San Francisco, market indicators were also positive despite the fact that occupancy growth levels dropped from 2.9 to 1.1 per cent. Other regional office markets that did well included Austin, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. In these markets, occupancy growth averaged 2 per cent. Read More »

Office Space Options: Business Centres and Business Parks

Posted on January 9th, 2017

The following is the first in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking, conventional office accommodation to shared coworking options.

Business centers and business parks are locations with several businesses grouped together, like a shopping center, but for commercial and office based businesses. The typical business park is a development of land and buildings set aside exclusively for the use of offices of all sizes and designs.

Business Parks in the Suburbs

Business parks are found in cities, but are more frequently located in suburban areas. Developers build a variety of sizes and designs of office spaces in one location. Available spaces will vary from a single occupancy 400 square foot office space to a 50,000 square foot warehouse space, all on one site. Occasionally, within the business park, you’ll find a larger building with several offices—these are frequently owned or managed by a single entity. Owners of the larger building typically rent the spaces to small businesses as conventional, serviced, or virtual offices.

A business park is in stark contrast with the big city high rise type business locations. Business parks are often designed to resemble a university campus or suburban neighborhood. There are one or two story buildings, instead of twenty story skyscrapers; there are green spaces; there may be fountains or park benches in the surrounding areas. These business parks are ideal locations for service or retail based businesses that need a location for customers to visit.

Some business parks become so large and welcoming to businesses that they begin to resemble a small town. As the success of businesses located at a specific park grows, more and more businesses choose to locate there. From that point it may seem inevitable that neighborhoods and communities begin to sprout up in the area.

The Appeal of Business Parks

For many companies, cost effectiveness proves to be the drawing feature to a business park space. The spaces are usually more affordable than commercial or retail spaces in other locations. Often a group of similarly based businesses, such as medical specialists, will locate in a business park creating a network of services that appeal to consumers.

Typically, the companies located in a business park will be diverse, varying from service based industries, such as computer repair, for example, to investment firms that are closed to the public. The diversity of the business park is limited only by the amenities offered by the developers. Business parks can help create a concentrated, affordable non-industrial office district and contribute to the communities in which they are constructed.

 

For information on business centre and office accommodation opportunities across the US click here.

 

Los Angeles CBD

Posted on November 23rd, 2016

Los Angeles CBD is a thriving commercial hub comprised of 15 districts: Skid Row, Civic Center, Little Tokyo, Old Bank, South Park, Historic Core, Gallery Row, Fashion District, Arts District, Warehouse District, Jewelry District, Industrial District, and Toy District. Bunker Hill and the Financial District are also part of downtown Los Angeles and are considered the city’s business core area.

Los Angeles’ CBD was first defined as a business district in 1920, and was expanded and redeveloped during the 1950s and 1960s, when several high-rise office buildings were added to the city’s urban landscape. Downtown LA is easily accessible by road and mass transit, as the area lies at the intersection between the I-10, I-5 and I-110 roads, and is served by 4 Metro lines. Union Station is located on the northern edge of the CBD, and Los Angeles International airport is only 19 miles away from the downtown area.

Unlike other US business districts, downtown LA has a large (and growing) permanent population. In 2016, more than 50,000 people lived within a 2-mile radius of the CBD, and particularly in the eastern fringe, where many office buildings have been converted into residential units. Read More »

Chicago’s CBD

Posted on October 4th, 2016

An Overview of Chicago’s Central Business District

Chicago’s central business district (also referred to as The Loop) is among the nation’s top three largest business hubs. Chicago’s CBD occupies a total area of approximately 1.6 square miles and is located in the eastern side of the city, right on the shores of Lake Michigan. The CBD can be sub-divided into five smaller areas: West Loop, South Loop, Michigan Boulevard, Printer’s Row, and New Eastside.

The Loop is a densely populated area where business and residential areas exist side-to-side. Unlike other CBDs in American cities, The Loop continues to experience rapid growth in terms of its permanent population, which exceeded 30,000 people in early 2016. The Loop attracts a large number of young professionals due to its convenient location, excellent transportation links, and supply of quality housing. The area is well served by buses, commuter trains, Amtrak services, and CTA trains that link the central business district with O´Hare and Midway international airports.

Chicago’s CBD among the country’s top 20 metropolitan areas with the highest business density, ranking 6th with nearly 33 business establishments per square mile. The Loop’s dynamic economy relies on a diverse industrial base and healthy mix of small, medium, and large companies. Read More »

New York City CBD

Posted on August 11th, 2016

New York City’s Central Business District is the largest of its kind in the United States and is one of the worlds most prosperous and resilient business hubs. Although there are several designated business districts in New York, the city’s primary CBD refers to the area comprised of Midtown and downtown Manhattan.

The area has been an influential economic and financial center since the 19th century, mainly thanks to the presence of the New York Stock Exchange and other important financial institutions. Over the years, the CBD grew in size, population, and in the diversity of its industrial and commercial base. Nowadays, New York’s CBD is home to approximately 1.6 million residents and is visited by up to 4 million people every day, including tourists, commuters, and residents. According to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, the CBD is home to more than 310,000 registered businesses.

The CBD is well connected to the rest of the city via mass transit, as the area is served by 14 subway lines and more than 30 bus lines, which provide 24/7 access to the business heart of New York. The Staten Island ferry terminal is also located within the CBD’s boundaries. Connections with nearby urban centers (such as New Jersey) are readily available via frequent PATH trains. The nearest airport is New York – LaGuardia, which is approximately 10 miles east of Times Square and 12 miles away from Wall Street.

Key industries and employers

According to statistical data published in a recent Demographia report, New York’s CBD employs more than 22 per cent of the city’s workforce (nearly 2 million people). This is by far the largest share of employment of all CBDs in the United States. The CBD also ranks first in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies, as there are more than 50 such corporations in New York’s CBD. Read More »

Top Ten Largest CBD’s in the USA

Posted on July 13th, 2016

All over the United States, central business districts serve as a magnet for economic growth and employment. Below is an overview of the top 10 largest CBDs in the country.

1. New York City
New York City’s CBD is the largest in the country and covers a large area in Midtown and downtown Manhattan. The city’s CBD contains more than 500 million square feet of commercial real estate and several residential neighborhoods. According to the US Census Bureau, New York’s CBD has a permanent population of approximately 1.6 million people. Key industries include finance, banking, retail, hospitality, tourism, and business services.

2. Chicago
Chicago’s central business district (also known as The Loop) occupies an area of 1.58 square miles. The Loop is a densely populated area and has a total commercial real estate inventory of nearly 160 million square feet, which account for 45 percent of the city’s total supply. More than 300,000 people work in the CBD, mainly in sectors like professional, scientific and technical services, finance and insurance, admin support, healthcare, and food services.

3. Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles is made up of 15 districts, although the business core lies between the Financial District, Historic Core, and Old Bank District. In recent years, the Bunker Hill area has also emerged as an important business destination within the city’s CBD. There are more than 32 million square feet of commercial real estate in downtown Los Angeles, and population density remains relatively low at under 5,000 / square mile. Important industries include technology, media, creative, transportation, leisure and entertainment, and the arts.

4. Boston
Boston’s CBD is one of the most important business hubs in the East Coast. Business density is particularly high in the Financial District, which is home to large banking, finance, and insurance corporations like Bank of America,PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Fidelity Investments. Boston’s CBD is characterized by its large percentage of Class A commercial stock (nearly 70 per cent of the total according to 2015 data). Tech-related firms and businesses involved in healthcare, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing are key drivers of the Boston economy. Read More »

Social Media in the Workplace

Posted on May 4th, 2016

What is considered acceptable use of social media in the modern workplace? How can what you post on social media both in and out of the office be used against you?

Although in many cases U.S. laws and regulations have not kept pace with all the latest developments, legislators and employment specialists have become increasingly aware of the issues. Facebook has over one billion users, with Twitter boasting around 500 million – and LinkedIn around half that.

Understandably, many employers were reported as having noted this tendency with some degree of alarm, voicing fears such as reduced productivity, adverse publicity and a possible trend in work-related claims and liability. Some have wondered about their rights to ban social media usage in the workplace – yet these same employers have seen their levels of businesses grow in many cases due to social media’s innate ability to market products and services to new customers. Companies also hire bloggers, endorsers or community managers to take advantage of the phenomenon.

In addition, employee morale is usually higher with access. What is clear, however, is that social media policies are just as important an area as any other (such as vacations, special leave and anti-discrimination) in contracts of employment and the general relationships between employers and employees.

As social media developed, some government agencies began issuing guidance. While some of this has been based on common sense and an intuitive approach, other examples have been less so. Specifically, some NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) pronouncements on the subject have been viewed as self-contradictory and confusing. The NLRB has received most of its press attention for supporting the employee right of engaging in concerted activities. Here, one key test is whether any one employer policy would reasonably have the effect of distressing employees; such clauses are deemed invalid in employment contracts. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEC) has also taken an interest in the question. Read More »

Washington DC Office Market: 2016 Forecast

Posted on February 24th, 2016

Bolstered by a robust economic performance, the office market in Washington DC delivered a fine performance throughout 2015. Unemployment levels in the DC metropolitan area were at their lowest since 2008, reaching figures well below the US national average (4.3 per cent vs 5 per cent). These conditions have helped shape a real estate market that is predominantly favourable to landlords, as the following trends demonstrate:

  • Rental values continued their slow recovery throughout 2015 and are currently set around the $50 / square foot mark.
  • Availability rates for all types of office space went down to 16.3 per cent. Towards the end of 2015, approximately 13.2 million square feet of office space were vacant.
  • The most significant transactions involved lease renewals or re-lets, although there have been several large sale transactions taking place in the city’s East End too.
  • Annual absorption levels were high at 887,000 square feet, and construction activity increased by 22 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
  • However, here has modest decrease in vacancy rates, especially as far as Class A space is concerned. Vacancy rates for these types of office properties still remain relatively high at 11.5 per cent. Vacancy levels for Class B and Class C space in Washington were slightly lower at 10 per cent.
  • Washington DC Office Market: 2015 Key Facts & Figures

    During 2015, vacancy rates for all types of office space in Washington went down to 10.5 per cent, pretty much in line with the city’s historical average of 10.7 per cent. At the same time, net absorption levels increased by a staggering 185 per cent, going from 198,000 square feet in 2014 to 398,000 by December 2015. Nearly half of the transactions involved office stock in Washington’s CBD, which clearly outperformed all other sub-markets. This is attributed to the ongoing influx of new tenants relocating from secondary office locations into the CBD. This trend began to be evident in 2014 and has been solidified over the past 12 months. Read More »

    Manhattan Office Market: 2016 Forecast

    Posted on February 17th, 2016

    An in depth look at how the Manhattan office space market has fared in 2015 and forecasts for this coming year.

    Manhattan Office Market Overview of 2015

    Over the past 12 months, federal economic policy has been focusing on expansion, driving an increase in employment rates, especially as far as office-based employment is concerned. This type of employment grew by 2.6 per cent in just 1 year, and prompted a considerable increase in demand led by occupiers in the Manhattan financial services sector. In certain Manhattan sub-markets (such as in Midtown South), strong demand from tenants in the TAMI sector (technology, advertising, media, and information) was also evident.

    At the end of 2015, total office stock in Manhattan was just under 395 million square feet, of which 28 million were vacant. Total transaction volume amounted to more than 28 million square feet, one of the highest figures of the past 10 years. However, there was a slight decline in transaction volumes in downtown Manhattan, where transactions mostly involved small and medium-sized office properties.

    Manhattan Office Market: Key Facts & Figures

    During 2015, office vacancy rates in Manhattan went down from 9.3 per cent to 8.5 per cent. This decrease equals to 90 basis points on a year-on-year basis, and brings vacancy rates closer to Manhattan’s historical average of 8.9 per cent. In Midtown South, vacancy rates were markedly lower at 6.2 per cent, whereas in downtown Manhattan they went down by 30 basis points to 9.4 per cent. Read More »