I just read an interesting article in the NY times about why corporate America is leaving the suburbs for the city. This article comes on the heels of a blog Howard Tullman wrote about the Merchandise Mart being what I would call “the building of the future” or as I’ve named it a GROUNDSCRAPER. Furthermore, recently I reviewed photographs of the old main post office in Chicago, which is about to be converted, over the next years, into an incredible office building available to house millions of feet of tenants.
The issues that it brings to mind are what is the building of the future and what are growing tenants in today’s market really interested in. In my opinion, the tall, steel and glass high rises, which are currently being built throughout the United States could easily be the building dinosaurs of tomorrow. These buildings, while appearing to be quite efficient are not what the major users of office space throughout the United States are currently looking for.
All one has to do is look at the Apple Headquarters under construction and what Facebook is proposing, to realize how successful tech companies are looking to house their own people. Couple this then with the success of building like the Merchandise Mart, in Chicago, the Google office, in New York City and other old but re purposed buildings throughout the country; we realize that major cities throughout the US have a great existing supply of buildings, which can be renovated and reused and become home to the growing companies of the future.
This availability of the stock of property as well as the fact that the employment supply of individuals to work at these companies, are in the cities, and in most every instance, the accessibility to public transportation, is what is resulting in this trend. The GROUNDSCRAPER, my name for these large, lower buildings, is in essence “the building of the future.” The new skyscrapers under construction may actually be obsolete, in my opinion.