The flight to quality in office buildings is only accelerating because of the pandemic. More evidence of this is in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, where Spins, a data provider for the wellness industry, just pre-leased a large chunk of a 15-story Class A development that hopes to be finished in 2023, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
North Wells Capital is the landlord set to start construction in April of the 154,000-square-foot office building at 311 W. Huron St. in Chicago. The building has tenant amenities designed for ‘post-pandemic sensibilities,’ such as a fitness center, a penthouse roof deck, and electric vehicle charging stations. Tony Olson, CEO of Spins, said the company needs “space that we could design to enhance our collaborative culture in a hybrid work environment.”
Office landlords can’t take any tenants for granted right now and having spaces with top amenities helps. While Class B and Class C offices are struggling, the increased flight to quality to brand-new or newly renovated Class A offices is heating up. For example, in New York, companies are flocking to top-price buildings in Midtown. The NYC neighborhood caught up last year with Hong Kong’s central business district as the most coveted by tenants, with rents as high as $261 per square foot, according to JLL.
As the pandemic eases, companies will likely battle each other to lure employees away from remote work and come to offices decked out with more amenities than ever. And the office landlords who don’t invest in the comforts that tenants and their employees want could lose out.