We’re living in an era for cities where talent density and connectivity matters to company building. Modern creators need places to build, to socialize, to grow and to share. This generation is driving a shift toward more flexible, entrepreneurial and collaborative work and life styles, transforming the way we work, build and gather together in our fast-growing cities.
Reinvigorating a block isn’t just about filling vacant space with one or two mega tenants or slick place brands, it's about making and learning from hundreds of moves that build momentum over time. Buildings and neighborhoods need to be nurtured as living, breathing communities powered by a mix of scrappy startups and established operators that align to changing tastes.
Even in the highest commercial towers, a great building experience starts the very moment a tenant or visitor arrives at street level. Building lobbies are no longer just a security checkpoint and elevator banks, but also act as highly visible social amenities, gathering places and retail service hubs for workers, residents and the neighborhood.
People gravitate to areas that are well populated, which provides the human presence needed to bring life, spend and economic growth to these areas. Round-the-clock activity outside of standard 9 to 5 commuter traffic transforms downtowns from simply office spaces to work, but rather neighborhoods where housing, social and retail amenities intermix.
The future is mixed-use, open collaboration and connectedness. Everywhere, work, retail, amenities, and housing are mixing and colliding, offering choice, flexibility and diverse experiences. As buildings upgrade with state-of-the-art fitness centers, lobby cafes and tenant lounges, it’s curated programming, services and experiences that will separate modern buildings from the rest.
By working with multiple building owners “one block at a time”, we can test and scale the optimal mix of services and amenities in an area, rather than leasing spaces in silos and disjointed experiences. We then combine curated activation with economic development tools, such as financial incentives for improving vacant space, and investing in entrepreneurial operators.
Curating experience means assembling an evolving mix of retail, amenities and services that align to constantly changing tenant expectations. It’s about the right use, in the right location, at the right price, at the right time. This requires a unique collaborative model across building owners and operators built on trust, rapid results and long-term outcomes.
The world moves at such a fast pace. We can’t afford to let the old rules of city planning and economic development stifle what infrastructure we need for modern talent and companies of all sizes. Co-investment between private and public partners will create more flexible space options, better amenities and services, powered by market-driven operating models.
Edward Glaeser, “Triumph of the City”