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Equity Office Daily Brief: April 14, 2016

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Daily Brief

April 14, 2016

  EquilityOffice

PRINT NEWS

 

CBRE: Vacancy in the U.S. office market increased to 13.2% during first quarter of 2016

EPR Retail News

 

Vacancy in the U.S. office market inched up by 10 basis points (bps) during the first quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016), rising to 13.2%, according to the latest analysis from CBRE Group, Inc. Even with the increase, the national office vacancy...

 


Companies Flock to Cities With Top Talent

Wall Street Journal

 

Last year, Salesforce.com Inc. handed its recruiters a near-impossible task: hire thousands of engineers and account executives in some of the tightest U.S. labor markets, including the software firm’s hometown of San Francisco. Candidates were declining offers and recruiting costs were rising....

 


The 3 Drawbacks of Subleasing an Office

Entrepreneur

 

It’s easy to see why business owners, especially those with newer businesses, are drawn to subleases. Perhaps you’re a new venture looking for an office for just a year or two while you continue to build your company. Maybe you can only...

 


Terasaki Research Institute to open new offices in Westwood

Daily Bruin

 

The Terasaki Research Institute began construction in Februaryfor an office building on Westwood Boulevard scheduled to open next spring. The institute, a research group founded by Dr. Paul Terasaki, late professor emeritus of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine, will...

 



BLOG & ONLINE NEWS

 

Another Campus Development Proposed in Playa Vista

Urbanize LA

 

Strong demand for office space in Playa Vista continues to drive new development on the neighborhood's perimeter. Last week, developer NSB Associates filed plans with the City of Los Angeles to construct a campus-style project at 12575 W. Beatrice Street, a short...

 


DTLA High-Rise to Receive Upgrades

Urbanize LA

 

Recent years have seen Downtown's once ample stock of large surface parking lots give way for a series of high-rise developments.  Now, one of the neighborhood's older mixed-use buildings will implement a series of modifications in order to keep up with...

 

FULL TEXT


CBRE: Vacancy in the U.S. office market increased to 13.2% during first quarter of 2016

EPR Retail News

 

Vacancy in the U.S. office market inched up by 10 basis points (bps) during the first quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016), rising to 13.2%, according to the latest analysis from CBRE Group, Inc. Even with the increase, the national office vacancy rate remains at the lowest level since 2008.

Despite the slight increase, vacancy continued to improve in the majority of U.S. markets, with rates falling in 33 markets, rising in 25, and remaining unchanged in five. Suburban vacancy remained at 14.7% while downtown vacancy increased by 10 bps, to 10.4%. The overall national office vacancy rate has fallen 70 bps over the past four quarters.

“The office market paused in Q1 2016 after several strong quarters as economic uncertainty and market volatility weighed on occupancy decisions,” said Jeffrey Havsy, Americas’ chief economist for CBRE. “Despite this, demand for space remains healthy fueled by steady job growth, and we expect the market to continue to strengthen at a modest pace the remainder of the year.”

Detroit recorded one of the largest quarterly declines of 130 bps, while Nashville, Louisville, Columbus, Cleveland, Milwaukee, San Diego and Seattle declined by 60 bps or more. Overall, markets in California and Southeast saw the greatest improvement in the last four quarters. Among these were San Jose, Nashville, Oakland, Detroit, Jacksonville, Orlando and Atlanta. The nation’s lowest vacancy rates in Q1 2016 were in San Francisco (6.3%), Nashville (6.6), Austin (7.7%), Albany (8.0%), San Jose and Raleigh (8.7%).

The slight rise in the national vacancy rate was fueled by significant new supply coming to certain markets including Boston, Washington D.C., Dallas and Orange County. Compounding that issue, Washington had negative absorption and Dallas only modest absorption, trailing this new supply. However, vacancy rates are higher than they were a year ago in just 13 markets—including Houston, Trenton, Newark, Richmond, Pittsburgh and Denver.

“We expect the U.S. office market to improve in 2016 as the U.S. economy continues to expand, moving closer to full employment and driving demand for office space,” noted Mr. Havsy. “Office demand is expected to outpace new supply in the next two years, further tightening the vacancy rate and keeping rent growth above inflation in a majority of the U.S. office markets.”

-Staff

Companies Flock to Cities With Top Talent

Wall Street Journal

 

Last year, Salesforce.com Inc. handed its recruiters a near-impossible task: hire thousands of engineers and account executives in some of the tightest U.S. labor markets, including the software firm’s hometown of San Francisco.

Candidates were declining offers and recruiting costs were rising. “We got our asses handed to us,” said Ana Recio, Salesforce’s recruiting head. But business leaders resisted moving critical roles out of San Francisco.

So Ms. Recio asked an intern to create an algorithm using LinkedIn profiles to identify the true pool of potential candidates for its specialized technical jobs. Those candidates had to be expert in things like handling mammoth amounts of code and the billions of transactions that go through Salesforce daily.

The analysis identified 210,000 potential hires in the U.S. and 85,000 in the Bay Area—far fewer than she and other executives had assumed. And Salesforce recruiters already had been in contact with 23% of the Bay Area set.

“Suddenly we were in real estate discussions,” Ms. Recio said.

Fifty years ago, companies opened new locations to be near lumber, copper, or resources needed for their businesses. “Today, people are the natural resources,” said Meredith Amdur, an analytics expert at advisory firm CEB.

Facing a tight labor market and a shortage of skilled workers, many large companies say that a city or region’s population of desirable workers is now the top factor in location decisions.

Half of corporate real-estate executives rated talent availability as the leading consideration in moves and expansions, according to a survey of 229 executives released by real-estate services firm CBRE Group, Inc. in March. More traditional considerations, such as the quality of a location’s infrastructure and real-estate costs, ranked lower.

“You can find buildings anywhere,” said Stephen Gozdan, chief financial officer of Cenlar FSB, a mortgage-servicing company. Harder to find, he said, is a pool of college-educated workers who can fill customer-service roles.

When Cenlar sought a western location to complement its New Jersey operations last year, executives spent more time analyzing labor-force data than any other factor.

Mr. Gozdan said Cenlar needs employees who can converse with homeowners about their mortgages and communicate clearly via phone, email, chat and text. The firm looked closely at feeder systems for that labor force, particularly four-year colleges with relevant majors. It also considered the share of graduates who stay in the area, and high-quality community colleges with students who could be induced to earn a bachelor’s degree, perhaps subsidized by Cenlar.

After considering cities in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Utah, Cenlar chose the Phoenix area. The company narrowed its decision further to Tempe after advisers helped Cenlar better understand the profile of the workers it sought to attract.

Companies now have an array of public data, such as job ads and professional profiles, to get a real-time read on supply and demand in the labor market. Some are using a LinkedIn Corp. tool called Economic Graph that maps open jobs, skills, employers and schools.

Year Up, a non-profit organization that trains inner-city young adults in technology and other professional skills, used it to help identify Phoenix and Jacksonville, Fla., for a recent expansion.

Metro areas with high shares of college graduates, such as Denver and Raleigh, N.C., are emerging as winners in the new landscape. After Ms. Recio shared candidate data with her bosses, Salesforce opened offices in, or moved roles to, Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Boulder, Colo.

Regions with fewer degree-holders could struggle to attract big corporations, interviews with employers suggest.

At Cisco Systems Inc., a team of data scientists began reviewing the company’s top technology priorities, such as data security and wireless networking, in 2014 to find the 10 cities with clusters of professionals who had relevant skills. Austin, Tex., and Cambridge, Mass., made the list.

“It was a game-changer in terms of how we started to recruit and look at investments,” said Francine Katsoudas, the networking giant’s human resources chief.

Cisco might have ended up in those locations even without that research, but Ms. Katsoudas believes the decisions wouldn’t have crystallized as quickly. The company says that retention in those cities increased and it is pleased with the quality of new hires.

Many firms still leave talent out of the real-estate equation.

“There are still plenty of companies that say, ‘I forgot to invite HR to this planning meeting about relocating our headquarters,’ ” said Robert Hess of real-estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which advised Cenlar.

Some 44% of the respondents in the CBRE survey said their real-estate departments report to finance, operations or procurement leaders, while 17% answer to HR.

At CEB, analysts mash up information from job ads, graduation rates, patent applications, migration patterns and other records to help companies develop workforce strategies.

One aerospace client had a Seattle facility it had struggled to staff with the existing labor supply. So it asked CEB to identify cities where it would have the best chance of finding professionals who were willing to move.

Analyzing troves of resumes and other data, CEB created a heat map showing which metro areas had pools of potential hires who previously had relocated for jobs or would be open to doing so.

Traditional aerospace hubs Wichita, Kan., or Huntsville, Ala., didn’t look promising. Instead, researchers found more migration from cities such as Phoenix, Los Angeles and Fort Worth, Tex. The employer spent more of its recruiting budget in those places and ultimately filled its Seattle jobs.

-Write to Lauren Weber at lauren.weber@wsj.com

The 3 Drawbacks of Subleasing an Office

Entrepreneur

 

It’s easy to see why business owners, especially those with newer businesses, are drawn to subleases. Perhaps you’re a new venture looking for an office for just a year or two while you continue to build your company. Maybe you can only afford space on the outskirts of town, but plan, in less than a year, for enough cash flow to secure a trendier outpost in the heart of the city.

All these things may make subleasing attractive: Most tenants view subleases as underpriced when compared to the traditional market. They also consider a shorter-term lease beneficial for business growth. Yet, subleasing may not necessarily be the boon it appears to be.

Subleases aren’t always the best option, and tenants need to understand why. Here are some of those negative aspects:

1. Time

One of the key draws to a sublease is also one of its key drawbacks: time. While tenants may prefer what is presumably a shorter term, issues arise when the tenant actually starts looking for a space. The process of searching for a sublease costs a company both time and energy. And most tenants do not account for just how long the office leasing process can take.

The average deal usually lasts at least three months (from starting the search to closing) and that time frame grows if the tenant needs to build-out the space. With a sublease, three months can extend into another three months because subleases require landlord consent. Further, in most cases, the landlord has absolutely no incentive to speed up this process because he or she is getting rent from the existing tenant regardless of the outcome. For a landlord, a sublease can be more burden than benefit, meaning there’s no reason to rush it.

2. Inflexible terms

Subleasing can severely handcuff a tenant compnay’s ability to work out an arrangement that is in its best interest.

Consider the parallel here with sports: Often, when a professional athlete gets traded from one franchise to another, the terms of the original contract stay in place.The athlete’s new home simply adopts the deal.

The same is true in subleasing. And many tenants fail to realize that entering into a sublease means having to deal with an existing contract. A tenant company essentially has its attorney not only negotiate the sublease, but also review the existing contract to assess any risk it may pose.

Tenants may not even have the opportunity to amend the existing agreement, and in some cases there are points that may not work for the new subtenant. This issue may cause a deal to fall through well after the prospective tenant has invested time and money into the search.

In many cases, you have to take a sublease space as-is. Although this may work for a small percentage of tenants, if a new tenant needs work done, the "as-is" scenario is going to cost money, which in turn can negate any savings the new tenant may have had on the price of the space itself.

3. Complications

It’s possible that principal tenants (or lessors) have their own issues, meanwhile, which could complicate things for the new subtenant. A lessor may need to lease out a space because of financial or legal issues, which has the potential to spell disaster for the new subtenant. Any issue has the potential to disrupt the subtenant if officials need to infiltrate the space for any reason.

The lessor will also be one of the three parties to the sublease until the end of the original lease term, and all three parties have to be in good standing to make a sublease work.

Yet another complication that may arise in a sublease is the issue of damage. Depending on the nature of the sublease, the subtenant may be responsible for a security deposit on the space. This could be a portion of the original deposit, or a separate agreement between the landlord and subtenant.

If, as a new subtenant, you don’t do your due diligence regarding damage before you move into a sublease, you may be stuck paying for the dents and bruises of the former tenant.

Obviously every tenant has unique office-space needs. For some, a sublease may be the ideal short-term solution. But for others, co-working spaces might be a better answer. While a sublease is by no means a dealbreaker, well-informed tenants know to thoroughly investigate every sublease option. And, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

-Justin Lee

Terasaki Research Institute to open new offices in Westwood

Daily Bruin

 

The Terasaki Research Institute began construction in Februaryfor an office building on Westwood Boulevard scheduled to open next spring.

The institute, a research group founded by Dr. Paul Terasaki, late professor emeritus of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine, will open a new center on Westwood Boulevard next to Urban Outfitters, said Matthew Everly, director of the Terasaki Research Institute.

Taslimi Construction, a company that specializes in commercial construction and office interiors, began building the 15,000-square-foot, 20-office structure two months ago. Researchers, scientists and clinicians will use the building to further medical research on solid organ transplantation. The building will also include a medical bookstore on its street level.

Everly said he could not disclose the cost of the project.

Steve Sann, chair of the Westwood Community Council, said the location previously housed a two-storefront retail building but has been unoccupied for many years.

Terasaki graduated from UCLA in 1950 and later established a kidney transplant registry. He died at the age of 86 in January from kidney disease.

Everly said the research institute chose to open the building in Westwood to be close to UCLA because the Terasaki Family Foundation and Terasaki Research Institute are both affiliated with the university.

-Janae Yip

Another Campus Development Proposed in Playa Vista

Urbanize LA

 

Strong demand for office space in Playa Vista continues to drive new development on the neighborhood's perimeter.

Last week, developer NSB Associates filed plans with the City of Los Angeles to construct a campus-style project at 12575 W. Beatrice Street, a short distance south of the Marina Freeway.  Plans call for approximately 250,000 square feet of offfice space and a 3,146 square feet of retail component.

The 3.8-acre property is currently developed with a series of low-slung buildings which house the co-working space CTRL Collective.

City records indicate that Chait & Company, a Los Angeles-based architecture and construction firm, has been tapped to design the project.

Further details about the proposed development are unclear at this point in time.

The project site sits one block north of Jefferson Bouelvard, where approximately 650,000 square feet of office space is in various stages of development, including the Brickyard and Playa Jefferson's Building E.

-Steven Sharp

DTLA High-Rise to Receive Upgrades

Urbanize LA

 

Recent years have seen Downtown's once ample stock of large surface parking lots give way for a series of high-rise developments.  Now, one of the neighborhood's older mixed-use buildings will implement a series of modifications in order to keep up with the evolving neighborhood.

Last week, all tenants of the 22-story tower at 801 S. Grand Avenue were notified that an expansion of the 1980s high-rise is expected to commence before the end of April.  Property owner CIM Group plans to build 3,000 square feet of new ground-floor retail space along the eastern side of the building, replacing a portion of its lobby.  An additional 5,500 square feet of new office space will be constructed above the lobby on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors.  Other improvements will include new paint and carpeting in corridors throughout the building.

Construction of 801 S. Grand's expansion is expected to last approximately six months.

The tower, located catacorner to Downtown's ballyhooed Whole Foods Market, is billed as the first Downtown building to merge Class-A office space and luxury housing.  The lower half of the tower currently comprises more than 200,000 square feet of office space, with tenants that include a satellite campus for California State University, Los Angeles.  The upper floors of the building were converted into condominiums in 2006.

-Steven Sharp

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