2020 Outlook For Shared Office Space

01-21-2020 | by Looking For Space

Younger workers are pushing back on the traditional balance between work and life.  They demand flexible hours, generous vacation time, the option to work remotely, paid parental leave, and even egg freezing.  Their lives are mobile, chained only to their phones - and this has proven to be an ideal environment for the coworking sector to flourish - although the feeding frenzy has produced stiff competition for most of the providers.  And, this popular method of officing now comes in a number of different "flavors" that are aimed at specific sectors of prospective tenants.  And, while for the most part the perception of the older working population is that coworking centers are tantamount to fraternities, it can't be ignored that many of them offer private offices and bespoke private space to cater to companies that cannot estimate future growth patterns and real estate needs.

If you look at new space being built in Manhattan, for example, you'll find that only about 35% of the commercial office space built in the past 3 years is designed for operations with a high density of perimeter offices.  Fully 65% of all the spaces being built in New York City are primarily open layout featuring bench seating or trading areas with a few conference rooms and conversation areas and only a few private offices, if any.

This trend has led to a shortage of good space in the sector that LookingForSpace.com services.  We thrive on nice shared legal office space - and a lot of the law firms with nice space are doing quite well in the current economy, leading to a shortage of "nice" space - as opposed to the standard 2nd and 3rd generation law offices that abound in the traditional shared legal office space market.

We rent offices of all types - but the shortage we are seeing is in relatively new space with a high density of perimeter windowed offices.  There are a few good examples of "newer" space like the offices at 437 Madison Avenue, but the larger firms tend to have most of the new spaces and in general they don't rent individual offices - only private space that has been separately demised.

At 48th and Madison the space being offered is shared with another law firm on a 17,000 sq ft full floor.  The rooms are larger than most, having extra depth (this firm didn't get the memo about designing efficient space).  This was the intent of the design - and even the smallest rooms will appear large by today's standards.  This is very nice space that is in move in condition.  Order your phones and internet and move in immediately - and the beauty of this sublet is that it is offered for a long term, up to 8 years.  We all know that attorneys don't like to move and at the same time most of the listings offered for fractional office space are for terms shorter than this - so it is an interesting opportunity because if your footprint remains constant, you'll be able to stay in place for 8 years without having to move...and at that point it is likely that the "host" firm will extend its lease for another 5 years.

At LookingForSpace.com, we think that going forward, on a percentage of total market basis, the number of windowed offices available for sublease will decrease due to current architectural trends for new and remodeled office space.

Individual office rentals will spike in demand as more and more Boomers retire from full time work but are still young enough to work part time and maintain an office presence.

The Millenial - Boomer competing trends will tighten the market going forward.  As demand changes, so will pricing.  2020 might be a very good year to secure new space, indeed!  If you want to lock in a good rental for a decent term, please call us about individual offices for rent in Law Firms and other Professional Firms of all types.  We even have shared Medical Office space available for sublease

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