Almost four years later, commercial real estate is still feeling the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mismanaged firms like WeWork are going bankrupt, markets like San Francisco are suffering a 30 percent vacancy rate, and companies like Dropbox are paying tens of millions of dollars to reduce office space.
The commercial real estate market in the DMV is better off than many metropolitan areas thanks to the large government base and the associations, nonprofits, and lobbying firms drawn by the nation’s political leaders. But vacancies in the suburbs are crushing property sale values, and diminished property tax revenues are squeezing local government budgets. In the District itself, the majority of vacancies are in older, larger buildings – which is hardly an advantage for amenity-laden, modern buildings because empty storefronts and “space available” signs ultimately reduces their attractiveness, as well.
When the amenities war began, some landlords added fitness centers, conferencing centers, and roof decks. But what was spiffy a decade ago is now dated – just like the five-day, in-person work week and the fax machine. Joey Coleman, best-selling author of “Never Lose An Employee Again,” said that the best landlords “deliver a remarkable experience that takes into consideration what would actually make people WANT to come to the office – to say ‘I LOVE that we’re back!'”
Click here to read the rest of this Fox Business op-ed by Dustin Siggins & Todd Sherbacow.