Redefining the future of real estate with more ‘flexibility’Andrew Smith
This week, Property Investor Europe spoke with New York-based flexible office company Knotel; one of an increasing number of office providers whose “funky and functional spaces” across Europe and the U.S offer the short-term lease options that more and more occupiers are demanding in today’s market. Knotel ensures that their spaces are clean, functional and adaptable to their clients’ needs – so much so that they can capture the brand values of the numerous companies that occupy them. Edward Shenderovich, founder and chairman of Knotel, describes its offices as “sets of Lego blocks” that can be configured in different ways and turned over quickly, while still capturing the unique essence of any one company’s culture.
Landlords such as Knotel are a hot topic when discussing the future of real estate, with ‘flexible’ being the key buzzword. However, important to consider is that the concept of flexibility doesn’t necessarily have to mean exceptionally short leases and modes of office ‘assembly’ over construction. Rather, flexibility is being embraced in different forms by forward-thinking developers across the board. Take The Commercial Park Group, for example, who’s vision to deliver 2 million sq ft of high-quality office space in the South East of England, on the doorstep of major national and international transport links, is rooted in the concept of driving flexible lifestyles outside of London. TCPG is offering the skilled workforce in areas such as Crawley, Haywards Heath, and Bromley, the opportunity to work closer to home and spend more time enriching their wellbeing with friends and family. Combined with its integrated approach to master planning that will create green, attractive and comfortable destinations for business, rather than just functional office buildings, TCPG is certain to attract interest from major international companies looking for permanent headquarters.
The rise of office developers that we have come to know as ‘flexible’ has certainly added an exciting new dimension to a commercial real estate in response to the increasing demand for space from start-ups in tech and creative industries. However, by attributing greater focus to building in the right locations and adopting a design approach conducive to workers’ well-being, there is no reason that traditional developers and landlords seeking longer-term tenants can’t be dubbed flexible too.
Andrew Smith, Account Executive, Innesco