Shift in Work Styles: From Suburban to Urban Office Parks

Shift in Work Styles: From Suburban to Urban Office Parks

More and more suburban office parks are becoming ghost towns¾at least that is what many of them are starting to look like. Just visit North Bethesda and many other known office park locations in Montgomery County and the rest of the Washington D.C. area and you will understand what we mean.

Where there were once buildings full of life and vitality in the late eighties and the early nineties, now sit silent and vacant office spaces, with just a few companies habitating what used to be offices teaming with different businesses.

Companies are Eager to Leave the Suburbs and Move to the City

These office parks used to be iconic representations of what it was like to thrive in the corporate world. But these days, major corporations, as well as federal agencies and government contractors, are leaving the suburbs and setting up in areas closer to better transportation options.

Even Marriott International is planning to relocate its headquarters in Bethesda. Many companies are so eager to leave that they actually started packing things up for a major move as far back as two years ago, as their leases approached their expiration dates.

The Montgomery County Planning Department decided to look into what seems to be an unstoppable exodus, and published a report about this trend. What they found was disheartening, but hardly surprising¾it appears that the County’s office market has been affected by various economic factors, not the least of which is the shrinking number of jobs available in the Washington area.

The numbers say it all: the Washington, DC region has a total of 71.5 million sq. ft. of vacant office space for the second quarter of 2015, and most of it is accounted for by suburban office parks.

It seems that one of the primary reasons for the series of relocations is the need, or desire, for a Metro-accessible office location. Gone are the days when these office parks attracted commuters who were happy to drive. Today, it is a different workplace. A younger workforce is looking for something else entirely. They want to work in an attractive atmosphere¾certainly not in those outdated office parks¾and employers are only too happy to accommodate them.

Continue reading part two of this blog series to find out more about the growing demand for urban offices. Learn what companies and employees are looking for and why an urban office is able to meet their needs.


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