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Entries for month: July 2013

Philadelphia Office Space Market Update

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The center of economic activity in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is known for its scrumptious cheesesteak and soft pretzels.  A city with more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other in the U.S., The City of Brotherly Love boasts a thriving mix of arts, culture, and ethnicity.  Sports teams abound, representing all the major leagues, including football, basketball, and baseball.

Philadelphia is home to several Fortune 500 companies, and economically represents information technology, manufacturing, food processing, and health care.  As there are many national historical sites within its borders, the city’s economy is also heavily represented by tourism. 

Its central location, exciting and emerging arts scene, sports teams, and affordably diverse neighborhoods makes Philadelphia a desirable urban city for over 1.5 million people.

The Philadelphia office market leasing activity increased in the first quarter 2013.  New construction is taking place in the educational, medical sectors, on a build-to-suit basis.  Suburban buildings are being renovated in place of new construction.  Many companies are opting to either downsize, or renew their existing leases.

Market

Vacancy Rate

Absorption (SF)

Avg Rent ($/SF)

CBD

13.5%

125,003

Class A - $28.65

Class B - $23.69

Bucks County

23.9%

214

Class A - $29.68

Class B - $21.86

Central/Delaware County

12.8%

-26,747

Class A - $28.30

Class B - $23.55

Exton/Malvern

21.7%

-120,748

Class A - $24.87

Class B - $23.85

*Source: Newmark Grubb Knight Frank 1Q 2013 Report

The expectation for the Philadelphia office market for 2013 leans towards a modest increase in leasing activity as the market continues to improve.  More robust growth is expected to materialize once the labor market recovers.

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By: James Osgood

Philiadelphia Office Space

Renting a Green Office Space Can Increase Competitiveness

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Going green at the office is a topic that has been in the news since 2007. Yet more and more companies are going beyond environmentally-friendly employee behavior and are extending these attitudes into office space rental considerations. The University of Berkeley discovered that that the development of an active environmental policy actually has a positive impact on a company’s competitiveness in the marketplace. How can you benefit from this trend when it comes to finding the perfect office rental for your company?

Green Construction Cuts Down on Operating Costs

The cost savings associated with already installed active solar collectors are not negligible. They greatly decrease the amount of money your company spends on daily electricity. When your targeted office building also falls into the passive solar collection category, you know that its positioning will greatly decrease the need for daytime artificial light usage and winter heating expenditures. A central atrium is a big plus when you look for an office that receives natural light from all sides.

Green Landscaping Reduces Water Costs

When you rent office space, the overall operating costs of the property are built into the square footage price Choose a green building that has environmentally friendly features, which extend to the choice of landscaping. While a nicely manicured landscape provides excellent curb appeal and increases the suitability of the building as an office address, the choice of exotic flora can greatly increase the water costs. Pick an office building that uses native plants in its landscape, which cuts down on the watering cost significantly.

Green Office Space Reduces Employee Absenteeism

Whether you have 10 employees or 100, the absence of even just one worker creates a drain on your company’s productivity. A study by the City of Seattle proves that a decrease of indoor pollutants has made it possible for one company to reduce its absenteeism rate by 40 percent. In addition, productivity went up by 5 percent. When you combine the use of green building technology with the choice of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and companies, it is clear that this is a result your company could imitate.

OfficeFinder, LLC employs a staff of highly-trained tenant representatives who can help you find the right green office space that suits your company’s size and needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you find the perfect office rental.

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By: James Osgood

Green Office , Office Space , Office Rental

5 Unexpected and Unusual Office Spaces

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Move over cubicles. Step aside neon lights.  What if you could transform your office space into a place that was unique to you yet functional? Whether you work from home and need more room or you just need a change of scenery. Here are 5 unexpected office spaces that will get you rethinking hating Monday mornings.

Garages
For those who work at home, converting your garage into the studio of your dream is one of the best ways to not only expand on unused square footage and play off the industrial vibe. Garages aren't just studios for artists or mechanics, in fact they can be converted into a chic space.  Depending on the part of the globe you live on, will depend what types of doors you are going to want to use.  Buying garage doors in Edmonton climate types versus Los Angeles climate types is going to be very different. For a chic look, consider using old barn doors in your garage office space.

Flooring: Concrete flooring is not only in style but it is durable as well.  Although you will want to poor concrete over the existing concrete in your garage (if it's cracked or has oil stains on it).  If you feel concrete alone is a little too stark of a look, add some rugs in order to liven it up.

Beach side
If your company is casual, upbeat, and innovative, then you will have no problem bringing your office to the beach.  Nothing will bring more motivation to the work table quite like having an ocean view to stare at all day.  Set up desks to face outward so that you constantly have an a beautiful ocean view.


Truck
Food trucks do it all the time, so why can't you?  If your business is internet based and doesn't require you to be in one place all the time why not take it mobile--literally? IF you have client meetings, why not come directly to them? You can even convert your moving size truck/van into a complete office with a table to have meetings in.  Picture motor home meets trailer.

Outdoors
In summer months some innovative companies choose to bring their offices outdoors.  If you live in a climate that doesn't melt you away during the summer like the desert, build a canopy like outdoor creation just outside your office.  Complete it with wireless access and wireless devices such as tablets or laptops in order for everyone in your company to maintain efficiency.

Nook
For those who don't have the financial capabilities that many unique office solutions require, why not convert small spaces into a wonderful office.  If you run a startup company or a company that works solely from home, try converting a space such as a closet into an office space that you can store away.  If you office lacks square footage, simply create small nooks where you are allotted privacy yet space saving qualities.

Guest post by Leslie Mason

Office Space , Office Space Design

Optimize Your Office Server Room Or Else

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Tired of hosting sensitive data off-site? Do you want to have hands-on access with your data? Adding a server room to an office is a bit more complicated than throwing all of your servers into the spare closet and calling it good. You get a lot of benefits from having all of your servers at the office, but there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind when setting up a server room. Here are four of them.

1. Space

The first consideration is the most straightforward of them all. How much space do you need to physically fit all of your private servers? You don't want to cram in the servers, network cables and cooling system in as tightly as possible. You need some room for proper air ventilation and to provide space for the IT department to have easy access for troubleshooting and maintenance. Also, keep in mind green practices when setting up your room, which we detail in a previous post here. Not only do you have immediate benefits such as creating an eco-friendly and progressive space in your office, the City of Seattle found making offices greener has an effect on reducing the number of sick days your employees take. Since you're building everything from the beginning, it makes sense to keep the server room as green as possible. Consider using a portable air conditioner for cooling, and contain and exhaust hot air before it permeates the space.

2. Hardware Requirements

The joy of having a server room on-site is that you can pick whatever server hardware you want. The downfall is that you need to know your business' server requirements so you purchase enough servers to keep up with demand. You can base initial estimates off the type of server hardware you use with your virtual private server hosting provider, and identify areas you'd like to change. Maybe you'd like more memory in the servers or a different hardware vendor. Match your server needs to your software requirements. You also don't need to get quite as many physical servers as you are using through a web hosting company, if you choose to use virtualization. Another hardware consideration is your cooling system. All of those servers in one room are going to be hot, and climate control is essential to keeping everything in good working order.

3. Software Requirements

Some hardware vendors bundle your servers with operating systems and common business and enterprise applications. However, in many cases you're responsible for the cost of software licenses for your servers. Make a list of all applications you're currently using, and ensure the server technology you purchase is compatible with your mission critical software.

4. Security

One of the most important considerations for your server room is security. Your data is essential to your business, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information, such as customer orders. You don't want just anyone having access to the physical server hardware, any more than you'd allow hackers to run rampant on your network. Requiring key card use, monitoring servers with videos, and employing security guards are all measures you can use to keep an on-site server room safe and secure.

Are you considering creating a server room for your office? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

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By: James Osgood

Office Space , Office Space Design

Houston Office Space Market Update

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The fourth most populous city in the U.S., Houston, Texas, is home to over 2.1 million people.  Initially the commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton, Houston was pivotal in the development of the Texas petroleum industry upon the discovery of oil in 1901.  In the 1970’s, Houston experienced a population boom due to the numerous employment opportunities offered by the petroleum industry.  The 1990’s recession led to a more diversified economy, focusing less on petroleum and more on aerospace and health care.  Today, Houston is known for its energy industry, with renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, growing.

Houston is a multi-cultural city with the heart of its business sector being located in the downtown district.  Downtown Houston is home to several Fortune 500 companies, such as Chevron, JPMorgan and Shell, with a workforce of over 150,000.  In the first quarter of 2013, Houston’s CBD office market experienced the majority of activity with over 558,000 sq ft of occupancy and overall Class A asking rents averaging $36.86 sq ft.

But the good news doesn’t stop there.  Houston’s office space market is made up of several core submarkets which are experiencing solid growth as well.  The 2013 office market outlook for Houston’s most in-demand submarkets is positive, with expected gains in absorption and increases in rental rates.  From a Tenant perspective, those willing to look outside the core submarkets are expected to see lower rental rates and more favorable concessions from landlords.  Overall, inside the core submarkets, Houston is expected to retain its landlord favorable conditions until new developments come to market.

Market

Vacancy

Net Absorption

Rental Rates

Downtown

9.8%

-291,698

$36.38

FM 1960

30.2%

1,508

$24.68

Katy Freeway

3.8%

157,085

$29.92

Northwest

11.3%

20,049

$22.80

South

0.00%

0

$25.63

Southwest

18.2%

-30,085

$17.01

Woodlands

2.3%

21,669

$31.49

*1Q 2013 - CoStar Property

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By: James Osgood

Houston Office Space