We have all been reading for quite a while how many companies are downsizing their office space by making it more efficient; allocating office space to as low as 100 sf per person. The past recession made it very popular and was supported by employees… to help save their jobs. Now that the recession is nearing its end, is it still such a good idea? There are ways to do it the right way, like the Agile Workplace, but also some diametrically opposed forces in an office tenant’s life when it comes to the amount of office space they’ll take; then, of course, there’s reality!
The Parking Dilemma
On one hand, you have a landlord who wants you to take more than less office space. Then you have the furniture vendor that wants to sell you new furniture by telling you can add more people per square foot and take less space. Then there’s the reality of existing parking. If the general parking ratios are 4-6/1000 sf leased in suburban markets and 1-3/1000 in downtown markets, then a tenant must evaluate the realities of achieving a higher parking ratio and the associated cost if they are heeding the furniture vendors prodding and work to achieve a 100 sf of office space per employee allocation.
The best approach is to design the space as efficiently as possible and then overlay existing parking need on existing parking availability. Once you determine the delta, if any, a good office tenant representative can investigate all available parking to address the overage, to include negotiating a higher ratio in your existing lease. Beware of planning an office space showing a much higher body count than parking ratios allow or the landlord may mandate a lower density layout to avoid any future parking showdown.
By: James Osgood and Sarah & Craig Castor