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Real Estate Bisnow (LA)

Surprising Survey Results On Open Plans

It's sacrilegious to suggest that creative offices aren't the wave of the future (it could get you arrested in some jurisdictions), but a recent survey on the pros and cons of open office plans reveals that a mere 13% of respondents viewed them as more productive than traditional office plans.

Yesterday, we chatted with SRK Architects managing principal Brian Kite, whose Downtown firm conducted the survey. The impetus was to quantify open office plans through something other than anecdotal experiences. SRK has designed traditional and open office designs for numerous clients, and occupies an open office itself, he notes. While cost-effective and suited to today's workforce, "The question is whether they're actually more productive work environments." Most of the 1,000 survey respondents, representing a cross-section of SoCal companies, think open plans are more productive, but not much more.

CohnReznick (Field) MLA

The survey results were unveiled at a Downtown Breakfast Club program on the future of office design, featuring a panel with Brian and Gensler co-CEO Andy Cohen (at the podium), moderated by IDS Real Estate SVP Patrick Spillane. In open office layouts, problems relating to sound transmission can arise so workstation acoustics become more important, Brian says, particularly with the benching concept. There's a new etiquette that open plans bring, with "better or worse results depending on how well the layout is done."

Long-term Club member Steve Marcussen of Cushman & Wakefield didn't attend the program, but thinks the pendulum has swung too far. Open plans are great for certain kinds of collaborative work, but the vast majority are forcing people out of their offices. "People just don't come to work anymore. They work from their car, Starbucks, their home, or their client's office." The new open offices can be counter-productive by slowing down work. They often don't have enough conference rooms and they're always full, "so we have to conduct business out in the corridor."

Among other survey findings: Bosses should be embedded with their employees within the same work area. Brian says the idea of execs being on another floor or isolated was less popular with the respondents, especially in an open office scenario where hierarchy status is less prominent.

Howard Building (3ads) LA
Allen Matkins (Survey-man3) LA
City of El Segundo (Launch2) LA

Check Out This One Santa Fe Model

No, these aren't hobby trains. One Santa Fe, the massive, multifamily mixed-use community under construction in the Downtown Arts District, is moving closer to its September opening. The leasing center for McGregor Brown's 438-unit development, which features these building models, has opened at 255 S Santa Fe across from the project site. Besides marketing units, the space is used to host art exhibits and gatherings, including a recent reception for LA creative types.

And here's the real thing: At 500k SF and one-third-mile long, One Santa Fe is LA's longest building. (We hear you can see it from the Space Station, but you'd have to hitch a ride on Soyuz to find out.) McGregor Brown is developing One Sante Fe with Cowley Real Estate Partners and Polis Builders; Canyon Capital Realty Advisors is a JV partner through its Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund III.

The Family Biz: David and Chris Maling

How well do family members work together in the CRE biz? Brothers David and Chris Maling, both SVPs with Colliers, have been in real estate for a combined 47 years. Chris and David teamed up in 1997 and have a successful practice as top producers in retail investment sales across the country. If your siblings, parents, kids, cousins, or even your grandma works with you in real estate, we'd love to hear your story. Send to julie@bisnow.com

Join us for Bisnow's Retail Summit!

Not everyone wants to have their Nikes and iPhones delivered by drones; some folks still like to get out and shop. At Bisnow's third-annual SoCal Retail Summit (Aug. 12 at Santa Monica's Casa del Mar), we'll hear what shopping center developers are doing to combat the onslaught of online shopping, among other topics. Our all-star line-up will include Regency Centers' Mac Chandler, NewMark Merrill's Sandy Sigal, The Ratkovich Co's Brian Cornelius, BIG Shopping Centers USA's Stan McElroy, Chipotle's Sam Saul, The Jerde Partnership's Tammy McKerrow, and more. Plenty of networking, too. Sign up here.

5th Bisnow Video

With Bisnow Education's latest video, Real Estate and Their Asset Classes, we drill down to fine-point dynamics of the industry itself, explaining vital differences among the many opportunities (economic and otherwise) commercial real estate has to offer. Peter Linneman, Wharton's real estate program founder and chairman, continues to share his extensive knowledge of how real estate sectors differ in operating, organizing and providing revenue, including:

  • Differences among Class-A, B and C properties.
  • Risks associated with retail hotel types (the differences are significant)
  • Shifts of demand within multifamily
  • Strip centers vs. power centers
  • The Internet challenge
  • And more

This is our latest video and video No. 5 in our hugely popular educational series, with more to come. This one contains two-and-a-half hours of useful information, but it can be digested in bite-sized, five-minute spoonfuls that go down easy (watch a sample here). It's available to Bisnow readers for only $99, or purchase all five videos for $199. Order yours here, and for training program group licenses, email Will Friend at will@bisnow.com.

Bisnow (video-AssetClasses)

How nice of DWP to open some new swimming holes. Email your news and story ideas to julie@bisnow.com.



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