How Techpreneurs Design Space
When you get a group of tech entrepreneurs-turned-landlords together, you also get a whole new level of office space.
That's because startup entrepreneurs are today's rock stars and no longer a few “outcasts working behind computers," Scoutmob founder Michael Tavani told the crowd of 250 yesterday at Bisnow's Atlanta Office Boom event at the Twelve Hotel. And Michael knows what young tech employees want since he employs a lot of them at Scoutmob and is redesigning a 1920s-era office building on Spring Street into a destination for startup companies and savvy tech execs, called Switchyards. Michael says he eyed as many as 60 buildings before choosing this space, which will address small companies with fewer than four people that have outgrown a coffee shop.
Industrious' Jamie Hodari, Michael, North American Properties' John Kelley and Vantage Properties' Gene Rice (our moderator) and Atlanta Tech Village's David Lightburn. And being an office landlord, David says, is a lot harder than it looks. In fact, he says he has no plans to ever do another tech village.
The panelists all say design is critical to attract companies that rely on Millennials. Your space represents your company, Michael says. Jamie (snapped speaking yesterday) agrees and adds that the era where small companies just rent a desk from another company is over. Communal space is critical, especially if food is available and has what David calls “serendipitous interactions.” And John says having very high-speed WiFi in your building is also a huge amenity that will be needed to attract companies.
During our coffee schmooze before the event, we chatted with Marcus & Millichap's Korey Prefontaine and Bob Johnson (another of our panelists), who say that someone--a mystery someone--has 1530, 1532, 1534 and 1536 Dunwoody Village Parkway under contract. The Williamsburg-styled office complex on 8.4 acres in the heart of downtown Dunwoody has been for sale since last year. Bob says sellers are getting strong numbers--even for suburban properties.
Leapley Construction's Carson Pilcher tells us that they're working on Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young's HQ renovation at SunTrust Plaza and on Norfolk Southern's HQ renovation.