Austin’s Office Landlords Turn To Digital Connectivity To Attract Tech Talent
Office leasing has become more than an amenities game. As office space continues to come online, commercial real estate owners and developers are getting creative to fill vacancies. In Austin, one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and a hub for the country’s tech talent, landlords have begun working closely with potential occupiers to create personalized solutions that meet their needs.
Office spaces not only have to match a company’s corporate culture but also meet the working requirements and expectations of current and future employees.
The Austin Technology Council predicts that 9,000 new tech jobs will be created in the city by 2017. The growing population of young, educated professionals will continue to put pressure on landlords to modernize their properties to stay competitive. Tech tenant wish lists call for high ceilings, large windows, gyms, bicycle storage, concierge services and communal spaces, among other amenities.
But what keeps companies renewing leases is room to grow and reliable, high-speed digital connectivity.
“Tech companies grow quickly, particularly here in Austin and that requires the space for scalability and optimal connectivity keeping everyone in motion,” Endeavor Real Estate Group principal of office leasing Travis Dunaway said. “For many companies considering where to set up their offices, connectivity capabilities can be a make-or-break amenity.”
Endeavor leases and manages Frost Bank Tower, a 2017 TOBY Award winner for the Southwest, and a Wired Certified Gold property. Known for its iconic pyramidal crown, the 33-story Class-A office tower checks off several tenant amenity must-haves. Frost Bank boasts a fitness club, conference facility, bike storage and on-site management.
In keeping with the demand for improved live-work-play, tenants have access to on-site retailers from SoulCycle and Modern Market to local coffee shop Houndstooth, and the tower’s downtown location puts it in the heart of Austin.
Beyond the lifestyle amenities that cater to a millennial workforce, landlords like Endeavor are working to accommodate rapidly growing companies and are placing a new priority on how office spaces can adapt to new technology and businesses’ dependence on internet connectivity. Wired Certification, a commercial real estate rating system that empowers landlords to understand, improve and promote their buildings' digital infrastructure, signals to tenants that a property owner is committed to meeting and exceeding digital connectivity standards.
“Endeavor has been proactive at ensuring our properties remain highly competitive when it comes to tech features for our office buildings,” Dunaway said.
The emphasis on improving digital infrastructure has paid off. Two of Endeavor’s buildings, Wired Certified Platinum 300 West Sixth St. and Wired Certified Gold 600 Congress Ave., are home to a couple of the most recognizable companies in the country: Facebook and WeWork, respectively.
Austin is home to 26 additional Wired Certified office properties that have been independently evaluated for the connectivity features that impact a tenant’s ability to access digital services. This includes high-speed internet and connection redundancy to prevent unnecessary loss of service.
Brandywine Realty Trust's Austin office properties appear frequently on the growing list.
"Access to the best connectivity and digital infrastructure has become a non-negotiable office feature for the tech community," Brandywine leasing representative Bo Beacham said. "That's why Brandywine has certified 20 of our office properties in Austin with WiredScore. We pride ourselves on offering cutting-edge spaces to our tenants, and Wired Certification has confirmed that we are meeting today's standards and are prepared to support future technology in the workplace.”
By achieving Wired Certification for their office assets, Brandywine and Endeavor have signaled that best-in-class technology infrastructure is a necessary property feature to meet tenants’ needs in a digital age.
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