Have the 'Burbs Turned?
Yesterday's topping off of the $120M HQ that Normandy Real Estate Partners and Greenfield Partners are building for TripAdvisor at Center 128 reminds Normandy principal Mark Roopenian how far the suburban office market has come since launching the project nearly two years ago. In his 30 years in the biz, market fundamentals are as good as he’s ever seen, he tells us. The economy’s back, space is being absorbed, rents are up, and tenants are leasing realistically. Many existing suburban offices are functionally obsolete, and little new supply is being built on spec, while tenants confident about the future are doing build-to-suits. Underway in Waltham: 300k SF for VistaPrint and 150k SF for Thermo.
TripAdvisor expects to move into its 282k SF, six-story building in Center 128 next spring. It features an amphitheater outside, and inside is devoid of ceilings; it also has an open plan and a large forum space. The online travel company worked with Elkus Manfredi and Baker Design Group to create an environment that reflects its unique culture, which it says is fast, collaborative, and smart. Its new HQ will be visible from Rte 128 and adjacent to a new highway access ramp that feeds into the office park. TripAdvisor has an option on another 150k SF. For the 450k SF Normandy can still build, several tenants—suburban tech and consumer product companies—are discussing future build-to-suits of 100k SF to 200k SF, Mark says.