Here's How Sterling Bay and NAI Hiffman Keep Their Office Buildings Full
Why are buildings like 1K Fulton and Naperville Woods desirable to tenants? Today, Sterling Bay director of property management Jack Houze and NAI Hiffman managing director Bob Assoian, two featured panelists at Bisnow’s Chicago Property Management & Adaptive Re-Use Revolution event, explain how they use property management to keep occupancy above 90%. Hear them and other panelists at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Sept. 29, at 7am.
Sterling Bay director of property management Jack Houze says it continues to control operating expenses through energy-efficiency standards and taking advantage of utility rebates. Landlords are installing intelligent systems such as smart thermostats and lighting control devices to reduce energy usage, and using LED lighting wherever possible. Second, Sterling Bay keeps tabs on the experience for a tenant’s employees to determine which conveniences will support their tenant base, since many of today's users have a higher level of expectation and want to keep employees inside the workplace.
Sterling Bay meets the challenges of its tenants by retrofitting vintage buildings in its portfolio with smart tech. At 1K Fulton (pictured), all the building’s common areas and more than 95% of the tenant lighting fixtures are LED. Jack adds that providing real-time monitoring of chillers, cooling towers and other critical equipment within a building's plant provides more effective load shedding in demand response situations. It allows you to instantaneously see how decisions directly impact energy consumption and view peak load and demand spikes.
NAI Hiffman managing director Bob Assoian (pictured) says the “less ‘me’ space, more ‘we’ space” wave has hit the suburbs full force. Suburban property managers and owners are having serious conversations about the influx of workers to Chicago, and there’s still a lot to love about the suburban assets. Well-located buildings that have adapted to the demands of the tenant base and are providing amenities more common in downtown office buildings (ex: WiFi, soft seating in deli areas, modern lighting, and self-checkout for employees working odd and long hours) are doing well. Surveys conducted by NAI Hiffman indicate industrial tenants also want today's modern amenities and conveniences. Bob says NAI Hiffman responded with food truck days, and car wash and shoe shine services at some warehouse properties.
At Naperville Woods (shown), a 500k SF office complex in Naperville, NAI Hiffman and building owner Agellan Commercial are committed to improving the tenant experience. The property, which is 95% occupied, already had a fitness center and deli, and Bob tells us the building's security check-in was replaced with a concierge who can hook tenants up with tickets to shows and restaurant reservations. Naperville Woods is also considering adding a bikesharing service for tenants' employees to bike to nearby Morton Arboretum, and charging stations for electric cars. Bob agrees with Jack that taking advantage of utility rebates is essential, especially on the industrial side where the tenant pays for electric. To learn more, please join us for Bisnow's Chicago Property Management & Adaptive Re-Use Revolution event, at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Sept. 29, at 7am. Register here.