No Deli, No Deal
A HQ consolidation switcheroo has come to light in the last two days, and it proves once again that amenities and employee retention reign. It's a bit of a soap opera, so try and keep up...
Mattress Firm and Stage Stores, two Houston-based firms, are both dropping from multiple locations into one HQ. Mattress Firm is moving 350 employees from two Houston offices to fill the entire 130k SF 10201 S Main St (pictured), which is currently occupied by Stage Stores. (The latter will exit in Q4, and Mattress Firm will take up residency in June 2016.) CBO Karrie Forbes, who’s leading the relocation, says the firm especially targeted location, convenience and size. Mattress Firm has been in fast growth mode over the last two years. The new office has nearly double the number of workstations and leaves space for future expansion.
Stage Stores (which operates as Palais Royal locally) hasn’t announced where it’s going, but SVP Randi Sonenshein tells us it's got a lease signed for about 190k SF near the Galleria. (The move, which also vacates a building in Meyerland, is expected to cost $12M.) She says the biggest driver was bringing employees under one roof. 900 employees will go to the new office and about 50 will remain in the Meyerland office because that division has specific building height requirements. Stage Stores has a big growth plan ahead of it, Randi says, and being together helps it execute more efficiently.
But in discussing motivation behind the moves, Mattress Firm CEO Steve Stagner (pictured) and Stage Stores CEO Michael Glazer both busted out the key words that have been driving real estate lately: increased productivity and attracting/retaining top talent. That made the new amenities at 10201 S Main really attractive to Mattress Firm, including an on-site cafeteria, large meeting spaces and conference centers, ample parking, and close proximity to retail, dining and entertainment. In the future, it may get an on-site gym, wellness center, walking trails and sleep centers.
Parkway Properties managing director Mike Fransen isn’t surprised by the focus on amenities; he says Houston’s slower economy hasn’t changed tenants’ desire to have a quality office to recruit and retain talent from. His firm’s acquisition and recent amenity enhancements at CityWest Place and San Felipe Plaza are testing that theory, and he feels like the timing is good. He also finds users expecting high levels of service delivery to accompany this kind of environment, and Parkway is looking to the hospitality industry at times in order to improve.
In CityWest and San Felipe, Parkway is implementing “crash points,” places where visiting employees, visitors or clients can work temporarily. It’s going beyond conference rooms and building in breakout rooms. Parkway recently added a Starbucks kiosk in San Felipe (and, pictured, has one nearly completed at CityWest), and Mike says that has exceeded his expectations. It’s one less stop employees need to make on their way to work, and expanded seating around it makes comfortable meeting space.