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Exclusive: Colliers International's Western Region President Talks West Coast Office Trends

Colliers International Western Region president Martin Pupil knows about office and West Coast trends. You can catch Marty and more than 30 speakers at Bisnow’s Office Leasing & Development Series West event Nov. 2 in San Francisco.

Marty Pupil, LA
Colliers International President of U.S. Brokerage Marty Pupil

When it comes to growth on the West Coast, Marty says it’s all about technology. Cities, including Portland, Seattle and San Francisco are “really the drivers right now,” thanks to the tech industry in those areas.

There are some challenges. Marty says markets that have more traditional office use are facing obstacles because “tech has driven such densification of space.”

So even law firms, accounting firms, insurance companies and other traditional offices are aiming to “get more people into less square footage,” according to Marty. As a result, those markets without a “huge preponderance of tech” may be seeing less of a demand for office product.

Marty says the last recession led to more people making hard decisions about looking at space differently and building more open concept and higher densification. This is especially true for law firms and accounting firms, where partners benefit from the reduced rental costs, he says. 

Current trends on tap include the element of cool, Marty says. People are interested in having more design and having their space tell more about their culture and who they are. He has seen more flexible layouts and more collaborative spaces. In the tech world, there’s probably more influence from Millennials than in the traditional office market, according to Marty.

With more collaborative environments, including WeWork, “everyone is trying to Airbnb something,” Marty says. The question now is how Airbnb's approach might come to the office world.

Hear more from Marty and our other speakers at Bisnow's Office Leasing & Development Series West event Nov. 2 at The Hibernia Bank in San Francisco.

Related Topics: Colliers, Marty Pupil