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Downtown San Diego Office Building Improvements Reflect Millennial Users


San Diego is second only to Austin, TX, for highest percentage of Millennials, according to a new JLL report. San Diego is one of six metro areas nationally where young adults, aged 18-34, make up more than 25% of the population, according to the study, which was based on data from the US Census for cities with at least 1 million in population.

A large proportion of the city’s 853,000 Millennials live in Downtown, which is attracting tech and creative businesses looking for young talent to San Diego's CBD, according to JLL associate Brandt Riedman. We caught up with Brandt, who specializes in office leasing, earlier this week.

“Millennials are attracted to San Diego’s quality of life,” he tells us. “We have the big city aspect, and lots of great new jobs are being created. If you live in Downtown you can walk to work; if you live in Encinitas you can surf every morning before work.” Millennial employers are also locating in coastal communities, such as Sorrento Mesa and Del Mar, he says.


With lots of Millennial talent in Downtown, Brandt says startups and tech companies entering the San Diego market tend to gravitate that way. There’s a large and growing cluster of digital media and marketing firms there, such as Underground Elephant and Mirum.

“As a result, we’re seeing a lot of creative office conversions or office owners adding outdoor lifestyle spaces," Brandt continues. "Young people don’t want to be confined to the office, they want to work outside, so we’re seeing the addition of roll-up doors and the creation of office spaces that blend into outdoor patios or workspaces.” Office buildings are also adding cool lifestyle facilities, including surfboard and wetsuit storage, showers and bike parking. The JLL report suggested companies seeking locales with strong talent pools might want to look at San Diego, where 59% of Millennials are employed—well below the average 67% of Millennials in the nation's largest metros.