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Density Has Taken 'A Complete U-Turn,' Boston Properties VP Says

A top Boston Properties executive says the REIT has seen a complete reversal in office density trends as companies look to increase space between their workers.

San Francisco
San Francisco

"Dense floor plans, from what we're hearing in the marketplace, have done an absolute U-turn," Boston Properties Vice President of Engineering Danny Murtagh said during Bisnow's Sustainability In Bay Area Design and Development webinar Thursday afternoon.

"We're going back to more space per person, separation, 6-feet minimum distances, offices may be coming back en vogue," he said. "All of those things have been a complete U-turn from the long plank bench that was going to be the norm in the new high-density office environment."

The change, which Murtagh said he thinks will stick, might boost the sector amid concerns remote work could cut into its performance. Companies abiding by new distancing requirements for employees will need to lease more space for the same number of workers, the theory goes. 

Boston Properties joins at least one other major San Francisco landlord already seeing additional demand tied to decreased office density. Shorenstein CEO Brandon Shorenstein told Bisnow the company has already received interest from tenants in adding more space to decrease density.

Likewise, despite its embrace of long-term remote work, Twitter said it has no plans to shrink its office footprint, which includes its global headquarters at 1355 Market St.

Murtagh was joined by Kilroy Realty Corp. Senior Vice President of Sustainability Sara Neff and PAE principal Christian Agulles.