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(Some Guy)   Office buildings on verge of midlife crisis, will soon start buying flashy cars, upgrading to younger office workers   (commercialobserver.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, Real estate, Building, Renting, Construction, American office towers, Storey, Office, floors of office space  
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1042 clicks; posted to Business » on 08 Aug 2022 at 8:42 AM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-08-08 7:51:03 AM  
This article again, and a paywall again.
 
2022-08-08 8:50:42 AM  

OdradekRex: This article again, and a paywall again.


From the snippet, I can at least point one thing out.

"Forty floors of office space with a barista on the ground floor is pretty stale," said Andrea Vanecko, corporate market lead for architecture and design firm NBBJ.

Nobody has a crystal ball how offices will be used, but a firm that will help you design and reconstruct your office will sell you a plan that may or may not work.
 
2022-08-08 8:52:52 AM  
Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.
 
2022-08-08 8:58:08 AM  
I work in the Facilities/Real Estate department of a large corporation with offices all over the country (and world). Hardly any people are still coming onto the office and we're paying tons of money on rent for empty buildings. Just let people work from home permanently.
 
2022-08-08 9:08:45 AM  
But if all the workers aren't crammed into a horrible open floor plan how can the middle managers exercise their authority? Lumberg's coffee cup needs to be carried around.
 
2022-08-08 9:13:02 AM  
the only reason we have an office (very small like 1100sq ft) is because my boss wants a place to do work away from his family as far as i can tell. we have no critical infrastructure there and we can do everything remotely by design (IT)
 
2022-08-08 9:25:07 AM  
The standard office is pretty much dead... the Wall Street money fleeing commercial REITs shoulda told ya.
 
2022-08-08 9:26:45 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.


That'll work for some few structures in a cost effective way. The barriers are that almost no one planned for the amount of plumbing and residential specific HVAC in the engineering. As troubling to me are large parking structures in places that cannot handle additional passenger car loads. I'd like to see some future proofing and changed use sustainability included in new construction. Perhaps start with creating new level of LEED certification to encourage design and financing for such experimentation (doesn't work for parking as LEED doesn't cover parking for obs, but could).
 
2022-08-08 9:33:27 AM  

mybluemake: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

That'll work for some few structures in a cost effective way. The barriers are that almost no one planned for the amount of plumbing and residential specific HVAC in the engineering. As troubling to me are large parking structures in places that cannot handle additional passenger car loads. I'd like to see some future proofing and changed use sustainability included in new construction. Perhaps start with creating new level of LEED certification to encourage design and financing for such experimentation (doesn't work for parking as LEED doesn't cover parking for obs, but could).


Yes, I agree.  OKC has this odd shaped building that was converted into condos about 10+ years ago.  I cannot imagine what those residences are like.  Maybe some existing office spaces need to meet the wrecking ball with efficient buildings to replace them.

The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!
 
2022-08-08 9:50:43 AM  

OdradekRex: This article again, and a paywall again.


Yes, worthy of a Fark greenlight because SO many of us have subscriptions to the Commercial Observer.
 
2022-08-08 9:55:03 AM  
I would like to propose a new Fark rule.

Anyone who submits a paywall link will have his nipples twisted no less than 1 dozen times.
 
2022-08-08 10:00:46 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Yes, I agree.  OKC has this odd shaped building that was converted into condos about 10+ years ago.  I cannot imagine what those residences are like.  Maybe some existing office spaces need to meet the wrecking ball with efficient buildings to replace them.

The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!


Yeah, open offices are just dumb.  When I go to my office it's because I don't want to be distracted, I just want to get my paperwork done and get back out on the floor.  For efforts where you have to collaborate with other people... that's what conference rooms are for.
 
2022-08-08 10:01:43 AM  

Fissile: I would like to propose a new Fark rule.

Anyone who submits a paywall link will have his nipples twisted no less than 1 dozen times.


That's my fetish.jpg
 
2022-08-08 10:34:37 AM  
Where I work we had 7 buildings, now since not as many people are working in the office we have 6. From what I hear in a year the only buildings we will be it will be the ones we own and that is 4. It is funny now how some days you used to have to hunt for a parking spot and now you can find a nice one with no issues.
 
2022-08-08 11:06:10 AM  

Walker: I work in the Facilities/Real Estate department of a large corporation with offices all over the country (and world). Hardly any people are still coming onto the office and we're paying tons of money on rent for empty buildings. Just let people work from home permanently.


RIGHT? But instead, we're still stuck catering to a relatively small-but-vocal minority of building owners who are stamping their feet and demanding that the entire world go back to the previous model where they get to sit back and passively watch the money flow in.
 
2022-08-08 11:15:00 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!


I know of two commercial real estate firms near me that opted for the "happy fun time campus" feel in the last 5 years: giant cappuccino machine, popcorn wagon, flat screens on every wall, etc.

One of them folded completely within a year and the other one is a ghost town of empty cubicles and a dusty ping pong table.
 
2022-08-08 11:20:50 AM  

kindms: the only reason we have an office (very small like 1100sq ft) is because my boss wants a place to do work away from his family as far as i can tell. we have no critical infrastructure there and we can do everything remotely by design (IT)


Several executives at my previous office hated their families and used the office as a sort of man cave.
 
2022-08-08 11:21:13 AM  

Barricaded Gunman: One of them folded completely within a year and the other one is a ghost town of empty cubicles and a dusty ping pong table.


All I can say is that if they get a ping pong table in your office, you do not want to have a desk nearby. It's the constant battle of "it's lunchtime, I want to play ping pong" vs "some arsehole made a meeting during lunch and your ping pong is distracting, go away"
 
2022-08-08 11:34:12 AM  

electricjebus: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Yes, I agree.  OKC has this odd shaped building that was converted into condos about 10+ years ago.  I cannot imagine what those residences are like.  Maybe some existing office spaces need to meet the wrecking ball with efficient buildings to replace them.

The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!

Yeah, open offices are just dumb.  When I go to my office it's because I don't want to be distracted, I just want to get my paperwork done and get back out on the floor.  For efforts where you have to collaborate with other people... that's what conference rooms are for.


Ya, Purely open offices are very dumb and are the default because people don't really think of where it came from - Tech companies that wanted the ability for a Boss to have the ability to sit in a Panopticon style position and spot every minion that was not giving them 130% productivity.
 
2022-08-08 11:36:16 AM  

Barricaded Gunman: Chief Superintendent Lookout: The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!

I know of two commercial real estate firms near me that opted for the "happy fun time campus" feel in the last 5 years: giant cappuccino machine, popcorn wagon, flat screens on every wall, etc.

One of them folded completely within a year and the other one is a ghost town of empty cubicles and a dusty ping pong table.


Our company forced everyone back into the office with the promise of 'Food Trucks every day!' and a 60/40 schedule. The food trucks became an immediate debacle, where good trucks weren't willing to waste their lunch rush on our campus so we ended up with progressively worse trucks because not enough employees were coming in.

When the facilities team and VP in charge of managing the food trucks  started investigating why they were getting complaints from the Food Trucks, it turned out that only 5% of employees were coming in at the 60% mark. So, in order to placate the Food Trucks, the food truck VP had HR send out a company wide memo stating that the 60/40 policy would be enforced. Which meant, the entire corporate office was summoned back to work to appease the friggin' food trucks, the now incredibly bad food trucks.

No one ate at the bad food trucks, the bad food trucks finally left permanently, and now we're all stuck coming into the office three days a week. The food truck VP received a promotion.
 
2022-08-08 11:53:40 AM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: kindms: the only reason we have an office (very small like 1100sq ft) is because my boss wants a place to do work away from his family as far as i can tell. we have no critical infrastructure there and we can do everything remotely by design (IT)

Several executives at my previous office hated their families and used the office as a sort of man cave.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-08 12:04:20 PM  

standardeviation: the food truck VP had HR send out a company wide memo stating that the 60/40 policy would be enforced. Which meant, the entire corporate office was summoned back to work to appease the friggin' food trucks, the now incredibly bad food trucks.


How does that even work in a larger office? I could objectively claim I was in meetings all day around the office/campus and wasn't at my desk.

If it's badge data, just scan in and leave after lunch to work from home. I doubt they go to the trouble of counting hours, it's probably binary, were they in the office, how many days...

// Thag doesn't change the fact that you wasted a trip there and back for the VP of Food Trucks
 
2022-08-08 12:05:46 PM  

huma474: Ya, Purely open offices are very dumb and are the default because people don't really think of where it came from - Tech companies that wanted the ability for a Boss to have the ability to sit in a Panopticon style position and spot every minion that was not giving them 130% productivity.


But that's stupid for multiple reasons, you can sit at a computer and look busy without actually doing anything.  I rate my workers based on the quality and quantity of the work they get done, not how busy they look.  I know that doesn't matter because I worked my way into a management role.

In that sort of setting it's mostly a status thing.  Managers get offices, workers get cubicles, or just desks... granted we do have to talk to people in private from time to time.

An actual office gives me the peace and quiet I need to focus on my tasks and formulate plans.  It would take me 3 times as long to get as much work done in an open office.  Hell, it slows me down when my assistant is in there... we always talk about food.  For workers whose jobs are mostly at a computer an office makes even more sense.
 
2022-08-08 12:08:40 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: mybluemake: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

That'll work for some few structures in a cost effective way. The barriers are that almost no one planned for the amount of plumbing and residential specific HVAC in the engineering. As troubling to me are large parking structures in places that cannot handle additional passenger car loads. I'd like to see some future proofing and changed use sustainability included in new construction. Perhaps start with creating new level of LEED certification to encourage design and financing for such experimentation (doesn't work for parking as LEED doesn't cover parking for obs, but could).

Yes, I agree.  OKC has this odd shaped building that was converted into condos about 10+ years ago.  I cannot imagine what those residences are like.  Maybe some existing office spaces need to meet the wrecking ball with efficient buildings to replace them.

The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!


This seems to be a pretty cool converter office building in Cleveland. Our company did a lot of work in the Ohio region converting their massive inventory of unused offices into rental apartments.

https://www.residencesat1717.com/?utm_source=GMB&utm_medium=organic

resource.rentcafe.comView Full Size


1400+ sqft for $2000/month doesn't sound unreasonable considering that would be about $10,000 a month in NYC and would be 40% smaller in floor area.
 
2022-08-08 12:17:18 PM  

Flushing It All Away: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mybluemake: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

That'll work for some few structures in a cost effective way. The barriers are that almost no one planned for the amount of plumbing and residential specific HVAC in the engineering. As troubling to me are large parking structures in places that cannot handle additional passenger car loads. I'd like to see some future proofing and changed use sustainability included in new construction. Perhaps start with creating new level of LEED certification to encourage design and financing for such experimentation (doesn't work for parking as LEED doesn't cover parking for obs, but could).

Yes, I agree.  OKC has this odd shaped building that was converted into condos about 10+ years ago.  I cannot imagine what those residences are like.  Maybe some existing office spaces need to meet the wrecking ball with efficient buildings to replace them.

The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!

This seems to be a pretty cool converter office building in Cleveland. Our company did a lot of work in the Ohio region converting their massive inventory of unused offices into rental apartments.

https://www.residencesat1717.com/?utm_source=GMB&utm_medium=organic

[resource.rentcafe.com image 576x413]

1400+ sqft for $2000/month doesn't sound unreasonable considering that would be about $10,000 a month in NYC and would be 40% smaller in floor area.


Did you just compare Cleveland Ohio real estate to NYC real estate?  I can buy 40 acres for $10,000 in rural Utah...
 
2022-08-08 12:20:13 PM  

standardeviation: Barricaded Gunman: Chief Superintendent Lookout: The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!

I know of two commercial real estate firms near me that opted for the "happy fun time campus" feel in the last 5 years: giant cappuccino machine, popcorn wagon, flat screens on every wall, etc.

One of them folded completely within a year and the other one is a ghost town of empty cubicles and a dusty ping pong table.

Our company forced everyone back into the office with the promise of 'Food Trucks every day!' and a 60/40 schedule. The food trucks became an immediate debacle, where good trucks weren't willing to waste their lunch rush on our campus so we ended up with progressively worse trucks because not enough employees were coming in.

When the facilities team and VP in charge of managing the food trucks  started investigating why they were getting complaints from the Food Trucks, it turned out that only 5% of employees were coming in at the 60% mark. So, in order to placate the Food Trucks, the food truck VP had HR send out a company wide memo stating that the 60/40 policy would be enforced. Which meant, the entire corporate office was summoned back to work to appease the friggin' food trucks, the now incredibly bad food trucks.

No one ate at the bad food trucks, the bad food trucks finally left permanently, and now we're all stuck coming into the office three days a week. The food truck VP received a promotion.


Do you work with me?

We are also on a 60/40 schedule if we want.  Our office had about 1,000 employees pre-pandemic in our building and we had to rent parking across the street because we didn't have enough parking spots.  They were looking into building a parking ramp in our lot to get more spaces but since the pandemic that was nixed and there's plenty of parking now that so many people work remote.

We usually have a food truck or two that comes each week.  I've never used them since I bring my own lunch but I'd be curious to know how many people actually use the food trucks since there's maybe 300 people in the office on a given day.  They keep coming so I guess it's worth it for them.  We used to have a staffed cafeteria but that went away and now it's being replaced with vending machines and pre-packaged food (no thank you).

/end LSB
 
2022-08-08 12:28:31 PM  
Now those properties face existential threats.

Existential Threat has become the buzzphrase of 2022.
 
2022-08-08 12:33:39 PM  
Sexy new buildings looking for in-office workers for early morning meetings and long nights.
Fark user imageView Full Size

Fark user imageView Full Size

Fark user imageView Full Size

Fark user imageView Full Size

If interested, look us up on indeed. And ignore the fact that this is the reality (one flooded bathroom, one barely working, leaking roof, carpet smells funny, looks like this):
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-08 12:57:12 PM  

tdyak: Sexy new buildings looking for in-office workers for early morning meetings and long nights.
[Fark user image image 425x591]
[Fark user image image 425x276]
[Fark user image image 425x326]
[Fark user image image 425x257]
If interested, look us up on indeed. And ignore the fact that this is the reality (one flooded bathroom, one barely working, leaking roof, carpet smells funny, looks like this):
[Fark user image image 325x217]


Don't forget how those sky scrapers sway on a windy day.  At my former employer, there was one area (we were on the top floor of a 16 story building) of that top floor where the swaying of the building was very pronounced.  Some people would get motion sickness or dizzy.
 
2022-08-08 1:07:53 PM  

mybluemake: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

That'll work for some few structures in a cost effective way. The barriers are that almost no one planned for the amount of plumbing and residential specific HVAC in the engineering. As troubling to me are large parking structures in places that cannot handle additional passenger car loads. I'd like to see some future proofing and changed use sustainability included in new construction. Perhaps start with creating new level of LEED certification to encourage design and financing for such experimentation (doesn't work for parking as LEED doesn't cover parking for obs, but could).


Eh, not quite.

Yes the conversion cost is a factor, but the bigger hold up is the layout. Modern office buildings are quite deep -- meaning, the space between the exterior wall and the elevator bank. There's no way to break up the floor into sub-1,500 square feet units unless you make the floor plans of the units ridiculously long and narrow. So then the only option is a few units per floor which are so large they have to sell at the high-end of the market. Older, prewar office buildings don't have this problem because their depth is fairly shallow due to the facade being load bearing -- and they are frequently converted into apartments and condos.
 
2022-08-08 1:14:54 PM  
Perhaps offices should be replaced by once-a-month conferences, where everyone gets together in a conference type atmosphere at a convention center or convention hotel to network and catch each other up.   That gives you the advantages of in-person networking, socializing and idea making without the constant drag of day to day office banalities.    Like going to a normal industry conference.

You go, get new ideas, get rejuvenated and then go back home.   Compared to permanent real estate, paying for the hotel, convention space and catering once a month would still save a lot of money I'm thinking.   If most employees still generally live in one area, the conference could be there, with those people just going home each night.   Only the out-of-towners would need hotel rooms.
 
2022-08-08 1:19:21 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: But if all the workers aren't crammed into a horrible open floor plan how can the middle managers exercise their authority? Lumberg's coffee cup needs to be carried around.


As someone who does work in commercial real estate, the real reason companies like open floor plans isn't about the Eye of Sauron, but that it holds more desks per square foot than a layout with offices. In other words, it's more cost effective.

And hot desking was becoming popular before the pandemic because it allowed you to squeeze even more desks into a space.
 
2022-08-08 1:41:42 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.


The next challenge is creating an aesthetic that will make people want to live in converted office space. Like how the industrial trend (exposed brick, high ceilings, concrete floors) sprang up from converted downtown warehouses.

I don't know how you make an office space appealing to live in, like my God is anything more soul crushing than beige cubicle walls. How do you make it cool?

And don't say vaporwave
 
2022-08-08 2:01:13 PM  

Fissile: I would like to propose a new Fark rule.

Anyone who submits a paywall link will have his nipples twisted no less than 1 dozen times.


Don't threaten me with a good time...
 
2022-08-08 2:06:43 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.


The issue here is that if people don't have to work in a specific location, they don't need to live in expensive cities like New York.

In fact, they can be located in places like Wyoming.  Or Mumbai.
 
2022-08-08 2:06:48 PM  

electricjebus: Flushing It All Away: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mybluemake: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

That'll work for some few structures in a cost effective way. The barriers are that almost no one planned for the amount of plumbing and residential specific HVAC in the engineering. As troubling to me are large parking structures in places that cannot handle additional passenger car loads. I'd like to see some future proofing and changed use sustainability included in new construction. Perhaps start with creating new level of LEED certification to encourage design and financing for such experimentation (doesn't work for parking as LEED doesn't cover parking for obs, but could).

Yes, I agree.  OKC has this odd shaped building that was converted into condos about 10+ years ago.  I cannot imagine what those residences are like.  Maybe some existing office spaces need to meet the wrecking ball with efficient buildings to replace them.

The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!

This seems to be a pretty cool converter office building in Cleveland. Our company did a lot of work in the Ohio region converting their massive inventory of unused offices into rental apartments.

https://www.residencesat1717.com/?utm_source=GMB&utm_medium=organic

[resource.rentcafe.com image 576x413]

1400+ sqft for $2000/month doesn't sound unreasonable considering that would be about $10,000 a month in NYC and would be 40% smaller in floor area.

Did you just compare Cleveland Ohio real estate to NYC real estate?  I can buy 40 acres for $10,000 in rural Utah...


No, I'm responding to the post quoted saying that they don't know how office buildings could be laid out for residential use.

It's really not hard to retrofit commercial office towers into residential spaces at all. It's all the same nuts and bolts, just assembled in different ways. See: using water source heat pump air handlers for in-unit HVAC systems utilizing existing office tower chillers and boilers.
 
2022-08-08 2:15:08 PM  

Flushing It All Away: No, I'm responding to the post quoted saying that they don't know how office buildings could be laid out for residential use.

It's really not hard to retrofit commercial office towers into residential spaces at all. It's all the same nuts and bolts, just assembled in different ways. See: using water source heat pump air handlers for in-unit HVAC systems utilizing existing office tower chillers and boilers.


I think it's harder than you think it is.  And, in this context, hard = expensive.  That is, it is cheaper to just build from scratch in some instances.
 
2022-08-08 2:26:13 PM  

Geotpf: Flushing It All Away: No, I'm responding to the post quoted saying that they don't know how office buildings could be laid out for residential use.

It's really not hard to retrofit commercial office towers into residential spaces at all. It's all the same nuts and bolts, just assembled in different ways. See: using water source heat pump air handlers for in-unit HVAC systems utilizing existing office tower chillers and boilers.

I think it's harder than you think it is.  And, in this context, hard = expensive.  That is, it is cheaper to just build from scratch in some instances.


That project I'm referencing cost $177/sf.

Have any data on what 367,000 square feet costs to build new these days?

https://www.clevelanddevelopmentadvisors.com/Projects/Residences-at-1717.aspx

Please. Just stop. If it wasn't economically viable, Ohio wouldn't be investing hundreds of millions of dollars right now taking unused Class C office space and converting them into residential developments.

A quick Google will show your over two dozen such redevelopment projects in the last ten years in urban Cleveland ... a city known only in so far as how much it sucks.

https://clevelandmagazine.com/in-the-cle/how-developers-are-turning-office-space-into-cleveland's-next-batch-of-housing
 
2022-08-08 2:49:19 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.


I completely agree. But others claim that the cost to retrofit is too expensive. I can't imagine it would be more expensive than to demolish the high-rise office space, build the same external structure as previously, then make the internal compliant to whatever needs for plumbing and electrical that meets residential regulations. That just doesn't make sense.

Every floor has toilets. Some floors have, in addition to toilets and wash basins, shower stalls. If they can do that, then it's possible to have the same. And frankly, there is no requirement that every residential unit has to have its own toilet, wash basin, and shower/tub configurations. On an average day, I would use the toilet for about 12 minutes: about 5-8 minutes to poop and several 1-minute pissing periods. For the rest of the 23 hours and 48 minutes, the toilet goes unused. Similarly, it takes me between 10 to 20 minutes to shower (depending on whether I'm shaving or not). The remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes on average, the shower is wasted space. Have communal toilets, like most restroom facilities in an office. Have a shower section, much like most gym locker rooms. If you want more privacy, add in individual shower stalls with doors or curtains.

Similarly, the kitchen can be communal as well. I have a kitchen, but in my little studio, anything greasy that I cook results in oil particulates that permeate the whole unit, coating the walls and ceiling with minute oil droplets. It's not worth the effort to fry anything if I have to de-grease the walls and cabinets. However, if it's a communal kitchen, then a) you can get a professional vent that sucks everything up and through, ii) lots of room to cook whatever crazy dish you want, 3) there are some things you don't have to bother cleaning at all, and IV) plenty of cooking implements that I don't have to purchase for myself. Literally, the only thing I need to regularly buy would be the food.

And lastly, having a residential unit at Salesforce Tower, say, would be so cool. The view would be amazing, and the commute would be taking the elevator down and a short walk.
 
2022-08-08 2:52:44 PM  

Geotpf: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

The issue here is that if people don't have to work in a specific location, they don't need to live in expensive cities like New York.

In fact, they can be located in places like Wyoming.  Or Mumbai.


Mumbai is expensive. People live in NYC or SF not because they work there or even near there. They live in those cities because those cities are vibrant. Those cities are intellectually, socially, spiritually, and physically, uh, what's that word... "woke".
 
2022-08-08 3:23:18 PM  

dericwater: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

I completely agree. But others claim that the cost to retrofit is too expensive. I can't imagine it would be more expensive than to demolish the high-rise office space, build the same external structure as previously, then make the internal compliant to whatever needs for plumbing and electrical that meets residential regulations. That just doesn't make sense.

Every floor has toilets. Some floors have, in addition to toilets and wash basins, shower stalls. If they can do that, then it's possible to have the same. And frankly, there is no requirement that every residential unit has to have its own toilet, wash basin, and shower/tub configurations. On an average day, I would use the toilet for about 12 minutes: about 5-8 minutes to poop and several 1-minute pissing periods. For the rest of the 23 hours and 48 minutes, the toilet goes unused. Similarly, it takes me between 10 to 20 minutes to shower (depending on whether I'm shaving or not). The remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes on average, the shower is wasted space. Have communal toilets, like most restroom facilities in an office. Have a shower section, much like most gym locker rooms. If you want more privacy, add in individual shower stalls with doors or curtains.

Similarly, the kitchen can be communal as well. I have a kitchen, but in my little studio, anything greasy that I cook results in oil particulates that permeate the whole unit, coating the walls and ceiling with minute oil droplets. It's not worth the effort to fry anything if I have to de-grease the walls and cabinets. However, if it's a communal kitchen, then a) you can get a professional vent that sucks everything up and through, ii) lots of room to cook whatever crazy dish you want, 3) there are some things you don't have to bother cleaning at all, and IV) plenty of cooking implements tha ...


See my post. The main issue is the depth of modern office building floors.
 
2022-08-08 3:35:56 PM  

thornhill: See my post. The main issue is the depth of modern office building floors.


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "depth of modern office building floors", but I'm sure if you ask some (actually creative) architects to work on this problem, they'll find a design solution that would be appealing and conforms to common sense ease of living.

Get rid of preconceived notions of what is needed in a living space. Do you need a separate dining area to a kitchen area? Do you even need a kitchen area (per unit)? See my post previously. Make most of the stuff that isn't used frequently and storing/holding highly personal stuff be communal. That means kitchen and bath should be communal. And I'm sure everyone is in favor of that, since nobody likes cleaning the bathroom or kitchen on a daily or weekly basis. The same janitors who come in to clean the office space can do the same cleaning for the bathrooms and kitchens. Communal refrigeration with personal (lockable) boxes for personal food items. Things like coffee or cereal could be communal. Your wagyu ribeye is in your locked refrigerated box.

Get rid of notions that we must have a separate "living room" to a bedroom. Or, what exactly is a bedroom? Is it a man cave, or just a place with a bed? All I know is that there are homeless people sleeping in a sleeping bag under several layers of hastily patched up cardboards. I'm sure a mattress, pillows, and fresh sheets would be more than enough to satisfy the simple needs.
 
2022-08-08 3:52:47 PM  

Flushing It All Away: Geotpf: Flushing It All Away: No, I'm responding to the post quoted saying that they don't know how office buildings could be laid out for residential use.

It's really not hard to retrofit commercial office towers into residential spaces at all. It's all the same nuts and bolts, just assembled in different ways. See: using water source heat pump air handlers for in-unit HVAC systems utilizing existing office tower chillers and boilers.

I think it's harder than you think it is.  And, in this context, hard = expensive.  That is, it is cheaper to just build from scratch in some instances.

That project I'm referencing cost $177/sf.

Have any data on what 367,000 square feet costs to build new these days?

https://www.clevelanddevelopmentadvisors.com/Projects/Residences-at-1717.aspx

Please. Just stop. If it wasn't economically viable, Ohio wouldn't be investing hundreds of millions of dollars right now taking unused Class C office space and converting them into residential developments.

A quick Google will show your over two dozen such redevelopment projects in the last ten years in urban Cleveland ... a city known only in so far as how much it sucks.

https://clevelandmagazine.com/in-the-cle/how-developers-are-turning-office-space-into-cleveland's-next-batch-of-housing


https://cre.moodysanalytics.com/insights/cre-trends/office-to-apartment-conversions/

We focused on the New York City Metro (NYC) as a case study of a metro with offices at-risk of long-term disruption from remote working, where demand (and prices and rents) for multifamily properties may be likely to exceed that of some offices. Only about 3% (or 35 of the nearly 1,100 NYC office buildings we track) would meet what we consider characteristics of potentially viable apartment conversions, and the vast majority of those are class B or C offices.
 
2022-08-08 3:53:34 PM  

thornhill: dericwater: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Start converting office space into usable residences and give up trying to force people back.  The next Covid wave will be a doozy.

I completely agree. But others claim that the cost to retrofit is too expensive. I can't imagine it would be more expensive than to demolish the high-rise office space, build the same external structure as previously, then make the internal compliant to whatever needs for plumbing and electrical that meets residential regulations. That just doesn't make sense.

Every floor has toilets. Some floors have, in addition to toilets and wash basins, shower stalls. If they can do that, then it's possible to have the same. And frankly, there is no requirement that every residential unit has to have its own toilet, wash basin, and shower/tub configurations. On an average day, I would use the toilet for about 12 minutes: about 5-8 minutes to poop and several 1-minute pissing periods. For the rest of the 23 hours and 48 minutes, the toilet goes unused. Similarly, it takes me between 10 to 20 minutes to shower (depending on whether I'm shaving or not). The remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes on average, the shower is wasted space. Have communal toilets, like most restroom facilities in an office. Have a shower section, much like most gym locker rooms. If you want more privacy, add in individual shower stalls with doors or curtains.

Similarly, the kitchen can be communal as well. I have a kitchen, but in my little studio, anything greasy that I cook results in oil particulates that permeate the whole unit, coating the walls and ceiling with minute oil droplets. It's not worth the effort to fry anything if I have to de-grease the walls and cabinets. However, if it's a communal kitchen, then a) you can get a professional vent that sucks everything up and through, ii) lots of room to cook whatever crazy dish you want, 3) there are some things you don't have to bother cleaning at all, and IV) plenty of cooking implements tha ...

See my post. The main issue is the depth of modern office building floors.


From someone in construction, the hell are you on about? Q decks are fine to do whatever you want with. Older steel buildings are fine too.

We've done reconfigurations on office buildings as old as the late 1920s to as new as the late 2000s. There really isn't anything that prevents a commercial to residential conversion except money and I've never seen a conversion cost more than the equivalent new building does on a per square foot basis.

The biggest issue is non-operable windows (more of a nice to have than a need to have from an apartment standpoint), and non exterior exhausting cooking units (again, a relative rarity in residential buildings anyways).

Everything else is just interior construction. Core and shell is core and shell. Once the building is there, TI/FO is pretty straight forward. There really isn't anything different about residential space versus commercial spaces. In fact, from a life safety perspective, it's actually in your favor as commercial buildings are built with a higher occupancy per square foot than residential is.
 
2022-08-08 3:55:41 PM  

Geotpf: Flushing It All Away: Geotpf: Flushing It All Away: No, I'm responding to the post quoted saying that they don't know how office buildings could be laid out for residential use.

It's really not hard to retrofit commercial office towers into residential spaces at all. It's all the same nuts and bolts, just assembled in different ways. See: using water source heat pump air handlers for in-unit HVAC systems utilizing existing office tower chillers and boilers.

I think it's harder than you think it is.  And, in this context, hard = expensive.  That is, it is cheaper to just build from scratch in some instances.

That project I'm referencing cost $177/sf.

Have any data on what 367,000 square feet costs to build new these days?

https://www.clevelanddevelopmentadvisors.com/Projects/Residences-at-1717.aspx

Please. Just stop. If it wasn't economically viable, Ohio wouldn't be investing hundreds of millions of dollars right now taking unused Class C office space and converting them into residential developments.

A quick Google will show your over two dozen such redevelopment projects in the last ten years in urban Cleveland ... a city known only in so far as how much it sucks.

https://clevelandmagazine.com/in-the-cle/how-developers-are-turning-office-space-into-cleveland's-next-batch-of-housing

https://cre.moodysanalytics.com/insights/cre-trends/office-to-apartment-conversions/

We focused on the New York City Metro (NYC) as a case study of a metro with offices at-risk of long-term disruption from remote working, where demand (and prices and rents) for multifamily properties may be likely to exceed that of some offices. Only about 3% (or 35 of the nearly 1,100 NYC office buildings we track) would meet what we consider characteristics of potentially viable apartment conversions, and the vast majority of those are class B or C offices.


That's because NYC has a health office space market that demands higher rents per square foot than the equivalent residential space. In essence, the ROI metrics are different.

It's better to convert Class C office space to Class B or Class A than it is to change it to residential use. There are very few completely vacant buildings in NYC whereas in the industrial Midwest, vacant offices buildings are commonplace.
 
2022-08-08 3:57:47 PM  

dericwater: thornhill: See my post. The main issue is the depth of modern office building floors.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "depth of modern office building floors", but I'm sure if you ask some (actually creative) architects to work on this problem, they'll find a design solution that would be appealing and conforms to common sense ease of living.

Get rid of preconceived notions of what is needed in a living space. Do you need a separate dining area to a kitchen area? Do you even need a kitchen area (per unit)? See my post previously. Make most of the stuff that isn't used frequently and storing/holding highly personal stuff be communal. That means kitchen and bath should be communal. And I'm sure everyone is in favor of that, since nobody likes cleaning the bathroom or kitchen on a daily or weekly basis. The same janitors who come in to clean the office space can do the same cleaning for the bathrooms and kitchens. Communal refrigeration with personal (lockable) boxes for personal food items. Things like coffee or cereal could be communal. Your wagyu ribeye is in your locked refrigerated box.

Get rid of notions that we must have a separate "living room" to a bedroom. Or, what exactly is a bedroom? Is it a man cave, or just a place with a bed? All I know is that there are homeless people sleeping in a sleeping bag under several layers of hastily patched up cardboards. I'm sure a mattress, pillows, and fresh sheets would be more than enough to satisfy the simple needs.


Depth means it's difficult to get windows in all the necessary places without a ton of extra square footage in the middle.
 
2022-08-08 4:00:52 PM  

12349876: dericwater: thornhill: See my post. The main issue is the depth of modern office building floors.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "depth of modern office building floors", but I'm sure if you ask some (actually creative) architects to work on this problem, they'll find a design solution that would be appealing and conforms to common sense ease of living.

Get rid of preconceived notions of what is needed in a living space. Do you need a separate dining area to a kitchen area? Do you even need a kitchen area (per unit)? See my post previously. Make most of the stuff that isn't used frequently and storing/holding highly personal stuff be communal. That means kitchen and bath should be communal. And I'm sure everyone is in favor of that, since nobody likes cleaning the bathroom or kitchen on a daily or weekly basis. The same janitors who come in to clean the office space can do the same cleaning for the bathrooms and kitchens. Communal refrigeration with personal (lockable) boxes for personal food items. Things like coffee or cereal could be communal. Your wagyu ribeye is in your locked refrigerated box.

Get rid of notions that we must have a separate "living room" to a bedroom. Or, what exactly is a bedroom? Is it a man cave, or just a place with a bed? All I know is that there are homeless people sleeping in a sleeping bag under several layers of hastily patched up cardboards. I'm sure a mattress, pillows, and fresh sheets would be more than enough to satisfy the simple needs.

Depth means it's difficult to get windows in all the necessary places without a ton of extra square footage in the middle.


That's why most units have transoms only interior bedrooms to allow natural light throughout the unit.

resource.rentcafe.comView Full Size


Four windows for 700sf.
 
2022-08-08 4:25:00 PM  

12349876: dericwater: thornhill: See my post. The main issue is the depth of modern office building floors.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "depth of modern office building floors", but I'm sure if you ask some (actually creative) architects to work on this problem, they'll find a design solution that would be appealing and conforms to common sense ease of living.

Get rid of preconceived notions of what is needed in a living space. Do you need a separate dining area to a kitchen area? Do you even need a kitchen area (per unit)? See my post previously. Make most of the stuff that isn't used frequently and storing/holding highly personal stuff be communal. That means kitchen and bath should be communal. And I'm sure everyone is in favor of that, since nobody likes cleaning the bathroom or kitchen on a daily or weekly basis. The same janitors who come in to clean the office space can do the same cleaning for the bathrooms and kitchens. Communal refrigeration with personal (lockable) boxes for personal food items. Things like coffee or cereal could be communal. Your wagyu ribeye is in your locked refrigerated box.

Get rid of notions that we must have a separate "living room" to a bedroom. Or, what exactly is a bedroom? Is it a man cave, or just a place with a bed? All I know is that there are homeless people sleeping in a sleeping bag under several layers of hastily patched up cardboards. I'm sure a mattress, pillows, and fresh sheets would be more than enough to satisfy the simple needs.

Depth means it's difficult to get windows in all the necessary places without a ton of extra square footage in the middle.


Do what ocean-going cruise ships do. Some units are interior only with no windows. Or, create artificial windows with flat screen that mimics what's outside (by literally having a camera that points outside). That window then doubles as a large screen TV for entertainment purposes. Even cooler.
 
2022-08-08 4:54:41 PM  

TheFoz: standardeviation: Barricaded Gunman: Chief Superintendent Lookout: The company I left this year went full on stupid by moving from a decrepit tower into smaller four story tower (only occupying one half of a floor).  The stupid part is they went open office.  The project manager of the effort was livid people were not interested in the allure of a ping pong table, foosball, or video game machine.  Oh, and there's a coffee cart as well!

I know of two commercial real estate firms near me that opted for the "happy fun time campus" feel in the last 5 years: giant cappuccino machine, popcorn wagon, flat screens on every wall, etc.

One of them folded completely within a year and the other one is a ghost town of empty cubicles and a dusty ping pong table.

Our company forced everyone back into the office with the promise of 'Food Trucks every day!' and a 60/40 schedule. The food trucks became an immediate debacle, where good trucks weren't willing to waste their lunch rush on our campus so we ended up with progressively worse trucks because not enough employees were coming in.

When the facilities team and VP in charge of managing the food trucks  started investigating why they were getting complaints from the Food Trucks, it turned out that only 5% of employees were coming in at the 60% mark. So, in order to placate the Food Trucks, the food truck VP had HR send out a company wide memo stating that the 60/40 policy would be enforced. Which meant, the entire corporate office was summoned back to work to appease the friggin' food trucks, the now incredibly bad food trucks.

No one ate at the bad food trucks, the bad food trucks finally left permanently, and now we're all stuck coming into the office three days a week. The food truck VP received a promotion.

Do you work with me?

We are also on a 60/40 schedule if we want.  Our office had about 1,000 employees pre-pandemic in our building and we had to rent parking across the street because we didn't have enough parking s ...


How would the food truck thing work with 500 employees trying to get lunch between 12 and 1? Sounds like a nightmare. You finally get your food, after waiting 20 minutes in line, and then you have 10 minutes to eat it before your 1/2 hr for lunch is up.
 
2022-08-08 5:17:36 PM  

Fissile: I would like to propose a new Fark rule.

Anyone who submits a paywall link will have his nipples twisted no less than 1 dozen times.


That's kinda my thang
 
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