The Positive Impact of Surrounding Community on Commercial Real Estate


Ryan Goggins, Vice President of Sunbeam Properties & Development, Developer of the Miramar Park of Commerce

While employees may appreciate the flexibility their companies continue to offer post-pandemic in terms of hybrid work schedules, a Pew Research Center survey from 2022 reveals that workers with jobs that can be done from home, who choose to go into their office, say that preference and productivity are the main reasons why they rarely or never work from home. Of these workers, six in ten note that a major reason they rarely or never work from home is their preference for working at the office and 61% feel they are more productive in the workplace.  This is great news for the commercial real estate industry, which has faced significant challenges due to the rise in remote work brought about during the pandemic.

Businesses want their employees back in the physical workspace, whether that’s part-time or full-time. All employers want to attract and retain top talent. They want them to be happy and engaged, and part of ensuring that is by creating an attractive work environment inside and outside of the office. Employers should consider the three C’s when determining how to attract employees back to the workplace and when evaluating a relocation:

Cost efficiency: As the “new” workplace evolves, companies should look into non-traditional office spaces such as single-story flex buildings for their office needs. Flex spaces have individual entrances and allow companies to infuse creativity, character and identity into a space that makes it uniquely theirs and at the same time engage employees. Office space in flex buildings is often less expensive and more cost-efficient compared to other traditional office spaces on the market and tends to be located in suburban areas within proximity to an expanded talent pool. Another benefit to non-traditional office space is parking. Unlike typical buildings in urban and downtown settings, where parking is limited and often costly, parking in suburban areas is plentiful and often free.

Consolidation: If employees are working a hybrid schedule, or not coming into the office at all, many companies have determined that their current space is underutilized. Consolidating multiple underutilized offices into a central location can help reduce occupancy costs. Why pay for underutilized space, particularly at high rental rates.

Community: Not everyone can build a Silicon Valley-like campus where every lifestyle need is met. However employers can locate their office in a community where the surrounding area accommodates the wants and needs of employees. That’s why Sunbeam Properties & Development has plans to develop The Park at Miramar, a mixed-use lifestyle community directly adjacent to the Miramar Park of Commerce with parks, 2,800 residential units and 300,000 square feet of commercial space, a hotel, entertainment venues, retail and restaurants, all within walking distance of the business park. Mixed-use projects like The Park at Miramar have become the commercial and entertainment heartbeat for a region, creating a vibrant community ecosystem. The advantages are wide-reaching. Locating the workplace in or adjacent to vibrant mixed-use developments increases the attractiveness of returning to the office and can also serve to attract new hires.

We are creating this surrounding environment that we refer to as the 15-minute lifestyle. Locating restaurants, retailers, personal services, healthcare facilities, pedestrian-friendly streets, parks, open spaces and more near the office saves employees time and effort. With all their needs being met near their offices, employees save precious time and energy by minimizing commutes, and enjoy a better work-life balance with access to retail and residential options all within walking distance. Business tenants also benefit because mixed-use developments foster an atmosphere that inspires new experiences, social interaction and a sense of belonging, and function as a magnet for attracting and retaining talented employees who seek a vibrant lifestyle. This all leads to happier, more productive, satisfied employees. Isn’t that what we are all striving for?


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