Washington, DC developers and owners are joining those in other commercial markets in finding ways to get people to return to the office in the current age of COVID.
One idea in particular which took root? Raised rooftop and rooftop spaces that provide outdoor workspaces with plenty of access to fresh air and other amenities.
“55% of our portfolio has roofs or significant outdoor spaces, such as terraces”, Evan behr, an executive general manager of JLL leasing agencies in Washington, DC, told Commercial Observer. “Ideally, the outdoor space is a relaxed extension of the building that entices people to go out, work or play there after work hours.”
One building that has done this exceptionally well, he noted, is 1333 New Hampshire NO, a 12-storey, 350,000 square foot office building that Meridian group possesses.
“Besides checking all the boxes mentioned, the rooftop experience is really special, due to the building’s elevation – 80 feet above sea level – and the size of the interior space.” , Behr said. “The flexibility of use as a formal conference space, living room or indoor and outdoor entertainment space really resonated with potential tenants and their employees. “
Another remarkable roof is Pembroke– detained and recently transformed 1201 New York Avenue, with amenities in the sky that are more like a posh hotel than a corporate office building.
Then there is 55 rue M southeast, a 267,695 square foot nine-story office building that Spear Street Capital owns and was delivered earlier this year. The building offers flexible rooftop space with movable high-end furniture and panoramic city views. It also has an abundance of greenery and a farm managed and operated by Up to Top Acres who grows vegetables for tenants and local restaurants.
Hoffman & Associates‘ 670, avenue du Maine is expected to open in mid-2022. The building will offer a view of the water from its rooftop, as it will be nestled along the southwest waterfront at The platform. JLL manages the rental for this address and the others.
“A well-equipped rooftop layout could support informal outdoor meetings, a sought-after alternative for obvious reasons during the pandemic,” Amy bowser, an executive general manager of agency leasing for JLL, told CO. “Different buildings have different characteristics, depending on the environment and the vibe that the owners intentionally organize for their tenants. We’ve seen it all, from private cabanas and podcast studios, to game rooms or large, state-of-the-art conference centers.
All of this is increasingly important as many companies try to get workers back after more than 18 months of working from home. The pandemic also shone a harsh light on the sanitation (or lack thereof) of office buildings where people spent much of their waking time.
“More and more, companies continue to value the importance of an improved work culture and environment for employees,” Behr said. “A lot of organizations in DC organize a lot of entertainment, whether it’s for staff or customers. Having easy access to the outdoor space creates a more relaxed and professional environment for collaboration and relationship building, which is great for growing.
Keith Loria can be contacted at [email protected]