Is Retail-to-Office the Next Big Trend?

The commercial real estate industry is no stranger to redevelopment. It’s common for commercial assets to move through sector conversions where one type of property is repurposed to fit into a new CRE module.

For example, unused big-box retail spaces are often transformed into industrial assets to accommodate an updated industry need. It’s pretty easy to see why. Their sprawling floor plans make for wonderful warehouses.

But, there’s something relatively new going on.

Vacant retail spaces are being converted into offices in big cities around the country. We haven’t really seen this take within the commercial scene in the past, but more and more workspace developers are choosing to occupy storefronts along bustling commercial districts.

Let’s take a deeper look at this trend and how it’s impacting commercial real estate as a whole.

Retail-to-Office Creates Tons of Opportunities

It’s 2020 and tons of metropolitan areas around the United States are looking to revamp their commercial areas with something new, exciting, and profitable.

Shopping centers, community areas, and even parks and recreation centers are being spruced up to stay current with the evolving consumer demands for tech, accessibility, and high-quality aesthetic experiences.

As the reconfiguration of commercial districts is well underway, businesses are getting in on the action. Retail spaces in bustling cities such as San Francisco and Miami are becoming the new ‘it’ spaces for office sector tenants.

Creating the Lifestyle Office Experience

The lifestyle office trend is rewriting the script for CRE’s office arena.

Lifestyle offices are workplaces in a location that is surrounded by luxury amenities. Talk about improving the employee experience! Restaurants, cafes, gyms, entertainment, parks and natural spaces, and transportation are just some of the requirements necessary to call a workspace development a true lifestyle office.

This growing trend is giving offices a new dimension of appeal, where team members have unparalleled access to everything they may need. Since retail spaces are usually located next to other commercial amenities, using these vacant assets for offices is bringing this trend to life.

Convenience is Key

That old saying stands true – it’s all about location. It’s not only the house hunters and business patrons that care where something is located – professional team members do, too.

An office that’s in a winning location is highly attractive to the contemporary workforce. Today’s prospective employees aren’t only concerned about the pay rate. They care a great deal about the general experience – especially the generations that are coming of age in this changing era of business.

There’s simply no way around the fact that out-of-the-way locations aren’t as appealing to workers as a centralized office nestled into a commercial hub.

The Changing Cityscape

Modern cities are a seamless blend of dining, shopping, apartments, business, entertainment and much more. People can work, learn, live and play all in the same general area.

That means people need to travel less to complete their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. This supreme module for accessibility is attracting tons of attention for the workforce – making offices in these locations a highly-coveted option.

Make sure to keep your eye on the retail-to-office conversion within commercial real estate.