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When and How Will Office Space Reopen?

The topic at the forefront in the commercial real estate world is when and how will offices reopen? That was one of the questions a group of panelists tackled in “What Office Tenants Need to Know for 2021 and Beyond” that examined the Greater Seattle/Bellevue metros.

The roundtable featured leadership perspectives from Seattle-area CRE firms including Hughes Marino, Savills, Broderick Group, SECO, CoStar, WeWork and ExtraSlice.

The cure for uncertainty is flexibility. It’s not that tenants don’t want to get back into the office because most do. It’s more about not knowing how much space is needed and for how long, explained Meghana Subramanian, ExtraSlice co-CEO. What’s more, most tenants know that office usage will change in the next six to 36 months, so the space needed today may not fit future needs.

“So, we’ve reinvented the way we structure our office agreements to accommodate change and options for an uncertain future,” said Binu Reghunathan, ExtraSlice co-CEO.

The panelists said buildings that deliver safe and inspiring work spaces are going to recover first. Flexibility in term, location and configuration will all be key components of the workplace moving forward. And the first movers will be able to secure the best space with the most favorable economic conditions, maintains Cody Morrison, PNW portfolio director for WeWork.

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About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.

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