Commercial Real Estate News Brief: May 2017

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Every month, JLL’s regional team curates the top commercial real estate industry articles to keep you in-the-know. In this month’s edition, JLL spotlights retail store experiences, startup work styles and how to tap into today’s talent pool.

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Brick-and-Mortar Retail Stores Create Customer-Centric Experiences

With today’s retail landscape more competitive than ever, traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores, malls and shopping outlets are finding new ways to attract shoppers. In order to pull shoppers away from online shopping, malls in particular are focusing more on the shopping experience, rather than sales or discounts.

To expand their offerings, developers have begun adding restaurants, activity centers, movie theaters, pop-up shops and more to deliver on an all-in-one experience.

Some malls and shopping centers are turning to events to attract shoppers. Food truck festivals, concerts, and carnivals are becoming more common. These events can generate as much as $60,000 in revenue per year for malls. Physical retail stores and malls hope these events give shoppers an experience that online shopping can’t match.

Big Businesses Turn to a Start-Up Work Style

In an effort to maintain their competitive edge, larger businesses are taking advantage of a start-up style of working. These larger companies are recognizing the value that lies within start-up companies, particularly in the tech industry. To cash in on the perks, some businesses are launching their own accelerator programs, which consist of several small, startup companies.

Benefits of accelerator programs include funding and exposure to helpful resources, like investors and buyers, and potential partners. These programs typically allow these small startups to all work together within a shared space, which also nurtures helpful business connections.

Developing an accelerator program also reinforces the idea of a collaborative, shared workspace. This has forced landlords to reimagine the floorplate of many offices, and opt for designing spaces that allow a balance of collaboration and focus.

Companies Move Back to Cities to Access Young Talent Pool

As urban markets like Columbus and Cincinnati continue on the post-recession upswing, more young professionals are moving into each city’s surrounding fringe markets and even downtown. And, as the talent pool moves, companies are following.

A number of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Columbus, Cincinnati and Detroit, which give younger professionals a promising sense of job security. The young talent pool has embraced the live-work-play downtown lifestyle thanks to competitively low housing costs and downtown amenities.

Employers of these companies also get to cash in on a number of benefits, too, including lower rental costs and lower salaries. Downtown rents, however, are still costly no matter the market. To accommodate budget and the new workforce, many companies are still right-sizing their spaces to rid themselves of unneeded excess space.

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