Many office properties look alike to the casual renter.
They may have similar lease rates, parking ratios, lease terms, and locations. To help you lease your property in a tight market, you may want to consider adding a few simple amenities to your property to catch the prospective Tenant's eye.
As the price of transportation continues to rise more and more office workers are finding different ways to get to work. Even in urban cores, many people are using a combination of public transportation and bicycles to get to work. In addition to getting to and from work, many employees like to use their lunch hour to take a run in the neighborhood around the office. This cultural shift in America's work force provides a unique opportunity for Landlords to respond with the appropriate amenities.
Building a locker room with showers can be an expensive proposition. Even when it is built as an addition to an existing bathroom it can be costly. And you can't build just one; you have to build two to accommodate both male and female employees. Even still, the return on investment can be great as you will be able to retain Tenants who have a lot of employees who appreciate the opportunity to shower at work.
Bike Lockers and Bike Racks
In concert with the locker room, bike lockers and bike racks are simple amenities that can add value to your building. Placing a bike rack outside one of the entrances to your building can be very cheap, less than a few thousand dollars even. But it will add considerable value, signaling to potential Tenants that you are willing to accommodate those who bike to work.
Bike lockers are a little more expensive than bike racks, but can be a significant amenity for the hard-core biker. A hard core cyclist probably has a bike that is too nice to simply lock up on an exposed rack. These employees need a locker system for their bike. These lockers are readily available, and can be easily and quickly installed. Although they are a significantly more expensive than racks, they provide great security. These lockers can be allocated like parking with each tenant getting a few reserved lockers for its employees.
The bike locker and bike rack amenity has the potential to generate savings as well. Have you ever walked into an office and seen people sticking their bicycles in their cubicles or offices? I don't care how careful they are, over time they are going to damage walls, doorways, and carpet in the office. The grease, dirt, and grime will eventually find its way off the bicycle and onto your property. A good bike locker can help address this problem and keep your tenant improvement expenses down.
Cafeterias and Vending Machines
One of the simplest things to do inside your building is to install a vending machine. It is surprising how much these things get used to combat the daily munchies. A big step up from the vending machine is a cafeteria function. This can be considerably more expensive, but can really help if you are trying to attract large corporate tenants. You can at least market to tenants that you have the space available for a cafeteria and make it part of the lease negotiation if you like.