Put yourself in the shoes of an owner leasing office space in a market driven by the oil and gas business that at the end of 2016 had 231 million square feet of office space, negative absorption and a 17.5% vacancy. Lots of opportunity there for sure.
What can you do to attract new clients? You can get innovative and really creative. You create a new type of space that will attract new types of tenants to your building.
That is precisely what the folks at Brookfield Properties are doing at 1600 Smith in downtown Houston. 1600 Smith is a 51 floor, 1 million square-foot office building located in the Houston Central Business District. Brookfield is using a concept named “DesignHive” that they successfully used to create some excitement and buzz for two of their buildings in LA in 2015.
This is the way “DesignHive Houston” works. Brookfield, according to Paul Frazier, EVP and Head of the Houston Region, approached four Houston design firms, Gensler, Rottet Studio, Inventure Design and Ziegler Cooper, to design individual “spec” suites ranging in size from 2,800-4,200 square feet that would reflect the designer’s thoughts about the “Workplace of the Future.” The firms, according to Frazier, have never designed space in the building but are known for their innovative design and for their research into the “Workplace of the Future”.
The firms were given a “set construction budget” and each told to create suites that would reflect the “Workplace of the future” for both traditional tenants and TAMIs (Technology, Advertising, Media and Information). Game on.
The current plan is to complete the build-out in May and to show them off with a big unveiling celebration. They will then offer the suites to companies who might want to lease them and to work in a “Workspace of the Future” today.
Watch the Design Hive video below: