NEW YORK CITY-Catch the State of the Union address earlier this month? Being that it tends to be a significant topic, we wanted to know what issues were most important to you. Respondents to last week’s poll indicated that they felt jobs were the big issue, with 48% agreeing that we need to keep and create more jobs.
But why the concern for jobs? Scott Homa, vice president of Mid-Atlantic research with Jones Lang LaSalle spoke towards the changing office climate and how it will affect the commercial real estate industry’s conventions of employment and the office market in DC in particular.
“We’ve actually been creating jobs within the office sector based in how workplace dynamics have changed,” he said, citing more workers telecommuting, the rise of flex office space, and greater office building vacancies as reasons behind this. As a result, job growth gauges are different. “Looking back, demand for office space was a clear derivative of employment growth and the line is getting a lot murkier right now based on this drive to efficiency [in the workplace].”
However, the fact that the election has passed bodes well for the commercial real estate industry, as Homa adds: “Nationwide we’re seeing some encouraging macroeconomic fundamentals – we do at least have a bit of political certainty with the election behind us, and a clearer political agenda – we have more direction than we had, we have some guidance on that.”
However, he cautions – and likely offers up a reason why so many respondents were concerned with getting and keeping jobs – “despite very favorable economic drivers we’re not seeing new demands for office space materialize – office configurations and workplaces are changing so rapidly.”
On the other hand, green issues was at the bottom end of respondent’s concerns with only 7% of participants agreeing that it would most impact the commercial real estate industry. On Globest.com this week, New York reporter Rayna Katz took a look at how industry professionals here could work to cut carbon emissions further. And the story was shared via Twitter by @UrbanLandInst (the Urban Land Institute), @CassidyTurleyMA (Cassidy Turley’s Boston office) and @urbangreenNY or the Urban Green Council.
Clearly, the environment is a topic close to many, but we want to hear from you. How do you think the commercial real estate industry will embrace (or reject!) calls for lower emissions, better building efficiency and continued focus on LEED-friendly building design? Tell us in the comments section below.