NEW YORK CITY—Even as more New York office buildings are built and renovated to environmentally sustainable—or green—standards, tenants and potential tenants don’t care all that much, according to a survey of New York City real estate executives, including owners, brokers, agents, engineers and accountants and lawyers specializing in the space.
Most property executives (83%) said tenants regard green certification as either “not too important” (33%), only “somewhat important” (45%) or “not at all important” (5%), according to the spring 2014 Gotham Commercial Real Estate Monitor survey by accounting firm Marks Paneth. Only 15% of executives said they believe tenants see a building’s environmental sustainability as “very important.”
“It is safe to say that business concerns trump environmental concerns in the minds and calculations of those responsible for renting office space in New York City,” says William H. Jennings, partner-in-charge of the real estate group at Marks Paneth.
Nonetheless, real estate professionals think green certification will grow in importance to tenants. Most executives—60%—said sustainability is a design element or amenity that office tenants will be looking for in the next three to five years. However, even more professionals (64%) said moveable walls and open office plans will be sought-after elements in the near future. Nearly half (48%) said office tenants will be looking for outdoor spaces, and 39% say they’ll want bike racks.
In terms of where sustainable design will be found, just over half of property executives (51%) said it will occur in both new construction and the retrofitting of old office buildings.
The Gotham Commercial Real Estate Monitor from Marks Paneth represents the findings of a survey of nearly 100 commercial real estate professionals in the New York City market. Professionals participating in the research include owners and managers of commercial property, commercial real estate brokers and agents and attorneys and accountants specializing in the sector.
The research employed self-administered questionnaires completed online by respondents. The list of professionals surveyed was compiled by Marks Paneth LLP, the research sponsor, and by Michaels Opinion Research. Interviews were completed during the period of March 3rd to May 7th, 2014.