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WASHINGTON, DC-The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have released the results of a commissioned survey concluding that although building security has increased in our post-Sept. 11 society, there is no trend toward radical change being made in that area. More than 200 building managers, owners and developers–all BOMA and/or ULI members—participated in the evaluation.

“Without a doubt, the terrorist attacks placed new emphasis on workplace security,” ULI president Richard M. Rosan says. “But, what we are seeing is a tendency by owners and managers not to overreact, but to act sensibly in providing a safe working environment in our urban areas. The response is appropriate to the level of risk involved.”

For respondents, the greater emphasis on security after last year’s terrorist attacks is on emergency preparedness procedures, such as fire evacuation plans, as opposed to specific terrorism prevention and response methods. Of those surveyed nearly 57% noted fire safety as a primary security concern.

The survey also concludes that the degree of safety concerns is not great enough to dissuade property acquisitions or developments in urban areas. Fewer than 35% of the respondents conceded that safety issues would be a significant factor in buying or developing an office building.

Behavior among lenders for development projects does not seem to be strongly impacted by security fears either. “The information we’ve been getting is there’s heightened awareness of building security, but we haven’t been seeing major changes in underwriting criteria,” Mortgage Bankers Association of America vice president Deborah O. McKinnon tells GlobeSt.com. “We had anticipated that that would be the lending community’s response, but we haven’t seen that.”

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