Luxury Rental Buildings Take ‘Working From Home’ to the Next Level07.23.22
Developers are adding professional office spaces to the list of amenities in their mostly new buildings in cities around the country.
When Christopher Dossman and his wife, Yao Li, were looking for an apartment in New York last year, they compiled the usual list of preferences: washer/dryer, proximity to a grocery store, subway access. But a top priority for them was a work-from-home space.
In April, the couple moved into the Willoughby, a 34-story tower in Downtown Brooklyn, paying $4,300 a month for a one-bedroom. The building is unfinished, but they chose it because it provided a crucial amenity: a co-working space on the 22nd floor that includes semiprivate banquettes and a conference room with a view of Fort Greene Park.
“Every day I am up there,” said Mr. Dossman, an entrepreneur who has founded several tech start-ups. “There are some days I don’t leave the building at all.”
As corporate America adapts to employee requests for flex schedules, Mr. Dossman is part of a growing number of workers who want to work remotely, but not necessarily from their living room couches or kitchen tables.
The pandemic forced an exodus of workers from offices in 2020. Even as workplaces reopen, 59 percent of employees are still working remotely, according to a survey released earlier this year by the Pew Research Center. Among those remote workers, 78 percent say they want to continue to do so after the pandemic, up from 64 percent two years earlier.
Developers across the nation are doing what they can to make remote work more convenient to lure prospective tenants, setting off an amenities war as luxury rental buildings and condos dangle must-have conveniences like private offices, conference rooms, task lighting, wall-mounted monitors, podcasting booths and high-speed internet.
“It’s something you have to do today; it’s an amenity, like a pool,” said Ric Campo, the chief executive and chairman of Camden Property Trust, which included a work space called the Hub in the common area at Camden Harbor View, a residential development in Long Beach, Calif.
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