Urban Downtown Office vs Suburban Office
The suburban office park still holds a sizable lead in office space in San Antonio. Office space in the suburbs lands at 26.4 million square feet compared to 4.9 million square feet of office space downtown in the central business district.
As offices re-open in 2021 and companies look long-term for what to look for in an office, more questions emerge on what is best for the coming year post pandemic. The coronavirus is causing many companies across an array of industries to reconsider their office needs. Here is the case to be made for both options:
The Case for Downtown
Recruitment: San Antonio was like many cities in recent years experiencing an urban renaissance, trying to entice a younger workforce downtown. Development with new housing downtown gives the ability to work, live and play within a more vibrant art, music and culinary scene.
Outdoor Space: The winding Riverwalk gives the city a heads up on walkable options for employees to grab lunch or coffee. Additional steps can be taken along the revitalized San Pedro Creek on the western edge of downtown with wider sidewalks, vistas and art. Outdoor meetings have a variety of meeting places with new parks and historic venues. Visiting clients from out of town get to visit your office or can choose between many walkable lunch options.
Climate Change: The average urban dweller in the US has about 1/3 the carbon footprint of the suburban dweller. Mostly because in the suburbs you drive everywhere and with every detached building there is more exterior surface to leak energy.
The Case for the Suburbs
Better Rent Price: Asking rents average $26.30 per square foot in the suburbs compared to $33.32 per square foot downtown, according to CoStar. A growing trend with companies is offering a hub-and-spoke model where they have smaller offices closer to their workforce outside of the city.
Affordable Homes: When work from home became the norm, more space was needed in the home for an office. There has been a migration among people ages 25 to 34 from urban areas to suburban areas. Research shows that 48 percent of millennials reported living in the suburbs in 2020, compared with 44 percent in 2019.
Space and Parking: The old suburban office park, dominant in the 1980s, feature larger floor plans that make social distancing easier with work spaces. More parking spaces gives the suburbs an advantage over downtown properties, where parking ratios are considerably lower. With such scarcity, the demand has resulted in paying a premium to accommodate parking for both employers and their employees.
San Antonio Sublease Activity
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San Antonio Q4 2020 Development Pipeline
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