Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
I find it kind of strange the writee calls a 10 story building in the middle of an asphalt parking lot a campus.
I don't think the writer made that term up. I used to work at the AT&T complex in Hoffman Estates back when it was still Ameritech, during the years 1995 through 1999, and we always referred to it as "the campus". The parking areas were huge, but there was also a lot of greenery on the premises plus a duck pond. It was a pretty nice setting, really, but the downside was that it was remotely located, without any public transportation nearby, and if you didn't want to eat at the company cafeteria (which was, admittedly, a really first-rate one and run by a catering company) you had to get in your car and drive several miles, and most of what were available were chain restaurants, with some exceptions. I used to endure very long commutes from the city because I didn't want to live in Schaumburg or other nearby suburbs. At the end of 1999, there were a slew of retirements in my department which freed up some desk space in our downtown office, and my boss said I could work downtown if I wanted, so I did. What a change! Now I could take a bus to the Loop, go out for lunch easily, and even walk home on nice days if I wanted to.
Some firms have large capital expenses that they can use to offset modest operating expenses, other firms have fully deprecated the costs of specialized real estate assets, still others can set up the REITs, LLCs or even partnership agreements to essentially create a whole new asset and then call rents operating expenses.
No doubt the TIMING of articles like these is driven by a STRATEGIC plan to try and extract everything they can from the dips that sit in Springpatches doling out "economic incentive" dollars to drive the stste further into debt ...
Originally Posted by sunnyandcloudydays
I saw the article in Crains too
One question I had was
1. obviously if a company is HQ in a big bldg down town lets say they rent
the bldg is taxed and the rents are passed onto the landlord
2. if a company has to pay property tax on a huge swatch of land like att or motorola - you would think they could save a ton of money by renting vs. forking over the huge tax bill
pretty interesting article and how the times are changing
Finally it occurs to me that any discussion of "youth oriented workplaces" would be incomplete without at least touching on the fact that plently of employers LIKE THE FACT their boring hard-to-head-to-the-bars office campuses are just about designed to be repellant to tatto'ed / pierced hipsters. You can't have a company that makes money charging for TV shows where all the employees are thieves downloading content as binary files from usenet. You can't expect to run a respectable "too big to fail" banking organization where a large percentage of the workers are flagrantly violately SEC regs and day trading on the smart phones while pretending to do due diligence for clients. You can't be developing cutting edge drug therapies where a significant percentage of your employees are sel-medicated on the latest rave quasi-legal drug culture phenom whether that is licking a frog or smoking some not yet illegal herbal conncoction...
I'm not sure what you're getting at. So many problems, on multiple levels, with what you've written there.
First off, I work in a fairly young office. Many of the the employees are in their 20s or early 30s. That's fairly "youth oriented" in any company that needs degreed employees. I'm in my 30s. I don't have tattoos, I don't do drugs, I don't day trade. A few of my coworkers make trades through the day they aren't violating any laws when they do so, and they aren't taking any more time from the work day than the (mostly older) guys who take smoke breaks.
It doesn't matter where your office is, someone with enough interest in pharmacology and self-discipline to get the degrees and experience necessary to make a (legal) career of it is either not going to be using illegal drugs, will be skilled enough in their use that you'd never know it, or they'll know what the legal equivalents are and will be able to get someone to prescribe a legal drug to them so that, technically, they aren't "self-medicating" (although I don't personally draw a distinction). Putting it out in the boonies doesn't really change who is qualified to work there, it only creates limiting factors on who *can* work there without large lifestyle sacrifices.
When you talk about employees downloading (illegally) media content, I think you're completely out of touch if you think that's a hipster issue. I know nearly no people qualified in technology who believe that the current systems for controlling the sale and distribution of media and software benefits anyone other than lawyers. Perhaps if the big media companies made it more desirable for younger people to work there and actually contribute, they wouldn't have taken so long to provide content in ways people wanted to access it. Only a small part of the reason music and video are downloaded illegally is attributable to saving money. The much larger part is convenience and/or availability. There are DVDs that I simply can't find for purchase, anywhere. Not even the owner of the content can tell me where I could buy it. But often I can find them illegally downloadable. Those types of movies aren't downloaded because some ill-behaved youngster is out to stick it to the Man - they're downloaded because the Man is clueless, doesn't trust the younger generation, and refuses to use new technologies in order to provide the content and services to customers who, more often than you might believe, feel it's perfectly okay to pay a fair price for fair value. If the all the bakers in your city only sold one kind of bread, and only sold it a 3pm on Tuesdays, in packs of 12 loaves (that varied inexplicably in size) for $120, and they were protected by law in doing so, how long do you think it would be before people started stealing bread? Not very long, and no one would feel guilty for doing so. The only reason MORE people don't "steal music" is that it's not as essential as a major food group, and *finally* the music industry has branched out in how it offers music, and how it prices music. Perhaps if they'd listened to the "younger crowd" sooner, they'd never have gotten themselves into the position of making their customers out to be criminals in the first place.
What you get when you have an isolated lab is focused, thoughtful, cutting-edge *theories*. What you get when you have a lab or workgroup that is not isolated are experientially proven *solutions* or *products*.
It's a big difference. The first is great for science, but corporations can only be interested in science so long as they are able to come up with marketable solutions and products.
I am going to risk trying to steer this back towards real estate.
Understand that the only reason this piece ran was becuase of the talk about Sears hitting up the state for incentives. In that context the true odds of Sears leaving are slim but the state is between a rock and a hard place -- if they tell Sears to pund sand and Sears goes to some other state that is even more desperate to attract new jobs that Illinois is to retain those jobs Sears is likely to get a sweeter deal. This is not unlike the "bluff" that Reinsdorf played about moving the Sox to Florida -- the offer they got from Florida was SO sweet that Thompson scrambled to create the Illinois Sports Facility Authority to build 'em a stadium.
The lazy commercial brokers quoted in the piece want to make it sound like there is no way in 4377 that any tenants will ever want the space that ATT is vacating so that the ATT guys are so softened up that hem the broker comes back with some ridiculous low ball offer the ATT guys will accept it and the broker will pocket his HUGE commission quick OR if drags out for YEARS the broker will be able to soak ATT for "advertising and marketing charges" for a few years while he plays golf (included enormous bar bills from the 19th hole...) with every facilities guy in North America ...
The mindset of most corporate real estate people is very much about having a work pace that is convenient for guys like themselves -- they like driving about 15-20 minutes to the office, would never think about living in an urban area or taking public transit. Even the HR people like the idea of having the workforce kind of isolated, a big cafeteria that gets people in the office for breakfast means a nice long day, if they don't go out to lunch that keeps people productive for at least 20 minutes or so longer than driving / walking, the lack of nearby bars and such massively reduces the potential for inappropriate behavior after work that could blow up in HR..
The generalizations about the more aged executives being the folks that drive decisions about locations of office are very true, and the sad reality is that even well meaning venture capitalists and universities that try too hard to create "incuberators" to allegedly help foster hip creative startups have a miserable track record whether they are in suburban office parks or the funkiest hippest part of nearly any city. My gut is that even that "structure" is simply not cool enough to suit the real ground breakers / game changers. The best of the best need to both feel fully independent AND ace real pressure that if they don't GET EVERYTHING EXACTLY RIGHT they'll fail miserably. Guys like Jeff Bezos, Larry & Sergy, Stev Jobs, Zuckerberg are kind of creepy scheming control freaks at some point, but that trait is incompatible with "following somebody else's rules" even if these rules are just about who gets to park where in the "incuberators" official lot...
I suspect even the efforts at "Silcon Alley" in NYC are similarly ineffective becuase at a certain point if you try to hard to attract "rule breakers" from afar and they start each day lined up like cattle in the subway turnstiles it chaffes on 'em all day long...
Interestingly, nearly all of world's most valuable and most innovative cos. sit in various suburban campuses sprawled out nr PaloAlto
Highest-paid/most wealthy engineers (many of whom are centimillionaires/billionaires) choose to reside in leafy suburbs nr PaloAlto; commute via own AMG to office at hrs of own choosing; and work via mobile computing 24/7 anyway
And campuses have plenty of "free" spacious pkg garages and presumably good, "free" grub for worker bees, so no one wastes time driving to a Chipotle or whatever to re-create same junky, high-cal daytime food, whether in Loop or OakBrook or AbtPk
And for the less affluent, commie workers, usu non-engineers who work in ad sales/mkg, Apple/Goog/fb, etc have own privately-rented vans to truck in the poor yuppies (those who can't afford to commute the 35 mins via own AMG) 35+mis from SF slums to SV campuses....stuff wealthy employers will do for entitled, whiney worker bees if economics make any sense and share price is going up...but when share prices don't work the little commies are on their own in unemployment line and riding mass transit/bikes/skateboards to their "cool", diverse loft or SBUX or whatever in urban settings...or back in Mommy's rent-free basement in suburbia somewhere...
Interestingly, nearly all of world's most valuable and most innovative cos. sit in various suburban campuses sprawled out nr PaloAlto
Nearly all? I admire Silicon Valley, but to say "nearly all of the world's" is past hyperbole into lunacy territory.
Silicon Valley also has a sustained jobs density that is higher than most dedicated suburban office parks, and has very little in common with most of the sprawling campuses in the Chicago suburbs. Chicago suburbs vs. the Loop is apples and oranges, and Chicago suburbs vs. Silicon Valley is apples and pomegranates.
The seed of Silicon Valley was a mix of Stanford and government researchers. The researches came up with the great theories and the University, which from a diverse thought process standpoint is really very similar to an urban area, came up with the applications. Once there were a few big successes, people who had ideas (marketable ideas), took them Silicon Valley to gain access to the existing talent, which ends up feeding on itself. That's completely different from most suburban areas, and why Silicon Valley is the exception and not the rule. If it were the rule for suburban-style office parks to generate such wealth and success, nobody would talk about Silicon Valley because it wouldn't be exceptional. And I'd argue that Silicon Valley itself is only really unusually good at two things: 1) Execution, and 2) Figuring out new business models. Most of the "products" that come out of Silicon Valley didn't start there, they simply moved there to be executed. Many of the most interesting companies that get attributed to Silicon Valley either moved there from somewhere else (Facebook, Linkedin), or were actually invented in, visualized in or still are in San Francisco (Twitter, Airbnb) or were direct spin-offs from Stanford (Yahoo, Google). Many other big players aren't there. Amazon, for example, was the brainchild of a New Yorker and is headquartered in central Seattle.
So my point is that, yes, Silicon Valley is awesome, but it's also exceptional and because that exceptionalism has nothing to do with its built environment it really can't be used as an example of what - or what not - to do in the office parks vs. downtowns discussion.
One of the main reasons some companies are looking to leave suburban campuses is that they're restructuring. In the 70's and 80's loads of companies decided to create their own departments to handle things like legal services and graphics. They needed a massive amount of space, and the corporate campus was all the rage. Now many companies are deciding that they can save money by outsourcing a lot of what they currently do in house, so they need smaller offices and close proximity to the companies that will be providing services.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.