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Old 02-23-2018, 06:34 AM
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You're saying there's a 10th floor in one of the "smaller" buildings? sheesh. I'm not used to that many floors.

I'm thinking of security issues. Maybe different levels in different buildings. Also mechanicals are probably less complicated and cheaper to maintain with fewer floors. (just guessing)

I do think it's more attractive when buildings match, forming an office complex but I was picturing smaller structures.

Certainly you have more roof square footage with 3.
Elevators would probably be on a whole different level (no pun intended) if you go past a certain number of floors.

Thought provoking question.
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:52 AM
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
I can't think of an upside to one giant building vs 3 smaller identical ones.
Well, not from the perspective of tenants and visitors. I've mostly been thinking in terms of building costs and maintenance.

Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
You're saying there's a 10th floor in one of the "smaller" buildings? sheesh. I'm not used to that many floors.
If it's not clear, I am talking about larger buildings for the most part. Pairs and triplets of office buildings.

Thought provoking question.
One that occurs to me every time I drive by one of these sets.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:43 AM
Location: North Idaho
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Did you actually check lot lines? Maybe each of those buildings is on a separate lot.

A smaller building would be much easier to sell than one huge building. The sales price of three smaller buildings, sold indivudually, is much more than three times the sales price of the building three times the size.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:53 AM
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there could also be FAA height restrictions, in addition to local zoning rules. Also, the engineering changes between 20 stories and up, so it could be a cost saving measure.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:35 AM
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It's a lot easier to build a building that's just like the last one you built. Of course you get more corner offices, but that's why many buildings have jagged edges.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:40 AM
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They're optimizing. Cost to build, cost to maintain, potential rental per unit, potential ability to rent out the space. Customization for tenants. All driven by the market they're in. And all those other comments people have made about engineering, parking, etc all go into the cost equation.

For example, it does no good building a large building where you have a huge cost & debt load up front that has more space than the market requires at that time. Build for the market and expand/build additional space as the market requires it.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:16 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Around Denver, I've noticed the same thing I've seen in many cities: two or three or more buildings in a group, architecturally identical (or at least matched), often built at the same time, often with less than 100 feet separating them. Very common model.

Why? What's the advantage to building duplicate buildings, at the same time, so close together? Why not just make them one building, with as many "cells" as needed to meet architectural or use standards?

I have one working theory- that buildings are built in series to stretch out financing and occupancy. However, I've watched more than one set go up and take leases more or less simultaneously.

So why a set of buildings, in the same location, instead of one large one? Wouldn't efficiency of scale, lack of redundancy in systems like elevators and HVAC and cross-access be more important than... making some kind of architectural statement?
Smaller buildings are cheaper to build per square foot. Very large buildings like high rise office or residential, are mandated by extreme dirt costs. Fire systems, exiting, elevators, and HVAC are all more expensive in large buildings. Far from redundant, elevator requirements mushroom in large buildings. Instead of one core elevator system you end up with elevators in all four corners of the building, and they have to be high speed elevators to get people 30 floors up before they pee in the corners. Dealing with the heat load in a large building is also a problem. You have to circulate refrigerated water to each building area to condition the air as it enters the space. If you have a tall building, dealing with high water pressure can be a nightmare if there is a serious leak. If you have ever worked in an old building, you know there are always leaks.

If the dirt is cheaper, you can spread out a bit. Also, multiple buildings in a complex can share green space and parking. Occupants are less stressed and happier. Human scale cities is a real thing in architecture.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:44 AM
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Reasons that 3 buildings will be built instead of one high rise building with same amount of total offices.

1: Cost. It is much more expensive to build one real tall building, rather than 3 smaller buildings.

2: Future marketability. Selling one huge building, is harder by far than selling 3 different separate buildings to 3 buyers. Due to few buyers, for the real tall building, it may sell for less dollars than the 3 sold separately.

3: The tall building takes a lot longer to build than building 3 smaller ones. You can start renting as one is completed, getting cash flow instead of all going out due to the much longer time to get some of the rentals ready to rent.

4: The small buildings are easier to finance, both when building involving construction money and when completed.

5: Smaller buildings easier to rent to users, as the rent can be less per sq. ft. than high rise buildings. In addition you can get an income stream coming in long before you can do the same with high rise buildings. Construction financing is expensive, and the faster you can start drawing an income the less the building cost to construct.

6: Those real high rise buildings, are only really built in major cities, where the available land to build is so limited, the only way to build is up. Denver has been mentioned. Downtown due to there not being much land to build, usually tearing down something to make room for a new building, high rise buildings are practical. Get out of the main city, and the need to build high rise buildings diminishes, and they immediately move to low rise buildings for the obvious reasons.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:56 PM
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Again, thanks for the further thinking on this. A few points are kind of tangential to the question, though - mostly about height. I am not asking about building three short buildings vs one tall one (all understandings about height restrictions, structural costs, convenience etc. noted). I am talking about one building of the same height as and on much the same footprint as two or three or even more smaller buildings.

The on-target answers still seem to center on "flexibility" - of tenant convenience, business community grouping, resale, management, maintenance, emergency management, etc.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:00 AM
Location: Future Expat of California
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Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
When Nokia was booming 10 years ago they took over a 4 building campus here in DFW. They have shrunk now down to 1 building and the other 3 have other tenants. Flexibility would be huge.
Companies do this to generate revenue of other leases also.
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