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Old 02-21-2018, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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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?
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasty wontons View Post
Your question is immensely vague. What type of buildings? Office, residential, mixed-use? How tall of buildings? Lowrise, steel and glass skyscrapers, 6-story midrise? What is the parking like at these buildings? Is it a parking structure, subterranean, podium? What is the investment structure like? Is the same equity investor in all of them or are they different pools of capital. Same for the financing/debt. Are they on 1 parcel of land or multiple parcels of land? Are all of the buildings going up at the exact same time or is it phased? Was all of the horizontal improvements done at once or was that phased? I could go on...

All of these are things that impact how a project will be designed, financed, and constructed.
Mostly office buildings, it seems, in the 8-20 story range. And I'm not ignorant of the technicalities of commercial RE; I just can't quite figure out the base question. Why build 2-4 or more separate, otherwise identical buildings in the same space that would be more efficiently used for one?
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
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?

I see this where I live as well. Could it have to do with surface parking lots and their proximity to the building? I seem to see this when parking is surface and not an integrated parking deck. 3 smaller buildings allows for closer parking where 1 large one would have people hoofing it through a vast lot.


Also smaller lots are subject to lower storm water fees. One big lot would exceed the cost of 3 smaller ones.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:34 PM
 
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So they can rent out out the other space if they vacate
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
I see this where I live as well. Could it have to do with surface parking lots and their proximity to the building? I seem to see this when parking is surface and not an integrated parking deck. 3 smaller buildings allows for closer parking where 1 large one would have people hoofing it through a vast lot.
This doesn't really make much sense, at least not relative to my question. Assuming three buildings have about the capacity of one large one, the parking areas would have to be equivalent. Unless the rules are sufficiently rabbinical to permit trivial separator walls making it "three small parking lots" instead of one big one. Doesn't really seem to be enough reason to duplicate or triplicate the building issues.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:59 AM
 
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Three separate buildings of identical square footage to one large building would have more surface area, so maybe has something to do with outside exposure? As in can have more of the desirable window space?
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:41 AM
 
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I looked around a bit because I was interested.

Apparently, the systems within a building like hvac and elevators begin to skyrocket past 20 floors. Gaining from economies of scale from additional floors seems to reverse after 20 stories. Whereas adding a second or third 20 story building is achieving economies of scale without the cost spike of having to go higher than 20 floors. You get the economies of scale maximized of going up 20 floors and then achieve the maximum again by going out instead of up at that point. Parking issues was listed as a major problem. Additionally, there’s speculation that a more grand taller project brings out the classic “deep pockets” syndrome in local government. You become a target for additional costs in taxes.

The second major thing is project risk. It’s easier to complete smaller tasks on time and within budget. So for example, 3 skyscrapers each 20 stories has far less risk than a single 60 story building because you can finish one tower and begin renting/leasing it out in the market faster. This is expecially important if there are competing projects that may get to market faster (which is probably common in fast growing places like Denver). If you have one large 60 story structure, delays and risk to the project magnify and the potential to rent out space while construction is still ongoing is significantly less. Lower financing costs, faster payback on investment, etc.

Also, I would speculate that since it’s usually understood that large construction booms in sky scrapers appear well into large booms in the overall economy. It seems to me that it would be especially important to fill space at the inflated boom prices before the bust hits. Or you run into issues like the Empire State Building did.

Last edited by Thatsright19; 02-22-2018 at 05:12 AM..
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:50 AM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
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I would think reduction of risk (and Insurance costs) if there was a catastrophe such as a fire or explosion.
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:07 AM
 
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I would think it's mostly market demand for window offices. You get far more glass in five buildings than you do in one large building the same height.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
I would think reduction of risk (and Insurance costs) if there was a catastrophe such as a fire or explosion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I would think it's mostly market demand for window offices. You get far more glass in five buildings than you do in one large building the same height.
Both very good points. The latter is probably the most important historical one (although a large connected building can have almost as much window area); the former might have come into some importance in this strange era.
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