Having had time to reflect and look over my notes, it was great to learn more about what key people in our industry are hearing and doing, and to discuss this with colleagues and friends in the breakout sessions.
The key takeaway for me was that a huge amount of consideration is being given, and very creative people being involved, to ensure workspace is delivered in a manner befitting the needs of todays consumers, whilst also being mindful of their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the world around us – which is very exciting.
Here’s my summary notes:
🌳 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns are increasingly at the top of the agenda for Investors, Developers, Landlords and, importantly, Tenants.
🏗️ Buildings like 40 Broadway presented by James Burchell and William White, the latter with a fantastic technical explanation, are showing how new developments can function commercially whilst championing ESG credentials.
🚓 Conversely there are many buildings which already stand, and there is some exciting stuff being done by the likes of the Mel Reeves (The Crown Estate) and Sanmi Adegoke (Rehoboth Property International to repurpose and modernise legacy buildings. Such as Sanmi’s conversion of a Dartford Police Station to Co-working and Co-living space.
🔍 Occupiers are more discerning post pandemic and are not just looking at a spreadsheet, as outlined by Axa’s James Goldsmith, but looking to other occupational factors to determine viability – such light and amenity. This ties in exactly with the trends we are seeing from Situu Tenants & Landlords.
😍 This increasingly leading to a “Tenant First” approach, outlined by both Isabel Thomas (Shaftesbury) and Toby Coultaurd (GPE), where Tenants needs are driving strategy, investment and the creation of a more “Service Oriented” Landlord-Tenant relationship.
🏢 This move is creating much more focus on the Flexible Office Market and there is a clear ambition from institutional Investors and Landlords to explore this type of offering, as it pertains to the needs of today’s occupiers whilst also driving cash flow margin.
💰 There is still much catching up to be done here by Valuers, involved when parties are buying/selling/raising finance on assets. Many Valuers still see the Flex Model, with it’s shorter terms and fit out capital outlay as riskier than even the Hotel Model, with it’s nightly contracts and seasonal swings, which is increasingly an oversimplified and dated perception.
The insights, from the great number of excellent speakers and guests, firmly support our ambitions as a business at Situu and we are excited to be involved in this rapidly changing and expanding marketplace.”