CREJ - page 1

by Michelle Z. Askeland
Spec suites – spaces that are built
out by a building owner for the pur-
pose of marketing a vacant suite or
floor – are growing in popularity and
in size, with new projects devoting
entire floors and buildings to spec
“The concept of the spec suite is
powerful,” said Bill Baldwin, a tenant
rep broker with Cresa. “Some ten-
ants might need space right away
and this presents an immediate
solution, while for others, the big-
ger issue is one of visualization. It is
very hard for the layperson to walk
through a space that was designed
for someone else five, 10 or 15 years
ago and visualize what could be for
their current needs.”
Spec space is more popular than
ever, according to a broker panel
at the CREJ Property Management
Conference that included Jamie Gard
with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank,
Doug Wulf with Cushman and
Wakefield, and Alec Wynne with Avi-
son Young. For A- and B buildings,
ready-to-go spec space does not fail,
they said.
By preparing the space as ready to
go, you instantly go to the top of the
list for prospective tenants who fall
behind on their planning, Baldwin
Through a successful built-out
spec suite, a property manager can
take a previously unleasable space
and reimagine it in a way that can
capitalize on the positives, said
Michelle Liebling, Gensler’s senior
associate and design director.
There are risks associated with
speculative space, however, because
the building owner is assuming the
space will meet a prospective ten-
ant’s needs without too much extra
cost devoted to additional tenant
improvements, said Chris Nichols,
business director of Tenant Planning
“Building a spec space may not
always be a smart investment
for property managers,” he said.
“Depending on the quality of the
building and types of tenants inter-
ested in those buildings, as well as
the current build-out of any vacan-
cies, it may not make financial
sense to spend improvement dol-
lars upfront before consummating a
lease with a tenant.”
April 2016
Photo courtesy Gensler
In order to capture the vision of prospective tenants and highlight the vacant floor’s best attributes, the marketing suite in theWells Fargo Center building removed walls, exposed the ceiling
and added environmental graphics and branding.
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