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  • Why Your Company Needs In-Office Meditation

    Why Your Company Needs In-Office Meditation

    It seems like an oxymoron. How can a meditation practice exist in the busiest of workplaces? Taking time out of your crazy schedule to sit and do...nothing?  This time last year, our company decided to start doing in-office meditation sessions with Exubrancy. For many of us, it was the first time we were exposed to any kind of meditation. We began with 30-minute sessions, every other week, but it got so popular that we upped the frequency to every week. In the hustle and bustle of daily life in New York City, we found that our weekly meditation break encourages productivity and energy throughout the rest of our week. It soon became very clear that we needed this weekly check-in with ourselves, our breath, and our mind. Science has shown the benefits of incorporating a meditation practice into your life, and meditating in your office might just be the perfect place to start.   We sat down with Keri Setaro, our meditation specialist, to pick her brain about the benefits of meditation in a corporate setting.  

  • Recent Leases: April 14, 2017

    Recent Leases: April 14, 2017

    The Latest Commercial Real Estate Transactions   The following businesses recently signed leases for commerical space.   Cooking Vinyl at 1140 Broadway    The UK record label that is home to indie heroes like Richard Ashcroft, Billy Bragg, Amanda Palmer, Royksopp and The Cranberries comes to New York. They have taken a 1,247 SQ FT space at 1140 Broadway in Nomad.   Active Citizen Project at 336 W 37th Street   The sustainable foods non-profit has taken a 1,700 SQ FT space in the Arts Building at 336 W 37th Street) for 5 years at $40 per SQ FT.

  • 9 Questions to Ask When Looking for Office Space

    9 Questions to Ask When Looking for Office Space

    Whether you're hitting the market for the first time or you've moved your business before, staying focused on the immediate steps at hand will save you time, money and stress. That starts with honing in on the right questions early on in the office leasing process.   1. How much office space do I need? The answer to this question is far from obvious, even if you've picked up and moved offices multiple times. If you're a small company and expect to grow, you need to do some projections on head count. You should also brush up on how to allocate square footage per employee. This can differ greatly by industry. Even within the norms of the open office, some industries require different working surface and desk allocation. People who need to use drafting tables for their work, like engineers for example, might need a different arrangement than row-upon-row of cramped tables.  Using a space calculator is a good start.   2. Will the office commute be better or worse for employees? It is 100% a good idea to solicit feedback from your team, no matter how small, on a suitable location for your new office. That doesn't mean you have to take everyone's suggestion. But they should feel you care enough about their quality of life that you took their commute into consideration. For those searching for office space in New York, traditionally a neighborhood like Midtown was a safe bet in terms of accessibility. But newer building stock, better cultural alignment, and solid values in other neighborhoods have companies curious about other locations.  In either case, a tool like a Commute Calculator can go a long way in helping you come up with a shortlist of optimal locations. Assuming, of course, you know where your employees live.   

  • The Complete Guide to Hygge for the Office

    The Complete Guide to Hygge for the Office

    Like KonMari before it, a new word has entered the lexicon that perfectly describes the balm busy working professionals need right now. Hygge (pronounced "hue-gah"). In fact, the art of tidying up and hygge bare more than a passing resemblance to each other. Though they come from different cultures, they seem to be aiming for a similar state of being, one grounded in a Buddhist-inspired state of mindfulness. The lasting appeal of KonMari appears to be the effect tiddiness has on the psyche i.e. unburdening oneself from physical objects as a means to a psychological unburdening. Or maybe the folding technique is just really efficient.

  • Work Space Spotlight: BeFunky

    Work Space Spotlight: BeFunky

    It's no surprise that one of the world's hippest photo editors would have a hip office to match. Taking up 3,000 square feet in an office in Northeast Portland, Oregon, BeFunky's space brings warmth and natural elements into an industrial space.   

  • Corporate Art Walk: DOC's Midtown Meltdown at 1001 6th Avenue

    Corporate Art Walk: DOC's Midtown Meltdown at 1001 6th Avenue

    Perhaps it's time to give corporate lobby art its due. Perfectly straddling the line between low and high brow art (maybe "no brow?"), the prints, sculptures and paintings adorning lobbies across New York City is the subject of fascination, ridicule and affection all at once. But maybe it's time to take a closer. After all, the viewing audience for many of these pieces can number in the tens of thousands every week. These are spaces as highly trafficked, if not more so, than some of New York's most prized cultural institutions. Our first look is at Desire Obtain Cherish's Midsize Meltdown at 1001 6th Avenue in Manhattan.

  • 4 Fast Ways to Find NYC Office Space

    4 Fast Ways to Find NYC Office Space

      In residential real estate, a number of sites like Zillow, Trulia and Street Easy have gained traction as the go-to places for people to rent, buy and sell properties. Finding office space has been a little less straightforward. It's not always clear where to find the most relevant listings online, how to get in touch with the right person who can supply information and tour the space with you, and how to make an offer. If you're in the market for office space, here are a few places you might have considered looking. Some come more recommended than others.  

  • Office Space Design Trends Ruling 2017

    Office Space Design Trends Ruling 2017

      Perhaps an unheralded benefit of the open office's populartiy is conceptual. Call it the blank canvas effect. As companies have discovered more "open" ways of working, they've also embraced a newfound thoughtfulness in the design of their workspace. In 2017, interior design is introducing a set of new sensibilities to the office that reflect the modern workforce's desires.   Office Space That Feels Residential The value of a comfortable office might seem obvious, but as defined as a more home-like environment... well this is something relatively new.  "I think the next trend in office design is creating spaces that feel residential," says Brooklyn-based Homepolish designer Tina Rich. "We spend so much time at the office—especially New Yorkers—that our office spaces need to be comfortable and congenial." Deeper sofas, chandeliers, drapes.  Private offices that feel more like studies. Subtle touches with potentially large gains in making the office a place people actually enjoy inhabiting.  

  • Find and Design Office Space with "Tailored"

    Find and Design Office Space with "Tailored"

    Imagine looking for a new apartment and all it entails. Then multiply that pain and stress x 10. Now you are in the vicinity of pain traditionally associated with finding a new office.  Until quite recently, most technological advances in commercial real estate have targeted just about everyone but tenants. Solutions for investors, brokers and engineers are getting more sophisticated. Meanwhile, the average tenant has trouble finding decent pictures of available office space online. To make matters worse, tenant solutions remain fragmented. The resources a tenant uses to find and secure office space, design it, renovate it and move into it, are splintered across multiple vendors and individuals. On top of the considerable time and money required to get a new office, tenants have to play project manager and on a monumental task. All while running their business as usual. At SquareFoot, we want to empower tenants with solutions that reduce the friction along the office leasing path, makes the entire experience more efficient and, dare we say, more enjoyable. Our new partnership with Workframe is a meaningful step in that direction.    A Turnkey Office Space Solution We'd like to introduce Tailored, by Workframe x SquareFoot, a turnkey solution for tenants' office space needs. In joining Workframe's core competencies in office space design and outfitting with our brokerage expertise, we have created a one-stop-shop for finding and designing your office. Our aim is to bring some cohesion to the leasing process and build a smoother transition between the day you start looking for space and the day you move in.

  • The Founder Questionnaire: Poppin CEO Randy Nicolau

    The Founder Questionnaire: Poppin CEO Randy Nicolau

    This article was orginally published on If the open-office has come to define workspace layouts of late, Poppin can claim at least some due share of credit for an equally ubiquitous trend in the office: the use of bolder colors to enrich work environments. The popular online retailer initially made its name on planners, pens and staplers that swapped the funereal office aesthetic of old for ecstatic pops of color. But more recently, it's taken a natural step beyond office supplies into the world of workspace furniture, living up to its vision as a "workstyle" company. The furniture includes desks, meeting tables and chairs, and they even have some useful onsite planning tools to help companies define and design their workspace. Coupled with its expansion to brick-and-mortar chains like Staples and The Container Store, last year saw a 73% boost in sales from the year prior. These days, Poppin is focused on launching showrooms in important markets like New York and San Francisco to drum up more business with commercial designers and architects. CEO Randy Nicolau takes a turn with the Founder Questionnaire. 1. When did you first know you were going to be an entrepreneur? Elementary school. Even back then, I was selling everything I could get my hands on. I remember visiting New York City for the first time and buying cheap sunglasses in Chinatown to resell back at school for a profit. 2. What inspires you to succeed? What motivates me to succeed is seeing the impact it has on our employees’ lives. Growing the business leads to job creation and it allows people to support their families. That’s what it’s all about. 3. If you could hire your younger self, what job would it be for? I actually wouldn’t hire my younger self - I always had a problem with authority, which probably explains why I make a better CEO than employee. But if I could give my younger self advice, I’d hire myself to run our marketing and data analytics team. I’m a marketer at heart. 4. What’s the best part of coming to work everyday? It’s rewarding to work with the team and pioneer a new business model in a space where we’re all learning as we go. 5. What’s the most exciting thing happening in your industry right now? The shift from traditional brick and mortar to online and omni-channel retailers is happening fastest in the office product and furniture industries. If you look at the top websites by revenue, 5 out of the top 10, including Staples, Amazon, and Walmart sell office products and furniture. With that in mind, we’re truly at the forefront of omni-channel commerce. Unlike most business-to-consumer brands that only have a retail store and online presence, Poppin also has a direct business-to-business salesforce, showroom experience, and wholesale distribution channel. 6. What is the ideal workspace for you, personally? I prefer open floor plans where I can be in the heart of the action - learning about deals the team is working on, seeing products we’re developing, and hearing what’s going on in our employees’ lives. 7. What is your favorite building in the world? It’s a beach, actually. 8. What is the ideal form of relaxation for you? Golf. 9. What is your favorite feature of your current office? While we practice what we preach and test all our own furniture, I think my favorite feature is our chalkboard wall that welcomes people as they come in. Our creative team customizes it each week with with new employees names or important clients’ logos. It’s the little things. 10. What do the words “company culture” make you think of? “Poppin.” We’re in the business of helping other companies create awesome cultures like our own by designing offices that inspire their talent and promote collaboration and connectivity. 11. When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably? We promote a lot of friendly competition and recently challenged the B2B sales team to compete for most email sign-ups. The winners got to throw pies at our GM, and moments before, I pulled off his shower cap so the frosting got everywhere. Who wouldn’t want to pie their boss in the face? 12. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead? I always say I can’t imagine myself doing anything but this. Even golf would get boring after a while and I'd be right back starting a similar company with similar culture.

  • Why DUMBO is Still the Cream of the Brooklyn Office Space Crop

    Why DUMBO is Still the Cream of the Brooklyn Office Space Crop

    Where local developers and smaller-scale investors once defined Brooklyn's commercial real estate landscape, a bevy of recent large scale developments have made neighoborhoods like Sunset Park, DUMBO and Williamsburg even more alluring to tenants than they once were. In recent days, it's down Downtown Brooklyn that has everyone talking. Following a glut of residential development, it's now drawing interest from the big commercial players. The newly constructed City Point shopping center, for example, has helped Fulton Street displace Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue as Brooklyn's priciest commercial real estate corridor. A newly constructed office tower from Tishman Speyer is expected to follow, adding up to 3 million more square feet of space. While exciting commercial developments are underway in Downtown Brookly, it still has some way to go before tenants start migrating en masse to its buildings. As it stands, quarters are tight. Downtown Brooklyn's 3.1 percent vacancy rate is currently the lowest in the city. For more mature supply, businesses can look to places like DUMBO for new or retrofitted office space at solid values.   DUMBO Office Space Is In   DUMBO helped kickstart Brooklyn's commercial real estate explosion with aggressive redevelopment projects on the waterfront. As the demand for open office space grew and the neighborhood's historic buildings and old warehouses beckoned, spurring a spate of renovations and upgrades. Those redevelopment projects are starting to pay off.  Empire Stores at 55 Water St. just landed two new commercial tenants in Laundry Service and Cycle, subsidiaries of the Wasserman Media Group. Etsy's expansion has led them to Dumbo Heights at 117 Adams Street. And expansions like these create opportunities for other tenants to take advantage of vacancies.  Between Dumbo Heights, the aforementioned Empire Stores and 10 Jay St., that's an additional 2 million square feet worth of redeveloped, waterfront commercial property.  

  • Why Your Company Needs a Book Club

    Why Your Company Needs a Book Club

    The idea to start a company book club didn't come out of thin air. It came from a desire, nay need, to really grow and learn as a team. Besides our all-hands meetings, there wasn't a team event (not counting happy hours!) that brought everyone together to discuss where and how we want to grow as a company. Initiating a monthly book club has filled this void: different members of the company's various sectors (tech, sales, etc.) come together to learn and partake in fruitful discussions over dinner and wine. Each book is geared towards a particular aspect of our business, and we cycle through different subject matters that pertain to each sector. For example, some months the topic has to do with unleashing creativity (for the design and tech team). Other months, we discuss business psychology and negotiation tactics (for the transactions/sales team).  We even read Anthony Flint's book on the dramatic rivalry between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, which transformed the urban landscape of New York City. Urban planning books such as these are crucial in understanding the fabric of the city and the neighborhoods that our brokers travel around on a daily basis.  

  • Can the Mysterious Light Phone Help Free the Workforce from Distraction?

    Can the Mysterious Light Phone Help Free the Workforce from Distraction?

    Even before it shipped to a single user, the Light Phone was one of the most compelling riddles in tech. The slender phone that only takes and receives calls has attracted a slew of attention and descriptors in the last year that simultaneously seemed to nail and slightly misunderstand its raison d'être. It's been called everything from the "anti-smartphone" to a "pro-human" phone,  to just plain weird. Its slight appearance and even more enigmatic function has challenged users in a way that the current tech vanguard isn't exactly known for:  Surfacing important philosophical questions, not just inventing a way for urbanites to lead slightly more convenient lives. It's a device that asks questions about necessity, freedom and relationships, and it does so with Ma-like concepts of non-use and "pauses" that are at once playful and dead serious. Co-founder Joe Hollier gives us a deeper look at how a phone designed to be used as little as possible can impact everyday life—including work life.  

  • Work Space Spotlight: Visual Country, 62 Allen Street

    Work Space Spotlight: Visual Country, 62 Allen Street

    What does the award-winning video arm of some of the world's biggest brands look like? A lot like the offices of Visual Country. Billed as a video production house, Visual Country accomplishes a great deal with a relative little, thanks to a talented team of designers, animators, art directors, editors and just about every other creative function you can think of.  You can see their work reflected in digital experiences for big names like Apple, Google and HBO.  

  • Infographic: What's Behind the Push for More Flexible Work Hours?

    Infographic: What's Behind the Push for More Flexible Work Hours?

    This post was originially published to   The debate over the Open-Office trend reignited recently with the contention that it's destroying the workplace. In our own business, we actually find support for Open-Offices quite common from business owners and senior managers who want to feel connected to their companies' day-to-day operations. And of course, it doesn't hurt that open layouts are incredibly efficient, at least from a square footage per person standpoint. The criticisms of Open-Offices, however, pinpoint a lack of efficiency when it comes to workforce perfomance. Some research suggests that employees simply can't concentrate in these "collaborative" atmospheres, and that whatever the gains greater interactivity with your teammates offer, they pale in comparison to the productivity lost.   Is the Open Office Driving People to Work From Home?   I mention all this because the Open-Office, regardless of your take on its effectiveness, is usually lofted as an example of evolved thinking when it comes to the workplace. At least companies are willing to challenge long-held notions of how an office is supposed to look and function, right? And this same willingness to rethink the workplace is usually credited with the shift toward remote work arrangements and more flexible hours. The old constraints of where and when you do your work are giving way to a more nuanced understanding of what fuels productivity. The difference between the Open-Office trend and the move toward flexible work arrangements, however, is that the former is an employer-driven trend (we cited, for example, the need for efficient space). The latter, as we discovered in a recent study, is employee-driven. That difference is important because it may indicate a divide between employers and employees on what makes for an effective workplace. Employers seem to think it's the Open-Office. A growing number of employees think it's someplace besides the office. We surveyed over 300 employees and 50 companies with Justworks to guage the level of importance they place on workplace flexibility.   The Impact of Flexible Work Hours on Performance   Unsurprisngly, we found that a majority (68 percent) think the availability of flexible work hours very important, while 70 percent think it has a positive impact on team performance. So much so, that nearly half (42 percent) of repsondents indicated a willingness to change jobs for 10 percent less pay if it meant getting flexible work hours. Again, it's interesting to relate the perceived impact of flexible work hours on performance, to the perceived impact of Open-Office space on performance found in other recent studies. They're inverse. Could it be that distracting Open-Office layouts are prompting people to seek asylum elsewhere, whether it be the comfort of their own homes, coworking or a nearby Starbucks? Employers, it seems, are getting the message. As you'll see in the infographic below, employers' policies are starting to closely match employee attitudes on the impact of flexibility in the workplace.    

  • No 24-Hour Security for Your Office? There's a Robot for That

    No 24-Hour Security for Your Office? There's a Robot for That

      Somewhere between an office manager and onsite security is the Cobalt, an office robot that doesn't really look or behave like our preconceptions of robots. That is by design. The Cobalt is essentially a roaming monitor that reports when things in the office are out of place; that could be an unexpected visitor, a leak in the ceiling or a rat scurring the halls. The robot comes with software that personnel like the office manager can use to receive and act on alerts in real time, even if they're not in the office.  

  • The Founder Questionnaire: The Many Lives of Hutch CEO Beatrice Fischel-Bock

    The Founder Questionnaire: The Many Lives of Hutch CEO Beatrice Fischel-Bock

    This feature originally appeared on   “Fail fast, fix fast, learn fast.” That’s Hutch CEO Beatrice Fischel-Bock’s mantra, and a quick tour through her history as an entrepreneur reveals she’s not kidding. Since 2015 Hutch, an app that helps you redesign a room with the snap of a picture, has undergone a few makeovers itself. CEO and co-founder Beatrice Fischer-Bock's first attempt, Zoom Interiors, featured on Shark Tank, and made enough of an impression that Barbara Corcoran bit (only to back out later). Corcoran wasn’t the only person to take notice though. Tinder CEO Sean Rad offered to invest as an angel and make some introductions. Shortly thereafter, Zoom gave way to the chat-based Homee, which raised a $5 million series A and appeared to have some momentum on the user-acquisition side. Yet Fischel-Bock wasn’t satisfied. Both Zoom and Homee were essentially consultation services for millennials, and the gap between consultation and a finished makeover can be substantial. Plus, Homee only made money when people bought furniture through the app. So in a way, the chat service was only getting in the way of what both users and Fischel-Bock wanted; a quicker way to buy new, designer-approved looks for a home. The future, Fischel-Bock believed, was in the more immediate payoff of visualizing how your new décor would play in the room. And then buying the items to pull it off. That future is now. Recently, Fischel-Bock launched Hutch. Like she says: Fail fast. Fix fast. Learn fast. 1. When did you first know you were going to be an entrepreneur? I didn’t know I was going to be an entrepreneur until my partners and I came up with our first business idea in college. We knew we were onto something but assumed someone else had already done it. As we dug deeper we realized no one had. This was a big learning moment in what entrepreneurship is. It’s realizing that there is still so much innovating to do and who's to say you’re not the person who should be doing the innovating? 2. What inspires you to succeed? Myself. Later, when I look back on my life, I want to know that I’ve left a mark in some way–either through the people I work with or the people who benefit from what I help create. 3. If you could hire your younger self, what job would it be for? I pretty much am my younger self. If I were not CEO, I would be in a COO or Chief of Staff type of position. I enjoy bringing the right people together and making things happen. I have a mantra at the company that I instill: Fail Fast, Fix Fast, Learn Fast. I look for people who embody that way of thinking and working. Luckily, I think I have that personality type so I hope I’d hire me! 4. What’s the best part of coming to work every day? Collaborating with the team and knowing every day that we will be innovating and iterating on something that we feel so passionate about. It’s easy to take for granted that every day is completely different in the startup world–we touch every part of the business. I try to remind myself as much as possible how lucky I am to be excited about going to work every day. 5. What is the ideal workspace for you, personally? Open floor plan where I can shout out to someone from a different department. I love the energy of an office with lots of voices and open communication. Sometimes it’s business related, and other times it’s butting in on a conversation happening across the room. 6. What is the ideal form of relaxation for you? Since moving to LA I’ve gotten into hiking. I find its the perfect mix of all things relaxing–nature, sunshine, music, exercise, and dogs! I either zone out and use the time to truly unplug or use the time to do some clear thinking.

  • Three Office Space Locations Fit for Early Stage Startups

    Three Office Space Locations Fit for Early Stage Startups

    For early stage startups on the hunt for commercial space, the most appealing options on the market can look like a matryoshka doll; coworking, sublets, shared space and shared space within sublets. The flexiblity and savings these shorter term solutions can offer is alluring for young companies just finding their way. But for those ready to lease their own exclusive space from a landlord, a few New York City neighborhoods currently offer some value worth a look.   Garment District A central locale and a well-known slowdown in manufacturing has made more space available in the district at favorable terms for tenants. If Garment District hadn't occured to you as an option for space, it may be time to rethink your options.   Pros Affordability and accessibility.  Avg. rents routinely reside in the $40-$50 per SQ FT range. Its proximity to Penn Station and Herald Square guarantees a low maintenance commute for most of your workforce, whether they're coming from New Jersey or Brooklyn.   Cons Style. Or the lack thereof. The Garment District doesn't posses the culture or character of downtown neighborhoods. But what it misses in trendiness it more than compensates for in price and availability of commercial loft space.  

  • The Founder Questionnaire: Headspace as Workspace with Shyp's Kevin Gibbon

    The Founder Questionnaire: Headspace as Workspace with Shyp's Kevin Gibbon

    This post originally appeared on For many, 2016 was a year to forget. Not so for Shyp. The logistics company hired its first COO in the spring. It opened its doors to businesses in need of hassle-free logistics (what company isn't?). And it recently launched a comparison tool that positions the company in the realm of the Hipmunks and Kayaks of the world. Turns out those "Uber for shipping" labels were pretty short-sighted after all. We put CEO and Founder Kevin Gibbon on the hot seat to get a glimpse of his internal life at such an exciting point in the young company's history. 1. When did you first know you were going to be an entrepreneur?  Most entrepreneurs are born with the urge to create, which was definitely something I did from a very early age, usually just on the side. My first business I created websites for friends and family. Next, I started importing cars from the US to Canada. With my third business, I was a seller on eBay, which was how the idea for Shyp came into being. Entrepreneurship was always something I’d wanted to do, primarily for the independence, and the ability to create something from nothing. I couldn’t stay away from that urge. I got an idea in my head and needed to see it through. I’m not the type of person who starts something and doesn’t finish it. I get really focused and very obsessive about the things I’m working on. So right now, I’m continuously focused on Shyp and how to make it better. 2. What inspires you to succeed? What most drives me is having a really big impact. I love seeing the impact that Shyp is having not only on me personally, but on the people around me. It seems that over the course of my life i just wanted to continue to have an increasingly large impact. I just continue to want to push myself forward and do bigger and better things. There are plenty of other entrepreneurs who I aspire to be like. Elon Musk is someone who thinks very, very large and doesn’t see barriers o innovation. He acts on that passion for innovation, rather than just lip service. People like him inspire me. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who are entrepreneurs for the sake of being entrepreneurs, usually just to make a bunch of money. The ones who want to see change want to have an impact and see the world from a different view are the kind of entrepreneurs I want to surround myself with. 3. If you could hire your younger self, what job would it be for? I would definitely want to hire myself for a role with some sort of autonomy—giving full control of a project. Earlier in my career, I was an engineer. I worked for some big companies, including Boeing, and was given the typical engineering workload. Had I known the ambition that I had, I’d try to give my younger self projects that would allow me to be more creative with and really take ownership. At that time in my career, I wasn’t able to see something through all the way. I was given some task that I was expected to complete, but it wasn’t something that fulfilled me. 4. What’s the best part of coming to work everyday? For me, it’s about problem solving, and solving really big problems with amazing people. The most enjoyment that I have is brainstorming—getting people in a room and trying to figure out some tough problem that has never really been solved before. I love working with high caliber individuals—those who are better than I am at everything in the business, which makes scaling very simple. You start with smart people, then you’re able to go and bring in even smarter people, and you’re able to learn a lot from those people and their experiences. Recently, a rewarding part of my job has been going out into the field and talking with customers and figuring out how Shyp has impacted their businesses, especially as we shift toward serving more small businesses. We’ve heard stories of Shyp customers who were able to quit their day jobs and start their business because we took such a huge component off their hands. Those stories are very, very rewarding.

  • How to Work Your Tenant Improvement Allowance

    How to Work Your Tenant Improvement Allowance

    Somewhere between agreeing to lease terms on your new office and actually moving into your space, a critical step occurs: Transforming the raw commercial space you fell in love with into a fully functioning office. That transformation is called the "build-out" in commercial real estate vernacular. As you can imagine, the build-out can be expensive. It's essentially a scaled-down construction/renovation project. In order to make the build-out more manageable, landlords will offer what is called a Tenant Improvement Allowance (TIA), or funds to help you finance renovations. How much, what it covers, and how it's allocated can be nuanced—but negotiable—territory. How the Tenant Improvement Allowance is Applied   The landlord might offer the Tenant Improvement Allowance as a month or two of free rent (expressed in either dollars/sqft or a flat sum). You can then apply the savings from the free rent to the cost of the build-out and manage the project on your own, from hiring the contractor and designer, to deciding which materials should be upgraded or downgraded, according to your budget. In other the cases, the landlord might agree to pay the contractor(s) directly. Either way, you're responsible for any expenses above the TIA limit. To secure and utilize a TIA effectively, scope out the work that needs to be performed on the space. Consult a designer and/or architect. Come up with a detailed plan that presents all the required modifications to the landlord.  In doing so, you can take a more informed approach to negotiating the TIA, what it should cover and how it's managed. For a closer look at how you can protect and use your TIA effectively, read here. The Tenant Improvement Allowance in a Tenant's Market   Depending on who you ask, 2017 is a great time to be a commercial tenant in line for a TIA. In short, there's more space on the market than tenants to fill it at the moment. Newly minted spaces at Hudson Yards and World Trade Center, combined with Midtown emigration and a competitve sublet market have contributed to rising vacancies for landlords. Coupled with the pressure to upgrade buliding stock in neighborhoods like Midtown East to compete with newer Class A spaces further south has coincided, tenants find themselves in position to demand more aggressive build-outs and amenities. Some landlords are obliging. Hence the Tenant Improvemnt Allowance. According to recent reports, TIA's soared 12 percent last year.  

  • The Founder Questionnaire: Michael Lastoria and the "Cult" of Real Culture

    The Founder Questionnaire: Michael Lastoria and the "Cult" of Real Culture

    This feature was originally published on Forbes. You'll recall on the show Inside the Actors Studio, host James Lipton would pose the same 10 questions to each guest at the conclusion of the segment, and it was arguably the best part of each show. The questions were disarmingly eccentric, which in turn produced disarming answers from the guests. Lipton's questionnaire was an adaptation of another questionnaire that Bernard Pivot, himself the host of a French television show named Apostrophes, would use on his guests. The questionnaire is sometimes called the "Pivot Questionnaire." And that questionnaire has its origins in the Proust Questionnaire, a personality test Marcel Proust may or may not have been taken with when he was a teen. All which is to say this type of personality questionnaire has a grand tradition, one we're attempting adopt for founders and CEOs with unique perspectives. Proust, Pivot, Lipton...Wasserstrum? I'll do my best impersonation. For this installment we have Michael Lastoria, CEO of social eatery concept &pizza.

  • What's Next for Coworking?

    What's Next for Coworking?

    Coworking as we know it is changing. In fact, it might have already changed. For a time, the practicality and efficiency of shared office space at a price lower than most commercial rent rates was the main selling point. Tacked onto the end of the pitch, almost as an afterthought, were notions of community and paeans to networking.  But it seemed a little forced, a little heavy on wishful thinking. Was anyone really taking a coworking desk to make friends?  Heading into 2017, the answer is yes, actually, community in coworking is extremely valuable. And not just to those enterprising individuals seizing the opportunity to connect. Coworking, at least the retooled version, could impact whole cities, whether they're asking for it or not. As a budding industry, coworking is entering a highly competitive phase. Shared space at lower rates is no longer enough to lure the cognoscenti. It's the extracurriculars that can make coworking more than the sum of its parts.  The same promises of "community" are making the rounds—they're just backed with a little more proof now.

  • A Quick Start Guide to Finding Office Space

    A Quick Start Guide to Finding Office Space

    DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK   If you thought finding an apartment in New York was hard... Whether you're actively on the office space market or you're eager to get a head-start on your commercial leasing education, you may have noticed something: Convenient, digestable information on the basics of office leasing can be hard to come by. Sure, you can come across the odd blog post or two. But to complete a basic picture of what it takes to find and rent an office, you have to do a lot of Googling and a lot of reading. And even then it's not always immediately clear - Where to start looking for available space Who to contact in the event you find a great space What you'll really pay when renting an office Why pictures of commercial space can be so hard to come by. Among a host of other considerations. Not to worry. We've set out to clarify and simplify the office leasing process with what we're calling a Quick Start Guide to Finding Office Space.   Download It Now   Here's a preview of what you'll find in the guide.   When to Start Looking for Space Learn why it can take up to six months from the moment you start looking to moment you move in, and plan accordingly. 

  • Why It May Be Time to Upgrade Your Desk Chair

    Why It May Be Time to Upgrade Your Desk Chair

    Maybe you've heard: your desk chair is killing you. Here are the basic physics. Sitting in the standard desk chair for hours on end collapses the lumbar (lower) spine and causes the rest of your spine to curl into a sickly "C" shaped slouch that can cause chronic back problems, starting with poor posture.  This fact helped propel the standing desk phenomenon that swept technology companies in particular off their feet a few short years ago. Until people realized that standing for eight hours a day was hard and opted to sit back down (this writer included). In its place, the workforce is exploring sedentary alternatives—including taking up residence on their office's couches or conference room chairs. Here are three representing the spectrum of affordability and advancement.

  • What is a Commercial Tenant Broker and Who Pays Them?

    What is a Commercial Tenant Broker and Who Pays Them?

      Finding Office Space: The Good News It's true, finding office space and then haggling for the best possible lease might be a bite-sized hell, but let’s be honest, it’s a good problem to have. If you’re looking for more space, it means your company is starting to scale, you’re bracing for a new era of growth, one that can greatly benefit from an office. Commercial real estate has a reputation for being tricky to navigate, a minefield of hidden costs and duplicitous landlords. While that might be hyperbole, enough potential pitfalls exist that even a wary, accomplished entrepreneur is bound to run afoul of a less than optimal deal simply because they don't know better. That's what makes enlisting the services of a commercial tenant broker worthwhile. Without one, you’re operating at a disadvantage. Here’s why.

  • Can Real Estate Help Solve Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem?

    Can Real Estate Help Solve Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem?

      We've all seen the stats and read the stories; when it comes to supporting diverse talent, Silicon Valley has a less than stellar track record. So what is it doing to address the issue? While much of the diversity debate in Silicon Alley is focused on hiring and retention at large companies, one marketing tech company is partnering with Girls in Tech to approach it from a different angle.

  • Office Pets: Merely the Latest Trend or Here to Stay?

    Office Pets: Merely the Latest Trend or Here to Stay?

    Though not accompanied by any official announcement, TheSquareFoot does in fact have an office pet. His name is Riz and he is a star-in-the-making. Look at that face.  

  • SquareFootage Episode 3: Hired's Local Approach to Global Vision

    SquareFootage Episode 3: Hired's Local Approach to Global Vision

    Featured Comany: Hired Office Location: 425 Broadway, New York, NY The Space: A full floor loft in a boutique SoHo building Size: 3,200 sq ft The Team: 22 strong (in New York), 231 globally.     As its name suggests, Hired isn't just a jobs board: it wants to make better matches between talent and employers and facilitate actual hires. Perhaps more than data and technology, Hired uses relationships and a local understanding of each local job market to do so. Which is why Hired has a dozen offices and counting around the world. On the latest episode of SquareFootage, we visit their SoHo office and learn how they're tackling the ultra-competitive job market that is New York City.  

  • In Commercial Real Estate, Green Buildings a Luxury

    In Commercial Real Estate, Green Buildings a Luxury

    What makes a building green? Turns out, that's not always such an easy question to answer. How efficiently the building supplies and consumes energy, the sustainability of the materials used in its construction, the sustainability of the site its located on, the relationship between its design and its impact on the environment, and how energy efficient its occupants are all contribute to a building's green profile. LEED: The Best Green Standard? While a number of standards exist to help answer this question, one of the most visible is the Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED) ratings system. With over 200,000 LEED certified buildings globally, momentum is growing, as is the pressure for real estate developers and landlords to get onboard. Still, progress is slow. In New York City, where one might expect an aggressive trend toward green buildings, progress has been gradual to say the least. Out of roughly 4,000 commercial buildings in Manhattan, 41 have a Core & Shell (like the buildings' exoskeleton) that is LEED certified or pending LEED certification. That's a scant one percent.

  • A Guide to Fitiron: Manhattan's Fitness Playground

    A Guide to Fitiron: Manhattan's Fitness Playground

    Call it "the other amenity." Next to no-hassle commutes and assorted lunch spots, having your pick of nearby gyms ranks high on the list of conveniences businesses consider when searching for office space.  Makes sense. Other than a cup of coffee, the gym is one of few routine destinations people decamp to during the workday. If you're lucky, it's a gym you look forward to visiting. And if you work in Flatiron, you're doubly lucky. The Flatiron District, nestled between 14th and 23rd street along Manhattan's central corridors of Broadways and 5th Avenue, has over 50 gyms. Big chains and boutiques alike. Hence the nickname "Fitiron." It wasn't always this way. Before the real estate boom of the 80s, this stretch of Manhattan was known as the Toy District. Now it's a playground of a different sort. From SoulCycle to Sweaty Beaty, Flatiron is a fitness brand mall for thousands of working professionals.  

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