14A — May 21 - June 17, 2021 — Office & Industrial/Distribution Centers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


O ffice & I ndustrial /D istribution C enters

By Rich Gottlieb, Keystone Property Group Easing tenant transition back to the officemeans prioritizing safety, communication & flexibility

c o r p o r a t e headquarters at our SORA West devel- o pmen t i n Conshohock- en, Pennsyl- v a n i a t wo yea r s ago , it was a dif- W

hen Amerisource- B e r g e n b r o k e ground on its new

been vaccinated, returning to the office can present compli - cations. But make no mistake, those tenants who bring their companies back to the office first will be best positioned for success as business conditions further stabilize. Owners of office buildings can help ease their tenants’ transition back to the office. If landlords have done their jobs well, they’ll be prepared to guide their tenants through new health and safety features they’ve updated to alleviate concerns over air quality and social distancing. Perception is reality Has your firm made up- grades to your own office? How have you handled bringing employees back? Put yourself in your tenants’ shoes. Workers overwhelmingly want to be back in the office. A Return to Office Survey by Eden Workspace found 85% wish to return to the office, and 61% demand strict en- forcement of COVID-related workplace regulations by their employers. Because of these de- mands, communication is key. Whether you oversee an entire portfolio or just a single

property, your management team should be talking every day about what everyone is do- ing and learning along the way. This kind of internal communi- cation will help when relaying safety protocols to tenants. Prioritize signage and way- finding. Whether it’s limiting the number of people on eleva- tors, or establishing easy-to-un- derstand distancing guidance, devoting additional resources to communicating these details will go a long way in fostering trust and helping tenants focus on other important details of coming back to the office. Upgrades to air quality will go a long way Smart landlords are making upgrades, particularly when it comes to air quality, following guidance on standards from industry groups like the Ameri- can Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers. Many are adding thicker air filters for offices’ extensive HVAC units, up to MERV 13-rated filters, which are nearly twice as thick as most previously installed filters and essentially wipe out viral germs. The thicker filters often require increased air pressure

and won’t fit in many older as - sets, but are a solid first step toward mitigation. Some are going a step further by installing GPS needlepoint ionization systems that clean air via chemical properties. This means operators won’t have to open up a building to outside air or change building criteria to clean or “change” the building’s air. This can come with a hefty, six-figure price tag, but will surely attract tenants moving on from older, less agile office buildings. At Keystone, we decided to install this technology into our Class A office buildings APX in Mor - ristown, New Jersey and Key- stone Summit in Warrendale, Pennsylvania because of the unparalleled peace of mind it brings to tenants and their workers. Because a mixed model is likely to emerge for many com- panies, executives are already thinking about hybrid work- ing. A PwC U.S. Remote Work Survey from January found that executives are planning new investments in confer- ence rooms with enhanced Flexibility should take center stage

virtual connectivity (70%), in communal space in the of- fice (48%), and in unassigned (hoteling) seating in the office (45%). This increased need for flex - ible work hours and spaces, modern tools to streamline communications, and path- ways to create workplace cul- ture all point to a workforce that is craving lost human connection. Moving forward in a post- COVID office environment is about a mixed-use mindset with an office discipline. Most executives (89%) anticipate shifting their real estate strat- egy this year, including 56% who expect to need more office space in three years. Landlords who recognize this opportunity to become a more trusted part- ner for their tenants, at a time when they are most needed, can better secure their busi- ness. Easing your tenants’ transi- tion won’t be easy, but under- standing and modeling what is at stake will surely help them on the path to a safe return. Rich Gottlieb is Presi- dent and COO of Keystone Property Group. MAREJ

Rich Gottlieb

ferent world. And when the Fortune 10 pharmaceutical gi- ant’s new home in the 11-story mixed-use project topped out in March 2020, social distancing had yet to become a constant concern. Still, even as COVID-19 drove workers from the office to their homes and forced a reset of how we get business done in the last year, many companies like AmerisourceBergen are sticking to their plans, invest- ing in its brand-new jewel of an office space as an engine of building culture, collaboration, and productivity. The decision to return to the office is more important than ever. Even for those who are confident that it’s safe to return or for others who have

Fox Hill Business Park sets new standards for the construction industry New Jersey’s Sudler Companies completes new 206,140 s/f facility using Carboncure Technology

but are also committed to do- ing it in an environmentally responsible way.” “CarbonCure takes carbon dioxide, which is normally considered a harmful green- house gas, and we create value from that by using it in the production of concrete,” said Rob Niven , CEO of Carbon- Cure. “The production of ce- ment accounts for roughly seven percent of CO2 emissions around the world; our technol- ogy repurposes the CO2 and permanently traps it inside the concrete.” “Sudler was able to avoid 59 tonnes (130,000 pounds) of CO2 emissions through our process. It’s an example of how mission alignment can allow all groups to have muchmore of an impact on a project this size,” continued Niven. Along with Thomas Con- crete, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, civil engineering firm SeamonWhi-

Thomas Concrete , the pro- cess transformed the concrete at the Fox Hill development into a carbon sink. CarbonCure, which has re- cently been hailed by Bill Gates in a CBS 60 Minutes interview, has made a pledge to reduce 500 megatonnes of CO2 emis- sions from the construction industry by 2030 – equivalent to taking 100 million cars off the road. Just this morning, CarbonCure was announced as the winner of the 5-year global NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE challenge. “The largest companies in the world have been announc- ing their climate pledges – their Environmental Social Governance commitments,” says Brian Sudler , principal with Sudler Co. “We are proud to be the first developer utiliz - ing CarbonCure concrete in South Carolina. We’re not only dedicated to providing jobs and commercial growth to the state

teside , and general contractor Pattillo Construction were also vital partners in the com- pletion of Sudler’s first building at Fox Hill. “We began working with Car- bonCure in 2015. Since then we’ve installed its technology in 26 plants in the southeast - locking away more than 34,000 tonnes of carbon gasses,” said Alan Wessel , CEO of Thomas Concrete. “With Sudler’s new project in Fox Hill, it means more developers will not only realize that it’s a high-quality product, but it also reduces their carbon footprint and makes companies more socially responsible when it comes to the environment.” “Sustainable construction and maintenance practices will be differentiators for cor- porations going forward and therefore they should be driv- ing decision in the industrial real estate space,” said Brian Sudler. “While we are among

the first to focus on this, now is the time for us to put our foot forward when developing these projects and that we do it in an environmentally conscious way. But the construction materials must be cost effec- tive and as strong as regular concrete, and CarbonCure and Thomas Concrete have lived up to that goal. We are going to set the standards for sustainabil- ity standards for our industry.” Sudler’s Fox Hill Develop- ment is represented by NAI Earle Furman. “Sudler’s 2.5 million s/f com- mitment to Upstate South Carolina means jobs and com- mercial growth throughout the region,” Grice Hunt, sharehold- er with NAI Earle Furman. “Combine that with Sudler’s dedication to environmental sustainability, it’s a win for South Carolina, the world’s environment, and any company that is looking to expand into the growing region.” MAREJ

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC — Sudler Companies has completed a new 206,140

s/f manufac- turing and distribution center as the first build- i n g o f i t s 2.5M s/f Fox Hi l l Bus i - ness Park, which sets

Brian Sudler

new standards for the con- struction industry through its pioneering use CarbonCure Technology. Fox Hill Business Park is the first new substantial logistics center in, addressing not only the growing logistics appeal of the region but also tenant- driven initiatives for environ- mentally sensitive construction techniques that respond to the corporate ESG movement. Ut i l i z ing CarbonCure ’ s ready mix concrete technol- ogy supplied by local producer

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