Writer: Ryan Gandolfo
2 min read June 2022 — As more companies are encouraging workers to return to the office, finding a balance between the comfy confines of home and office drop-ins will be key.
Roughly six in 10 U.S. workers with jobs that can mainly be done remotely are working most of their time or completely from home, according to a 2022 Pew Research study.
“There will be a percentage of the workforce that will work from home at least for a proportion of their week going forward,” David Frame, principal of real estate developer Landeavor – Atlanta, told Focus:, while highlighting the need for builders to make accommodations for that. “High-speed internet is a given but also isolated workspaces are in high demand.”
One of Landeavor’s residential projects, Great Sky, is located 40 miles north of Downtown Atlanta in Cherokee County and provides spacious housing ranging from $200,000 to $600,000. Frame said those lots have been seeing a lot of demand, as the community includes outdoor amenities from tennis and pickleball courts and pools to food and wine tastings programmed by a lifestyle director.
Younger workers have been a driving force behind calls for more flexibility from employers. In a survey on knowledge workers published by automation platform Zapier last month, 100% of respondents ages 18-24 said they would leave their current job for a fully remote opportunity.
Atlanta was ranked in the Top 5 U.S. cities for remote work in 2021, scoring No. 1 in convenience among 194 cities, according to Lawnstarter.com. The push for remote work has made developers take a hard look at the future of both office and residential spaces.
“We are conceiving of spaces for people to lease for office, retail or residential in the future that must consider the changing needs of the end-user. We’re having to navigate and envision the landscape of what people will need in years to come in their offices, homes and stores,” said Kevin Murphy, executive vice president at Newport RE LP, Atlanta.
Murphy told Focus:, “people have become more comfortable working remotely and desire a greater flexibility in their schedule,” but they also recognize the value of community and collaboration.
“Our job is to create flexible spaces that are enticing, as we are quite sure that office spaces won’t become obsolete. For our retailers, the focus is to include outdoor space wherever possible, and we are shifting suite sizes to accommodate restaurants having an increased focus on takeout and delivery.”
Newport is currently redeveloping Atlanta’s South Downtown, including 222 Mitchell, an adaptive reuse mixed-use development of 252,100 square feet of office space and 78,500 square feet of retail space. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.
“We’re taking 100-year-old historic buildings and modernizing them for uses that will set them up for the next 100 years. It’s our job to conceive of projects that complement the city of Atlanta and take advantage of that zoning to add thoughtful density and build additional housing, office and retail that Downtown needs.”
But for those with plans to leave the office behind for good, the priority has been finding a bigger residential space.
Bonneau Ansley, CEO and founder of Atlanta-based Ansley Real Estate, told Focus: that spending more time inside the home has become increasingly mainstream in Atlanta and elsewhere. “We’ve seen a dynamic shift over the past year and a half that has increased buyers’ appetite for a larger home that can accommodate their growing needs and wants.”
Graydon, a 22-story building in the heart of Buckhead, combines a unique blend of city living with spacious layouts. The building consists of 40 homes that range from $2 million to $8.5 million, according to Ansley. The project was completed in March 2022.
“The ability to have a home where you’re able to raise a family, whether it’s deep in the city or out in the country, is more appealing than being in an office location. These trends have accelerated dramatically, changing many aspects of residential real estate.”
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