Three amenities owners are adding to office buildings

Invest in these areas to create buildings people want to work in and transform office space that meets tenant expectations

  • Tom Larance
  • Tyler Kethcart

Landlords are joining the amenities arms race and competing for tenants by redefining how space in office buildings can be best used.

JLL research shows that by 2025, properties that incorporate a diverse roster of amenities will experience 12% higher demand from tenants versus their plain commodity counterparts. Landlords can get the biggest bang for their buck by investing in health and wellness initiatives, hospitality services and outdoor spaces, all of which will increase foot traffic and provide a top-notch experience for tenants, according to JLL’s Global Flex Report.

Today’s office portfolio and asset managers are on the hunt for the most desirable amenities that attract—and retain—tenants. But that’s just one part of the equation. Tenants are emphasizing the value of quality over quantity—it’s not about how many programs and amenity spaces are provided, but how those areas are activated.

The bottom line? The addition of community-enhancing amenities can mean the difference between a vibrant, productive property and one facing vacancies.

Health and wellness centers and programs

One-third of the workforce does not have access to any amenities supporting their health and wellbeing—and they’re craving it, according to JLL’s Regenerative Workplace Report.

Expectations of buildings in terms of health and wellness are higher than ever. As fitness has expanded beyond the physical to mental wellbeing, robust office-based initiatives are needed to support tenants. Offering classes that are intentionally designed for relaxation, stress reduction or meditation is one component to expand traditional wellness strategies.

Chicago’s Aon Center Peak Fitness Center is a prime example—providing 15,000 square feet of space for community events centered on a culture of wellness, with over 2,000 people taking advantage of the space with year-long memberships—more than 22% of the building’s employees.

Hospitality services

But physical amenities aren’t enough to draw tenants back into the office. Landlords must provide an experience that welcomes them to a desirable place they can’t get anywhere else—which starts with hospitality. In this approach, tenants and guests are welcomed the moment they step into the lobby, much like a hotel. They’re offered a personalized and memorable experience where their questions are answered and their needs addressed. This experience draws a bright red line between the role of security and concierge.

Chicago’s Old Post Office transformation cultivated next-level tenant experiences, incorporating a community manager, a concierge service and two sales and marketing associates to greet clients, employees and guests and invite them into this first-in-class building. Now, this one-of-a-kind building is home to some of the city’s highest-profile tenants.

Outdoor spaces

The pandemic shed new light on the importance of accessible outdoor spaces. While working from home, people could take their dog for a walk, sit outside for lunch or just open the windows. JLL research has shown that outdoor space is one of the top amenities tenants are searching for, but only 25% say they have access to fresh air in their offices. Now, savvy asset managers have realized that to compete--it's critical to have a designated outdoor or rooftop area for tenants to work, lounge and enjoy.

167 Green Street Chicago exceeds outdoor expectations with their 17th floor “amenity penthouse.” The rooftop terrace and garden are outfitted with shared seating, green space, tables of assorted sizes, all with a scenic view of the iconic skyline.

Property owners must start investing in amenities that truly differentiate them from the rest or risk getting left behind.

Click here to learn more about how you can elevate your asset.