Long gone are the days when the New York workforce happily settled into bare-bones Midtown office towers, got lunch at the corner deli and promptly went home at 5 p.m.
Seemingly everything has changed about a city work day — perhaps nothing more so than the rising expectations employees, and as a result employers, have for their workplaces.
Office landlords have scrambled to accommodate the changes, adding building upgrades as tenants depart leases. But no one has a leg up quite like developers building new offices from scratch, who are putting in amenities you’d expect from a condo or hotel.
“The bar [hadn’t] been set very high for offices,” says Stephen Winter, vice president of commercial leasing at Related Companies. “Selling a new office building [to potential tenants] offers a huge competitive advantage.”
Landlords realize the best companies are competing for new talent, and that an office can be bait. It’s not unheard of to dedicate up to 20 percent of a building to amenities, says Steven Durels, director of leasing at SL Green Realty Corp. The company is building One Vanderbilt, a $3 billion, 1.7-million-square-foot project next to Grand Central Terminal.
The amenities, Durels says, “are not afterthoughts.” The 30,000 square feet of perks include an auditorium, board room, food and drink options, and communal spaces Durels likened to “an upscale hotel lobby.” A bike room will be equipped with changing rooms and showers, and, on the 56th floor, tenants will have access to a high-end cocktail lounge and event space with a 1,500-square-foot terrace.
Blender, a 15,000-square-foot coworking space set to open at 135 Madison Ave. this month, “is bridging ‘workstyle’ with lifestyle,” says co-founder Scott Sassoon. Starting at $500/month, membership comes with 2,500 square feet of Cafe and event space, cultural programming and a yoga ambassador. The landlord is The Rosen Group.
Read more about it on New York Post