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Big Changes Coming to Conventional Office Buildings

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By Roger Vincent

People also like it when the workplace feels a little less like work, with inviting spaces where they can eat, chat and relax.

“We are in a time of great domesticity in the workplace,” he says, something people crave in part because work now routinely invades personal time. People respond to business email on their smartphones and finish projects on iPads while attending their children’s Little League games.

“We are bringing our lifestyle to work and our work home,” Gehle says, “creating a real blurring of our professional and private lives.”

Mixing uses in new real estate development is also becoming more common. Residential buildings erected near Los Angeles-area rail transit routes, for example, typically include ground-floor shops and restaurants. The only major office project under construction in downtown L.A. will be part of a skyscraper hotel that will also have three floors of retail space for rent.

The days when the region was divided into business and residential sectors are over as more people take up residence in formerly all-commercial districts, says real estate broker Carl Muhlstein.

“You have to create work, live and play areas” like the boroughs of New York, Muhlstein says. “You can no longer have an office area isolated from residential, or retail isolated from office.”

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