Amenities and Access Drive Leasing Decisions

Top names in commercial real estate gathered to discuss the “Future of Westchase District” at the biennial event sponsored by Bisnow and hosted by Parkway Properties at its Westchase District campus – the four building, 1.4 million square foot CityWestPlace.

The event was moderated by Westchase District General Manager Jim Murphy who led off the discussion by asking what amenities tenants are looking for these days.

“We used to push restaurants,” said Philip Schneidau of Woodbranch Management in referring to the kinds of amenities his leasing team would promote when showing his properties. “Now its parks, trails, apartment communities…that’s what tenants are asking for. Fitness centers are also important. Instead of having one down the street, tenants want one in the office building.”

Phillips 66 upped the ante on office building amenities when it opened its 1.1 million square foot corporate headquarters in Westchase District. According to Greg Cardwell, Manager of Real Estate Services, they built a soccer pitch and 1/5 mile running track atop the employee parking garage. The campus also has a putting green, full-size gym and fitness center, medical and dental facilities, a shoe shine stand, dry cleaners, meditation room and nursing mother rooms. It’s all about the mental and physical well-being of the company’s 2,200 on-site employees, said Cardwell.

Scott Arnoldy, managing partner of Triten Real Estate Partners, said access was the key to signing Lockton to a 120,000 square foot lease in the new building his company is developing at 3657 Briarpark Drive. Even in this boutique-style building, amenities are important and Arnoldy has found new ways to differentiate his building. It will include “shower suites” rather than locker rooms will offer a more upscale dining experience, rather than a deli/café for tenants.