How 2020 is Changing the Landscape of Office Space

Sept. 30, 2020
| by:
Economic Development

The ongoing pandemic has changed so much of the way people do business in a short period of time. Developers in Chandler have used the state of the country as an opportunity to innovate and create a new standard in the world of modern office space.

According to a national study by Forbes in collaboration with Zoom, more than 400 senior executives in HR, IT, finance and facilities offered insights into how the future of office space will look moving forward. In the study, 75% of respondents answered workplaces will be “forever changed” by the pandemic.

The study found that some of the top requirements for mid- and post-pandemic business operations include: 

  • More work hour and location flexibility

  • Limited in-person meeting sizes

  • Reduced common area access

  • Automatic doors and other no-touch surfaces

Two office buildings from developer George Oliver — The Alexander and The Johnathan —  are currently under redevelopment in downtown Chandler and have changed course since the beginning of construction in order to offer tenants increased safety and flexibility.

As a company known for developing cutting-edge, wellness-focused workspaces, George Oliver’s strategic updates at The Alexander will ensure that the new 112,000-square-foot project creates a thoughtful and safer space for people returning to work.

“Businesses today are dealing with plenty of uncertainty and stress as they’re trying to navigate what the new work environment may look like. With that in mind, making these changes to our design at The Alexander was an easy decision for us,” said George Oliver’s Managing Partner Curt Kremer. “It gives us the power to deliver a more adaptive end product and build more confidence for our tenants as they re-enter their workplace.”

New COVID-19-related design enhancements at The Alexander include “touchless” accessibility throughout, featuring 10-foot sliding glass entry doors, motion sensor restroom doors and fixtures, and touchless drinking fountains.

The Alexander’s design and architecture team, led by George Oliver Design, has also upgraded the building’s main HVAC systems and elevators to improve air quality and functionality. In addition to design changes, The Alexander’s building management guidelines were revised to incorporate more stringent cleaning and disinfecting standards, and implement signage to promote best-practice social distancing policies.

Developments Move Forward with Optimism

Office Development in Chandler

Chandler’s Economic Development team has been closely eyeing the pandemic’s effects on the City’s long-term market for physical office space, but the office market actively hasn’t slowed down. 

Cathy Exeter, Vice President Project Manager of the Douglas Allred Company, said companies have acknowledged the need for physical office space for growth and creativity.

“Through technology, it can be convenient working from home,” Exeter said. “But Companies are acknowledging that while it is possible to have their employees working from home, they are missing out on the synergy that happens when their talent is able to collaborate in person together, which increases productivity and innovation.”

In June, CVS Health announced a new 101,000 square foot office in Chandler. Located at 1255 S. Spectrum Blvd. in the Allred Park Place development, CVS Health will employ approximately 500 workers. Currently in the process of hiring, job opportunities include health care advocates, care management nurses, social workers, registered dieticians, behavioral health specialists and medical directors. Most of these jobs are new to the region.

In July, The Douglas Allred Company broke ground on two additional office buildings at their Park Place Development on Price Corridor. Both of these three-story buildings will be 150,000 square feet and located on the northeast corner of Price and Willis roads.  The buildings are scheduled for completion in September 2021 and will have the capacity to bring approximately 1,800 jobs to Chandler.

“We're excited to see another phase of Park Place kick off,” stated James Murphy, CEO of Willmeng. “The Douglas Allred Company has proven that they can and will deliver in all market conditions. We were excited to be a part of the team in the middle of the last recession delivering Infusionsoft (Keap), it was a tremendous accomplishment to deliver Northrop Grumman in one of the busiest markets that the state has ever experienced on a very aggressive build-to-suit schedule, and we're thankful to kick off another speculative phase of Park Place as the world grapples with COVID-19. These are challenging times that provide great perspective in all things. Evidence of confidence and staying true to a model that has stood the test of time, over decades, is truly something to be thankful for."

Connect With the Economic Development Division 

The City’s Economic Development Division is here to answer any questions you may have. Please contact a member of our Economic Development team directly to discuss the resources available to businesses during this time.