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Posted 27 Oct 17 By: No comments yet

What Albuquerque wants in office space

Location, location, location.

Americans will spend an average of 1,790 hours a year at work, according to 2014 data from the Atlantic.

Based on this number, it’s reasonable that finding the right office space is akin to finding the right house. People aren’t just considering square footage, parking and desk placement anymore when hunting for workspace.

One thing on Albuquerque workers’ minds is commute, said Todd Strickland, director at NAI Maestas and Ward. 

Strickland hails from Atlanta and was used to 30 - 45 minute drives, compared to the average 20-minute drive in the Duke City. But people in Albuquerque value convenience.

The Albuquerque mindset includes keeping time in traffic at a minimum, according to Strickland.

He used office suites on the corner of Layton Avenue and Eubank Boulevard as an example, saying it’s a sought-after property. He credits its success in part to the fact that a lot of people live in the Northeast Heights, appealing to those who don’t want to travel too far for work. According to the listing online, the lease price for those suites is $21 a square foot.

“People don’t want to drive somewhere that is 15 or 20 minutes away. They want to go to an office that is professional, well-kept and convenient; where they don’t have to spend half their life in traffic,” he said.

He said it boils down to convenience to what they’ve always known, convenience to the services supporting their business and geographical convenience.

According to CBRE market reports for 2017 Q2, the Southeast Heights in Albuquerque has the lowest vacancy rate at 10.9 percent. The graph breaks down the vacancy rate and market rentable area for major Albuquerque hubs. Overall, Albuquerque had a total vacancy rate of 20.8 percent. 

There have been a lot of changes in the way people and companies view traditional office real estate. For instance, co-working options are on the rise. Albuquerque-based co-working hub FreeRange Spaces is expanding into the Northeast Heights. FreeRange told Albuquerque Business First in August the new location was chosen because people living in the area expressed interest in coworking but said the drive to its Central Avenue location was too far, mirroring Strickland’s sentiment on convenience.

Also in recent trends: operations are starting to telecommute and eliminate office space altogether. Earlier this year, March of Dimes cut overhead costs by having employees work from home. New Mexico’s home-based workforce represents 4.7 percent of the state’s total workforce, exceeding the national average, according to a report by economists at the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. With a little over 40,000 employees, New Mexico ranks No. 18 in the nation for home-based workers, according to U.S. Census American Community Survey data from 2011 to 2015. 

By:  Shelby Perea, Real Estate Reporter - Albuquerque Business First

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