While it might not seem like an obvious connection, large office developments need thoughtful retail space to thrive. Filling office space is key, but the retail space shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Boston Properties has found success by blending amenities and destination retail offerings in their buildings. The retail component both supports the office constituents and also attracts larger clients. Urban centers such as the Prudential Center in Boston and Embarcadero Center in San Francisco illustrate this philosophy best.
“Amenities are important to us. Retail is the front door to the office towers and a significant part of the mix,” says Erin McNamara, Boston Properties leasing manager. “At the Embarcadero Center, our tagline is ‘It’s all here.'” At the Center, tenants can get all their errands done without leaving. Full-service and fast-casual restaurants, fitness, fashion, and services such as shoe shining, dry cleaning and hair salons are all part of the mix.
At the same time, Boston Properties is developing urban centers that attract visitors specifically for the retail. By strategically locating retail throughout the center, their ultimate goal is to create a destination as well as a space for work. One area features shops that offer services and apparel targeted towards men. Another features women’s services that include everything from specialty fitness classes and bridal services to a high-end nail salon and spa. The food segment includes seven full-service restaurants and several quick-service operations. And professional services, such as a medical center, dental offices and chiropractor services, are located on the second and third levels.
To deliver Class A office space, developers need to think beyond the cubicle and corner office to the overall experience for the tenant and neighborhood as a whole. Boston Properties is one developer that takes the experience seriously, offering innovative retailers and in-demand services and a community-based vision.
Download the Spring/Summer 2016 Knowledge Leader magazine edition to read more about how Boston Properties is changing the relationship between retail and office space.