Repositioning Commercial Real Estate to Attract and Retain Tenants
News & Insights
News & Insights
While many companies are officially returning to the in-person workplace after two years of pandemic-induced shifts and restrictions, many employees have since adapted to and embraced the flexibility of remote work, and have heightened expectations of their employers, and their offices. Hybrid models that offer a balance of in-person and remote work are increasingly popular, leaving some companies to downsize or relocate in order to save on costly real estate expenses. As office tenants reevaluate real estate needs, owners and managers of commercial buildings must ensure they’re meeting today’s standards and standing out from the competition in order to attract and retain tenants. Repositioning—whether that comes in the form of rebranding, renovating, or completely redeveloping—can reinvigorate the property and boost its resilience through current and future real estate cycles.
But how? Start by asking, and answering several questions about your office building, its current state, and future potential:
Who is your ideal tenant, or mix of tenants? Look at what kinds of buildings they currently occupy.
What are they (and their employees) looking for in a physical workplace? Think about the types of workspaces and amenities that are crucial to their day-to-day success.
Who is your competition? Take a close look at other buildings in your neighborhood, as well as buildings that might be further away but whose success you admire.
How is your competition positioned in the marketplace? Consider what and how they communicate, and what tone they set or message(s) they convey using a combination of words and images.
How is your property different? Get clear about what makes your property unique and sets it apart from your competition, whether that comes down to location, amenities, history, or something else.
What is your story to tell? After you’ve clarified your building’s unique selling point or USP, think about how you currently communicate it, and whether your ideal tenant(s) are receiving and understanding that message. How does that story potentially contribute to the experience a tenant’s employees and guests have when visiting the space?
Is your property meeting today’s standards? Consider post-pandemic influences too, and whether your building is properly communicating a sense of safety and security, empathy and inclusion, while also providing a meaningful brand experience and effective navigation to and through its spaces.
How can a tenant’s brand be expressed in the building? Keep in mind that your tenants will also be looking for ways that your building will communicate their brand. What platforms or tools do you provide for them to leverage? How does their brand align with yours?
Take comfort in knowing that you don’t have to go through this process alone. It’s helpful to have the perspective of an outside partner who can help you evaluate your current situation and envision your future opportunities. Our team at Altitude Design Office has collaborated on several recent efforts to rebrand and renovate multi-tenant office buildings—repositioning them for leasing success in today’s competitive marketplace. Here are four recent examples:
11611 SAN VICENTE
Simplifying a Street Address for a More Memorable Brand
Known by its address as many multi-tenant buildings are, 11611 San Vicente Boulevard in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles needed a refresh. Not only was this 10-story, 104,000 square foot building feeling dated, but its name and address – one-one-six-one-one – was a mouthful that people often stumbled on and was very similar to the addresses of neighboring buildings. Rebranding as simply “eleven-six-eleven” brought much-needed clarity, balance and sophistication and was immediately embraced as easier to recognize and remember. The new visual identity, developed by Altitude, is informed by the simplified address and elevates the brand to one more reflective of the property’s prominent location at the eastern gateway to Brentwood. Architectural signage and experiential graphics take inspiration from the surrounding Pacific Coast terrain and give the building a more exclusive, upscale personality. And extending the brand across multiple channels, including digital assets, ensures that the experience is seamless for tenants, visitors, and building staff alike. In 2021, the branding program received an American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA.
888 NORTH DOUGLAS
Transforming an Historic Site into a Modern Creative Campus
With a 90-year legacy as an aerospace research and manufacturing facility and a departing tenant, 888 North Douglas in El Segundo, California needed to be repositioned in order to attract new and different tenants. The neighborhood was seeing tremendous growth, with companies like the L.A. Times, Boeing, and Raytheon nearby; not to mention immediate adjacency to an L.A. Metro station and close proximity to LAX. So owner-developers Hackman Capital knew that this property had great potential as a multi-tenant creative campus. As part of a collaborative design team that transformed this historic property, Altitude developed branding that reflects its industrial roots as well as its future as a modern community hub. The massive 30-acre site includes four large buildings and two acres of open space that are unified by clear and consistent signage and graphics that guide and connect tenant employees and their visitors. Validating Hackman Capital’s vision, both L’Oreal and Beyond Meat have signed leases for headquarters space; and the project was recently honored by the L.A. Business Journal with a bronze award for redevelopment, in the 2022 Commercial Real Estate Awards.
Adding Amenities to an Art Deco Icon
The Trust Building on Spring Street—once known as Wall Street of the West—in downtown L.A.’s historic core, has a long history dating back to 1928, when it opened as Title Insurance & Trust Company’s headquarters. Fast forward through several transitions and vacancies consistent with the overall neighborhood’s evolution, and the 300,000-square-foot building still had tremendous potential, especially given its size and stature, abundant natural light and appealing location. Rising Realty Partners took ownership in 2015 and rebranded as The Trust Building. Envisioning a “modern community of thinkers and makers,” they retrofitted the property to accommodate a mix of office, retail and restaurant space and to appeal to the modern creative, all while retaining its historic character and original architectural details. Altitude developed the wayfinding and signage design that merges modern with tradition, creativity with consistency, and offers guests a seamless experience throughout the multi-tenant space. The Trust Building has also been honored by the L.A. Business Journal, earning gold in the redevelopment category in the 2020 Commercial Real Estate Awards.
Continuing the Modern Legacy of a Pioneering Property
An art deco icon in L.A.’s financial district, CalEdison is the new, modern nomenclature for the historic Edison Building—one of the country’s first to be electrically heated and cooled when completed in 1931. Also restored and repositioned by Rising Realty Partners, CalEdison leverages a prominent downtown Los Angeles location as well as its inspiring history, still evident in its 21st-century design. The 14-story building’s original architectural details, such as octagonal marble ceiling patterns and metallic accents inform Altitude’s signage program. Prototypes were thoughtfully tested using Altitude’s own 3D printing process to ensure that final installations would appropriately honor the building’s legacy while pointing to its future as a modern creative hub. CalEdison and The Trust Buildings were completed with design-build sign fabricator WeidnerCa.
When you’re ready to reposition or refresh your own property in order to retain your current tenants and attract new ones, reach out. We’d love to help.