IRVINE, CA — Focusing deeply on understanding the needs and desires of your customer, then using that knowledge to create the most compelling workplace communities possible is key when a newly developed property is leasing up fast, Irvine Co. Office Properties EVP Steve Case tells GlobeSt.com. The firm recently signed six new leasing transactions at its 200 Spectrum Center Dr. property here, bringing the asset up to 93% leased just one year after the 21-story office building’s opening. The leasing momentum in Irvine Spectrum—one of California’s premier mixed-use communities—is expected to continue this summer with the opening of a 21-story sister building at 400 Spectrum Center Dr.
We spoke with Case about maintaining a high level of service for all tenants when the lease-up process is progressing so rapidly.
GlobeSt.com: What should landlords keep in mind when trying to lease up space quickly for newly developed properties?
Case: Most developers sell location, the quality of their buildings and service. We take a different approach, focusing deeply on understanding the needs and desires of our customers, then using that knowledge to create the most compelling workplace communities possible. We want to demonstrate how partnering with us helps our customers achieve their business objectives.
GlobeSt.com: How do landlords maintain a high level of service for all tenants when the lease-up process is progressing so rapidly?
Case: The focus should be on customer experience. Forward-thinking companies still expect outstanding service, but they also seek those special attributes that will help them attract and retain a highly competitive workforce while providing opportunities for their employees to collaborate, innovate and create value.
With that as context, we recently enhanced our exclusive customer experience program, “Work Smart. Live Well.” It includes an array of concierge-style services and conveniences to help the modern employee, who blends work and life more than ever. The program and its benefits to customers comes from years of vigorous and continuous research.
The research shows that food is very important. To meet the demand, we offer a curated collection of onsite and on-demand culinary experiences, including Dining Express, which delivers food from hundreds of nearby restaurants. We also have a new food concept launching at Jamboree Center in Irvine with Fooda, which brings top-rated chefs to our customers. Some of our workplace communities have restaurants, some offer pop-up restaurants and others provide food-truck services to add variety to the workday.
Having unique spaces to work, collaborate and relax—especially outdoors in Southern California—are also important. We’re expanding the Commons, our indoor-outdoor workspace, gathering areas, to about 30 of our workplace communities by the end of the year. The Commons offer event-ready spaces with large digital displays for presentations, barbecues for catered events and activities such as bocce ball, ping-pong and volleyball.
The California worker is health conscious, and companies understand the benefits of healthy employees. We’ve addressed this by expanding Kinetic, our fitness and wellness movement, to about 30 communities. Kinetic offers private fitness centers, bike share programs, group fitness classes, walk/run/bike routes and, in some cases, wellness corners featuring nurses from top providers such as St. Joseph Hoag Health in Orange County and Scripps Health in San Diego.
The program also includes other desirable conveniences, such as in-office dry cleaning pickup and drop off, full-service auto detailing and oil changes, ATM and full-service banking, onsite and on-demand salon and barber services, complimentary airport shuttles, access to childcare services and more.
GlobeSt.com: What are the pitfalls that should be avoided in this scenario, and how can they be avoided?
Case: It would be a major pitfall to remain static. It’s important to check with customers continuously to gauge how their needs are evolving and incorporate any new feedback into the services and experiences you offer.
In the case of Irvine Company, our promise is, “Exceptional Today, Better Tomorrow,” because it reflects the sentiment of always enhancing the workplace to meet the changing demands of our dynamic workforce.
GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know about 200 Spectrum Dr.’s leasing activity?
Case: It’s confirmed what we’ve known for some time: that 200 Spectrum Center and Irvine Spectrum in general has emerged as a hub for a diverse array of industry leaders. Customers at 200 Spectrum Center Dr. are willing to pay for the incredible value it offers in recruitment, retention, innovation, lifestyle and more. The roster includes wireless infrastructure innovator Crown Castle, national law firm Jackson Lewis, Mazda North America Operations, gaming leader Curse, workspace innovator WeWork and others.
Demand has been so strong that we are building 400 Spectrum Center, its sister building, which opens this summer. It’s a trend we expect to see more of: growth-minded companies looking for what we call “vertical campuses” or high-rise buildings that offer the ease of parking, high-value experiences, outdoor-indoor workspaces that are traditionally synonymous with class-A low-rise campuses.
Originally published on May 17, GlobeSt.com