Philadelphia commercial property development

Commercial property is seeing a post-COVID renaissance in Philadelphia. It’s no secret that the residential real estate market in Philadelphia suffered a major downturn during COVID-19.  The booming residential sales growth trend combined with residential property development is also driving Philadelphia commercial property development.

What Happened

When the lockdown measures of 2020 hit the business world, commercial properties went from bustling and full to dark and empty, almost overnight. But now, as the pandemic lockdowns continue to fade, the local residential market is once again burning hot. Businesses, both large and small, were forced to embrace a work-from-home model for their employees, and this forced property owners, renters, and lease-holders to reconsider the whole model and structure of corporate and commercial property usage.

What’s Happening Now

As the nationwide recovery lurches forward, fighting the headwinds of rampant inflation, Philadelphia has seen office spaces return to a version of what they used to be, and on the surface, much seems the same. But, looking a bit deeper, there is much more acceptance of hybrid work models that see increased flexibility for employees to work remotely. Smart businesses are driving changes in Philly’s commercial property as they get their arms around what work looks like in an (almost) post-COVID environment. Some specific changes include:

  • Increased emphasis on very short-term leases with terms as brief as one month

  • Flex spaces with pre-built communications infrastructure and charges for each seat, not by area

  • On-demand rental and subscription office solutions

  • Fear of long-term commitment due to uncertainty

Where’s It’s Going 

Green space is part of the wave of the future in real estate. Environmentally-friendly, carbon-neutral, and innovative strategies to preserve open space are part of the new formula for Philadelphia. And it’s being emphasized nationally as well.

There is a growing movement to integrate green space into all phases of real estate, particularly where it overlaps with pristine wildernesses, like our National Parks. In addition to more than $1.5 billion in funding dedicated to the National Park Service, hundreds of millions of federal dollars targeted at addressing climate change and protecting wildlife are flowing. Forward-thinking businesses in Philly will actively seek these grant opportunities.

The Almighty Dollar

Workers with more flexibility than ever before have dramatically shifted the landscape in how we live our lives and the expectations that come along with employment. Hybrid work models have forced quite a few shifts in the traditional paradigm. Some changes are obvious, like spending less time in the office. But those changes in patterns bring opportunities for those who realize the implications of an emerging new workplace model.

For instance, working three or four days a week offers fewer total commutes, so people can live farther away without spending any more time in the car or on the train. By being mindful of the changing needs of workers and businesses, commercial property stakeholders will continue to drive development changes locally and even nationally.

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