Some may argue that office space in West Los Angeles has become too plentiful. Soft markets, when there is an excess of supply over demand, occur about 80% of the time. Conversely, tight markets occur about 20% of the time. Los Angeles brokers and building owners have to face the reality that demand has been decreasing over the last two decades. This industry is very mature, and it may be time for a change. As this article from CoStar Group points out, one of the changes that should be made in office design is to accommodate the needs of the next workforce generation. Unfortunately, the next generation demands less, not more, office space per employee.
To add value to their properties, Westside Los Angeles office owners will need to design spaces that operate with greater efficiency. They will also have to account for greater densities of employees in these spaces. These two tasks need to be accomplished simultaneously while continuing to foster an interesting and creative atmosphere. These environments will further promote collaboration and will have a positive effect on employees rather than sticking them in cubicle farms.
The Westside does not need more space, but simply better quality of space. Despite a 20% vacancy rate in Playa Vista, developers are planning to bring on another million square feet of office space in the next couple of years. If the future workforce demands less space, one may question why this is being planned. Investors, developers and owners have to ask themselves if they are meeting a tenant demand or investor demand.