It’s starting to feel like the pandemic may be winding down now that vaccinations are happening at a pace of 1.7 million a day and plans are for that to nearly double.  So it’s time to start thinking about going back to the office. But will the office look like it once did?  One landlord in Dallas has a new proposal you just might want to consider.  Listen to today’s podcast for all the deets!

We have talked a lot about what the office may look like after the pandemic ends and people start going back to the office.  And it seems like I see several articles a day from some “expert” pontificating about what will happen.  But I don’t think any of those experts really know any more than the rest of us.  I still think it will take 2-5 years for the impact of Covid to be fully realized in the way companies use office space.  Some will go back to the office as normal.  Some will allow everyone to work from home.  But I think the lion’s share of companies will do something in between.  We are not seeing most landlords responding to this scenario-most landlords I have spoken with continue to be overly optimistic – bordering on delusional really.  It’s like they think if they keep saying everyone is coming back to the office, it will really happen.

And that’s why the announcement from Granite Properties and Common Desk is so exciting.  But first, let me share a little of my history with these two companies.  Granite has always been one of my favorite landlords.  They take care of their tenants and maintain their buildings very well.  So it doesn’t surprise me that they are on the leading edge of this.  Common Desk is a co-working company which was started by Nick Clark.  Nick used to be a leasing agent and he toured me and a client or two through buildings.  After he started Common Desk, he was a guest on a radio show I used to host called The Next Level Show.  You can still find that show as a podcast.

Granite and Common Desk have partnered together to create a hub-and-spoke office solution.  A company can lease an HQ or main office in one of Granite’s buildings.  They have about a dozen buildings in DFW.  That office can be for a client and employee meetings and for operations that can’t be performed elsewhere.  The office is then supplemented with a G.O. Pass (Granite’s On-Demand) which allows employees to use any of Common Desk’s 8 co-working locations through the city which are closer to home.  The main office is the hub and the co-working spaces are the spokes – brilliant!

It’s good to see a landlord responding to tenant needs and offering real solutions.  And talk about flexibility!  You can add employees without increasing the size of the office.  Win-win.  This is part of a larger concept for Granite called Evolve –  “A broad collection of customer-centric office solutions assisting companies to adapt to changing business needs”.   Granite has created a lot of spec suites – offices that are already built out and tenants can “plug and play” as we call it in the business.  Lots of other landlords have done that, but Granite is creating more of a menu of options for prospective tenants.

Granite polled their tenants and received 3,200 responses stating what they’d like to see in their office leases going forward.  This Evolve and G.O. Pass are products of that outreach.  I love seeing people responding to their clients’ needs in such a proactive manner.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate (also known as a tenant rep) with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.