Artist Spotlight: David Leonard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADavid C. Leonard grew up in the Central New York village of W. Eaton and received a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985. He has participated as an Artist in Residence at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in 2016, Woodstock, NY as well as at the Banff Centre for the Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta, Canada in 1987. He currently resides in Austin, TX. For more information, please visit www.davidleonardpaintings.com.

David Leonard on: Facebook

November Phone + Desktop Wallpaper Downloads by Austin Artist David Leonard

Each month AQUILA distributes our monthly property inventory via email. This month, AQUILA’s inventory image by local Austin Artist, Jake Bryer, is available for download! Like what you see? Click the download links below to access free backgrounds for your desktop and mobile devices. To sign up to receive our monthly inventory via email, subscribe to our mailing list here.

To learn more about this month’s artist, David Leonard, visit our About the Artist page.

Phone Backgrounds

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Desktop Wallpapers

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License: You may install the image as wallpaper only on your own devices: desktop, PC, laptop, notebook, tablet, ipad, smartphone.

Prohibited: Transferring a File to anybody else. Any kind of printing of the image. Use of the image on any websites. Creation of templates (websites or others) intended for resale. Any editorial or commercial use of the downloaded file under this license. Online “print-on-demand” products. Use in any logo or trademark. Use for pornographic, obscene or libelous works. Sub-license, give away, share or otherwise transfer stand-alone images/files.

Coworking: What is it, and what does it mean for commercial real estate brokers?

Photo: WeWork University Park

Consider this: over 10,000 coworking spaces across the globe will be open by the end of the year. Over the course of the past two years, coworking spaces have increased the number of members by nearly 50%, with the vast majority of members—around 80%—planning to remain in coworking spaces the following year.[1]So what is coworking? What are the origins and where does this new office option fit in the world of commercial real estate?

Coworking, Evolving Through the Years

Coworking spaces are evolutionary beings: over time, these spaces have evolved from singular executive suites into open work spaces, reminiscent of the funky, amenity-rich offices of tech giants like Facebook and Google. They have conference rooms, lounge space, colorful design, fully-stocked kitchens, and office staples such as printers and supplies.

The original iteration of coworking spaces started with executive suites, which were leased by small law firms, remote sales offices and other small professional service firms who needed a home base with someone to answer the phone, a conference room to meet clients and a business address for mail delivery.

With the dawn of free wifi and improved portable technology, many startup companies, sales teams and freelancers began to opt out of structured workplaces and into less traditional office structures–coffee shops, internet cafes and the like. Companies enjoyed the versatility and flexibility that came with telecommuting–workers could independently work from home or, alternatively, collaborate with peers in coffee shops.

The modern day coworking space encapsulates the value brought forth from both of these predecessors. They offer plentiful open areas for the exchange of ideas, conference rooms and thought leadership workshops as well as the amenities of a classic office environment, such as a dedicated workspace, secure networking, and a place to meet with clients. From stocked kitchens to abundant open areas where workers can meet and collaborate with friends from other companies, these spaces embody the unique offices that creative minds grew up dreaming about. “Free” advice is rampant throughout the coworking office, and CEOs from companies in similar stages can sit side-by-side and strategize about the next big steps for their businesses.

Not Just Startups

While we typically think of these coworking spaces as full of small start-up companies, a number of national and international firms have taken space in them across the country. Dell, attracted by the opportunity for a collaborative environment in which to test and develop new products, rents desks at coworking outfits in Miami, Chicago, and NYC. General Electric utilized coworking spaces in Boston to temporarily house Current, its new energy services company, during its relocation process. Advisory firm KPMG currently leases 75 desks at WeWork’s Manhattan space[2]. In Austin, AQUILA’s own national client rented a coworking space for a year in order to test the market before signing an 8+ year traditional lease.

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Several factors facilitate the movement of large companies into coworking spaces. Interest in testing a new market, offering an alternative to employees who don’t live near a corporate campus, and situating a certain branch or division of the company in a collaborative and creative atmosphere are just some of the reasons major brands seek coworking spaces.

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What is the take away for brokers here?

From a real estate perspective, coworking companies have introduced a new type of credit tenant that pose low risk and long-term leases to landlords. These coworking spaces can then turn around and offer prime class A office spaces to the smaller, high risk tenants on a short-term basis. The flexibility of these spaces allow the tenants to easily grow, move or relocate.

To visualize the potential savings for a tenant using a coworking space, AQUILA created the model below comparing the growth of a company using a traditional lease structure versus that of a coworking arrangement. In this particular example, the tenant starts out with 100 employees and is projected to grow at an annual rate of 25%. Because landlords traditionally only allow tenants to take spaced base on what is available in the building—sometimes in 5-10 thousand square feet per year increments—there is the potential for large amounts of wasted space as the tenant grows. This traditional lease expansion scenario is represented by the red lines. The light blue lines represent the coworking expansion scenario. Because the tenant can flexibly lease desks as they need them during their expansion period, they greatly minimize the unnecessary space they’re paying for, as represented by the shaded area.

Anticipated Space Needs Chart

Click to Enlarge

The overall flexibility available through coworking options opens up a whole new potential for the commercial real estate world, both for tenants and landlords, and the potential is quickly being realized: coworking is now amongst the fastest growing segments of landlords. From the tenants’ perspectives, gone are the days of planning your space needs years at a time. Instead, you can simply add the cost of a desk to your per-employee cost as you grow. Not to mention, coworking spaces are outfitted to handle the IT needs and in-office amenities of companies of any size, so day-to-day operations can be focused on developing and selling products and services. For traditional landlords, coworking spaces should not be seen as a threat to their spaces. Instead, consider them as places for your future tenants to grow and incubate before they are able to sign a long-term lease in your properties, thereby increasing their value while minimizing your exposure to signing short-term low-credit tenants.

[1]http://www.deskmag.com/en/2016-forecast-global-coworking-survey-results

[2]https://commercialobserver.com/2016/06/ngkf-coworking-is-still-small-risky-but-here-to-stay/

Photo courtesy of WeWork

October Phone + Desktop Wallpaper Downloads by Austin Artist Jake Bryer

Each month AQUILA distributes our monthly property inventory via email. This month, AQUILA’s inventory image by local Austin Artist, Jake Bryer, is available for download! Like what you see? Click the download links below to access free backgrounds for your desktop and mobile devices. To sign up to receive our monthly inventory via email, subscribe to our mailing list here.

To learn more about this month’s artist, Jake Bryer, visit our About the Artist page.

Phone Backgrounds

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Desktop Wallpapers

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License: You may install the image as wallpaper only on your own devices: desktop, PC, laptop, notebook, tablet, ipad, smartphone.

Prohibited: Transferring a File to anybody else. Any kind of printing of the image. Use of the image on any websites. Creation of templates (websites or others) intended for resale. Any editorial or commercial use of the downloaded file under this license. Online “print-on-demand” products. Use in any logo or trademark. Use for pornographic, obscene or libelous works. Sub-license, give away, share or otherwise transfer stand-alone images/files.

September Phone + Desktop Wallpaper Downloads by Austin Artist Rachel Walter

Each month AQUILA distributes our monthly property inventory via email. This month, AQUILA’s inventory image by local Austin Artist, Rachel Walter, is available for download! Like what you see? Click the download links below to access free backgrounds for your desktop and mobile devices. To sign up to receive our monthly inventory via email, subscribe to our mailing list here.

To learn more about this month’s artist, Rachel Walter, visit our About the Artist page.

Phone Backgrounds

download artwork

download artwork + calendar

Desktop Wallpapers

download artwork

download artwork + calendar

License: You may install the image as wallpaper only on your own devices: desktop, PC, laptop, notebook, tablet, ipad, smartphone.

Prohibited: Transferring a File to anybody else. Any kind of printing of the image. Use of the image on any websites. Creation of templates (websites or others) intended for resale. Any editorial or commercial use of the downloaded file under this license. Online “print-on-demand” products. Use in any logo or trademark. Use for pornographic, obscene or libelous works. Sub-license, give away, share or otherwise transfer stand-alone images/files.

Everything You Need to Know About Austin’s Eastside Office Market

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Everyone in the Austin real estate world knows that the Austin Business Journal’s Jan Buchholz is the go-to source for all things commercial real estate. When she says something is the best she’s ever seen, people listen up. So as you can imagine, the AQUILA team took note when Jan’s latest write up came out heralding our 2Q 2016 Special Report “one of the best commercial real estate reports” she had ever seen, including her time in the larger markets of Denver and Phoenix. Yeah, we’re pretty excited.

Jan continues to give accolades to AQUILA’s Market Research Analyst Clayton Schleimer, who took over the report at the beginning of the year, and Director of Marketing Kendall Guinn, who initiated the overhaul of the report in 2015.

So why is the report causing so much buzz? AQUILA’s latest whitepaper entitled Eastside Special: Austin’s Fourth Primary Submarket? gives a detailed look at Austin’s burgeoning Eastside office market. The report defines the submarket as the area north of the river, east of IH-35 and within the 183 loop, with three distinct micromarkets and examines the changing nature of the area, delving into demographics, development and culture.

Download Eastside Special: Austin's Fourth Primary Submarket

The Eastside is a submarket unlike the sprawling suburban office markets or the ever growing high-rises of the CBD; this new submarket has its own office type and it is attracting in a distinct type of user. Recent tenants to relocate to the area include creative giants C3 Presents, the company behind ACL Festival and Lollapalooza, and Conde Nast, the powerhouse behind Glamour, GQ and Vogue.

To get the full scoop on what’s happening in Austin’s Eastside office market, download your copy of Eastside Special. Looking for a more comprehensive market update? Download the full 2Q Austin Market Report.

Five Creative Parking Solutions for Firms in Downtown Austin

Downtown Parking

The only topic more talked about than traffic at the watercooler these days is the parking situation downtown. Office managers and COOs in offices located from I-35 to Mopac are hosting meetings with their teams trying hard to solve the ever growing parking problem. As this issue becomes increasingly dire, Austin’s top companies and real estate firms are getting creative with how to park their employees. Here are 5 creative parking solutions that just might work for your firm:

1. Lease Spaces from a Residential Complex

With the recent proliferation of residential housing in downtown Austin has come a wealth of new parking spaces that, for the most part, are empty during the day. Savvy real estate developers have caught on and are taking advantage of this by negotiating lease agreements to use these residential parking spaces during the workday. For instance, Cielo Realty Partners has reportedly struck a deal with AMLI Residential to lease parking at their residential projects near Austin Music Hall, which Cielo purchased in late 2014. Firms with downtown office space can take note of this strategy and work with their real estate team to seek out similar opportunities.

2. Leverage your Neighbors

While many firms find parking a problem, there are others that have extra spaces to their name. (Yeah, we’re jealous too.) Your broker may be able to help you identify firms in your building or nearby buildings that are not utilizing all their spaces and help you strike a deal to lease them for a fee. Your neighbor gets a new revenue stream and you get more spaces for your employees. Talk about a win-win!

3. Provide Off-Site Parking and Shuttle your Employees

An idea originally popularized by companies in the San Francisco Bay area, several Austin firms are now offering off-site parking and providing shuttles to usher employees between the office and these nearby lots. For example, RetailMeNot, who offices in downtown Austin at 301 Congress, for some time had employees park at the Austin American Statesman across the river and provided a shuttle service at peak times during the day. To keep employees from feeling landlocked, the company provides free lunch four days per week and breakfast twice per week. They also offer company Segways for employees to run errands around downtown.


Photo by Elliott Brown
 

4. Form Transportation Partnerships

Austin’s transportation scene has recently become even more dynamic since the popularization of services like car2go, Fare and Ride Austin. These transportation companies offer business plans where by firms may set up corporate accounts and allow employees, within set parameters, to charge their rides to their company. Firms are trading out their parking bills for cab receipts, which, in some cases, can provide a cost savings over time.

5. Incentivize Employees to find Alternate Transportation

Another alternative to paying for more parking is to incentivize your employees to find alternative transportation methods on their own. Some companies are offering to pay directly to their employees a portion of what they would have otherwise paid for parking if they commit to walk to work or to taking public transportation. In some cases, employers have found that the additional cash to the employees often outweighs the inconvenience of finding alternative means of getting to work (for those employees who live in or around downtown). Additionally, some firms are even creating competition within the office to promote cycling to work. For instance, Sparefoot, a fast-growing startup located downtown, recently hosted a competition amongst its employees for who could log the most miles on their bike in a month. This organically encouraged dozens of employees to cycle to work, reducing their parking costs.

Savvy tenant representation brokers, like our team at AQUILA Commercial, are ahead of these trends and can help offer constructive solutions for your firm’s parking problems. A good broker should understand your parking requirements and be willing to help you on the front end of the leasing or renewal process.


Download Our Free Downtown Austin Available Parking Map


August Phone + Desktop Wallpaper Downloads by Austin Artist Rachel Walter

Each month AQUILA distributes our monthly property inventory via email. This month, AQUILA’s inventory image by local Austin Artist, Rachel Walter, is available for download! Like what you see? Click the download links below to access free backgrounds for your desktop and mobile devices. To sign up to receive our monthly inventory via email, subscribe to our mailing list here.

To learn more about this month’s artist, Rachel Walter, visit our About the Artist page.

Phone Backgrounds

download artwork

download artwork + calendar

Desktop Wallpapers

download artwork

download artwork + calendar

License: You may install the image as wallpaper only on your own devices: desktop, PC, laptop, notebook, tablet, ipad, smartphone.

Prohibited: Transferring a File to anybody else. Any kind of printing of the image. Use of the image on any websites. Creation of templates (websites or others) intended for resale. Any editorial or commercial use of the downloaded file under this license. Online “print-on-demand” products. Use in any logo or trademark. Use for pornographic, obscene or libelous works. Sub-license, give away, share or otherwise transfer stand-alone images/files.

Artist Spotlight: Rachel Walter

Rachel Walter is a contemporary painter whose work emanates from a long-felt fascination with the power of nature bonding with color. Each brush stroke, whether born out of technique or intuition, serves to construct an image in which Creation and color are emotionally fused. The bold hues and dramatic movement incorporated into each piece comprise layers of swaths and strokes, producing little moments that simultaneously form and react with the big picture.

Rachel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of Texas in 2014 and then settled down in her hometown of Austin with her husband, Mason, and their dog, Reggie. For more information, please visit: http://www.rachelwalter.com/

Rachel Walter Art on: Instagram

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Start Your Search for Austin Office Space in One Easy Step

Office Space Calculator - How much office space do you need? - Office Layouts

The search for a new office starts with one essential step: correctly estimating the amount of space your company needs. Don’t be feigned by the seeming simplicity of this calculation—if you overestimate the amount of space your company needs, you will waste valuable dollars, but if you underestimate the amount of space your company needs, company growth could be constrained. In order to save you time, money, and hassle, we have streamlined the process with our easy-to-use office space calculator. Designed by our knowledgeable brokers and based on industry standards, this calculator will provide your company with a good estimate of the square footage your company needs.

Visualize your office space needs.

Before inputting your information into the calculator, picture the layout of your future office. Do you want employee desks to be packed in, or do you want more room for employees to spread out? Will you incorporate meeting spaces, a kitchen, or a break room into your office? Will you house a conglomeration of different departments, requiring versatile spaces that allow you to have both clustered and scattered offices?

Austin Office Space Calculator - Common Space - How much office space do you need?

How would you describe the common areas in your space? Are they expansive – including numerous conference rooms and a large kitchen area or are they minimal with just one conference room and maybe a break room?

Calculate how much square footage your office needs.

Once you have visualized your new office layout, select the applicable options in our calculator. Our calculation is derived from a carefully-designed formula that weighs the number of employees, the amount of space desired for each employee and the use of common spaces. To produce the final estimate, your number of employees is multiplied by the average space per employee, to which is added a separate quantifier—the amount of common space multiplied by the number of employees and the amount of space desired for each employee. The final projection should give you a good place to start in your search for a new office space.

Talk to the pros.

While this calculator will provide you with an estimate of the amount of space your new office needs, it is based on industry standards and is not intended to act as a definitive valuation. We highly recommend that you seek the expertise of one of our brokers, who will be able to speak directly with you about your specific needs and the best ways to accommodate those needs within the market. To get a personalized assessment, click the link below.

Click Here to Estimate Your Square Footage Needs Now