Arcturis recently discussed the future of the workplace with Colliers International and the St. Louis Business Journal.
MEET THE EXPERT: As a Principal at Arcturis, Julie Keil leads the workplace design team by establishing strategic direction and providing dynamic solutions to meet her client’s complex business needs. Her 28 years at the firm have made her a national expert on creating office spaces for world-class clients like Wells Fargo, Ameren, Express Scripts and Equifax.
St. Louis Business Journal: What industries are driving the local office market?
Keil: The start-ups. The Cortex area. The biotech. The life sciences. You still have your large corporate activities, but there’s a lot of activity in the start-ups, the more entrepreneurial-driven market. That activity is really exciting. It gives a different perspective to the type of space that is created for the market.
St. Louis Business Journal: What are the hot projects?
Keil: The Cortex hub, the Armory, and the growth in healthcare with the BJC expansion — that whole area is going to be a huge transformation over the next several years. Innovation is so important. I think corporations are all acknowledging that even if they have their corporate campuses there is a tie and an interest to have a presence in a Cortex-type of environment.
St. Louis Business Journal: The mantra we’ve always heard is location, location, location, but really there’s lots of locations that you’re referencing that have big potential right now.
Keil: In the corporate world, what we see as a huge driver is attracting and retaining top talent. With the shift in the workforce with a lot of the baby boomers, who I think historically like being in the suburbs, they like an easy commute. With more millennials really becoming the dominant population, I think there is a desire to be in more of an urban, metropolitan-feeling area. That’s where they want to live and it’s also where they want to work.
People can work anywhere. It used to be that people had to physically drive or commute in some manner to their workplace to physically work. Your desk was there. Your access to technology was there, and so on. Today, technology makes it possible to work anywhere, any time. I question if our future is really going to be corporations or if it is going to be diversified, where you have multiple offices that are more hub-like for people to come together and collaborate. Oftentimes, people have the ability to be able to work at home, but they want that personal connection. That’s where you will see people come into work a couple days a week that do not necessarily need to, but do to make that connection.