Driving through Maricopa County, it is evident that commercial real estate construction is experiencing a boom. While the experts are trying to determine when it might slow, there are some clear trends in commercial real estate that are influencing construction practices and building design features. Here are a few leading trends dominating 2019:
Psychographics and sustainability
Modern office and living spaces are designed with the end-user in mind. Design features are largely influenced by the psychographics of the inhabitants of a space – their attitudes, values, and lifestyle. Understanding what the user values and what features they may need to feel connected to a space and how they might interact. Community spaces for gathering, napping rooms, and mini dog parks are all examples of lifestyle design features that reflect lifestyle and function.
As values drive more design decisions, health and wellness is another driving factor. Green building is now fairly standard, but a focus on health and wellness takes sustainable building practices to a new level. Designers are selecting recyclable and renewable materials for both finishes and furnishings.
Living in a technology-driven world requires building commercial spaces that not only offer, but embrace new technology. We are seeing the latest in smart windows to smart appliances that help conserve energy and enhance living. A growth in a shared or collaborative workspace is also increasing demand for technology, whether it be stronger and more efficient Wi-Fi services or the need for more data centers.
Demand for Industrial
The increase in eCommerce is impacting demand in the industrial sector. Warehousing and logistics space continues to be a hot segment, as part of the Amazon effect. While brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to find that sweet spot for consumer experience and customer serv
ice, they are developing hybrid services that bridge online shopping with in-store conveniences. Much like office and multi-housing, to accommodate growing demand and increased land prices, new builds on warehousing is beginning to go up instead of out. The trend for multi-floor warehouse space is popping up in other large markets. While Phoenix still has a lot of land available, developers may start to add height to increase square footage for storage.
Suburban sprawl and master-planned communities still have their place, but millennials are more interested in forgoing square footage for nearby conveniences. Multifamily apartments, condos, townhouses and infill projects continue to be a hot trend, as a result. The suburbs are also taking on a different look with cool downtown areas that offer more walkable areas and entertainment – think downtown Gilbert. Residents no longer need to drive to Scottsdale to dine and shop, especially as local favorites like OHSO and Postino are opening locations in these newer areas.
As new employers and residents continue to make the move to Phoenix, the commercial real estate trends will continue to show expansion with both office and multifamily projects. The big challenge for developers will be keeping pace with the population and job growth. If construction begins to lag, we can expect to see a shortage of supply and rising rents. Regardless, Phoenix remains one of the most affordable growing cities in the U.S.