High-Rise Offices Are Now Ghost Towns

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Once upon a time, the office was a second home for many.

Assigned desks were decorated with personal items; favourite mugs ran through the dishwasher at the end of each day; wheelie chairs were adjusted to exacting specifications. Since the pandemic, that office routine has faded. Now that hybrid working is the norm for many companies, several of the towering high-rise buildings workers used to visit daily sit empty or well below their pre-pandemic capacity.

July data from real estate company Cushman & Wakefield showed that Manhattan office buildings had a 22.4% vacancy rate in the second quarter of 2023. San Francisco’s vacancy rate has grown to 31.8%, according to real estate company CBRE, despite being closer to zero before the pandemic, with startups fighting for office space. And although buildings in central London are fuller – vacancy rates are 9.4%, according to real estate services company JLL. This rate is almost double the long-term average of 5.5%.

Even office buildings that are in use now see more sporadic traffic; they may be bustling on a Wednesday, but by Friday, they’re a ghost town. 

This means many businesses have more space than they’re using – and experts say there are few signs companies will need the real estate footprint they had pre-pandemic. Will companies hold onto these buildings, crossing their fingers workers will come back, or is a new future ahead for these once-bustling spaces?

Read more at BBC.com

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!