Millennials forcing suburban office parks to close
- Traditional office parks that companies constructed for boomers buying homes in the suburbs aren’t choice locations for millennials, says Business Insider. Corporations like McDonald’s, ConAgra Foods and Kraft Heinz left the cities decades ago and followed boomers to the suburbs, where they set up headquarters.
- Business Insider says now companies are moving back to urban locations, a trend driven by millennials, who want to live and work near restaurants, walk to nearby retail establishments and take public transportation. Millennials — the 75 million-strong generation between ages 20 and 36 — make up the largest segment of the workforce, and companies want to be where they are.
- Robert Bach, director of research at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank real estate, told Business Insider that 14% to 22% of suburban corporate complexes are at risk for becoming obsolete, so it’s no coincidence that “fitness-focused and food-savvy millennials” prefer city life.
Employers traditionally have followed workers to wherever they live. As many workers earned higher wages and bought homes in the suburbs, companies followed. Millennials generally like what city life offers, so it’s no surprise that real estate developers are rehabbing apartment complexes near city parks, restaurants, major retailers and theaters.
Small employers, many of whom also set up their establishments in suburban areas, might not have the financial resources to make the trek back to the city. But some might be able offer benefits that are attractive to millennial city-dwellers, such as free theater tickets, discounted restaurant meals and museum membership fees, coffee shop coupons and gift cards to urban retail shops.
For those that can't afford to move to the big city, an employer in an affordable but accessible area may also still appeal to millennials, particularly older millennials looking to settle down with a family. Additionally, allowing flexibility at work — including remote work — is another affordable way to adjust to changing demographics.