Now that the millennial generation has entered the workforce in a big way, there is a lot of talk about its impact on commercial real estate. We heard a lot about this recently at Connect Los Angeles and it’s clear they are influencing every facet of the industry.
This sentiment was echoed by Alan Cooke, a vice president of the popular workout concept SoulCycle who said that Downtown Los Angeles is especially attractive for the New York City-based chain as well as millennials right now because of its food, beverage and apparel offerings. The company has yet to find a location in the downtown area, but he said that it is looking.
On the retail front, these people are looking for “hip, cool” concepts to shop that aren’t run of the mill. A good formula for success includes things that focus on “booze and dogs,” said Justin Weiss, a senior associate at Kennedy Wilson Brokerage Group.
Retailers need to adapt quickly, said Ed Sachse, an executive managing director of brokerage at Kennedy Wilson. Apps are driving how millennials shop, and retailers need to adapt to that reality. Since customers “pre-shop,” they are more likely to challenge retailers for price, quantity and quality,” he said.
In the office sector, millennials are changing the workspace and are demanding different amenities than your typical cubicles. Portable workstations, more conference rooms, and open areas where people can stand and work are becoming the norm, said John Barganski, senior vice president of Western Region for Brookfield Office Properties. “These folks are the desired employees of everyone,” he said. They are usually specialized in tech and other industries landlords are looking to attract.