CREW Charlotte October Luncheon – Empty Spaces
Submitted by Holly Alexander, New South Properties
CREW Charlotte featured “Empty Spaces” as the topic for the October virtual luncheon. The panel consisted of Cassie McCrain, Managing Director of Real Estate Asset Management at Barings; Paula Saunders, broker at New South Properties of the Carolinas; Jessica Brown, Executive Director at Cushman Wakefield; and moderator Holly Alexander, also a broker at New South Properties. These local experts dove into how leasing office and retail space has been changing and will accelerate in a post-Covid world. Many landlords are getting creative with repurposing traditional space and several tenants are looking at those empty spaces opportunistically. Regardless, retail will likely not look the same and “real estate operators will have to sharpen their pencils and look for creative ways to add value,” McCrain said. Our local office marking is faring well to date. Unlike other major metropolitan cities who have seen a dramatic uptick in the subleasing of office space, Charlotte remains relatively unaffected. Brown stated about 60% of the sublease opportunities in Charlotte measure less than 10,000 square feet, with about a quarter of all sublease space in uptown. While the jury is still out on the what, we will see changes to how we approach space design, layout and features, including how to better integrate health and wellness into our everyday spaces.