A Smart Move Indeed

Six Landmark Square in Stamford, Conn. on March 16, 2016. Photo: Alexander Soule / Hearst Connecticut Media / Stamford Advocate
Indeed.com, a global job-search firm, has announced that it will expand its Stamford workforce from 600 to 900 and in the process open a sixth floor at its offices at 177 Broad St.

The company, which has another major operation in Austin, Texas, has quickly grown from about 50 employees in 2011.  But while major growth by large companies is always celebrated by local officials and local business organizations like the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, much of the recent office occupancy growth can be attributed to expansion of small businesses, according to Nate Swetland, a commercial broker with Pyramid Real Estate Group.

“I notice an increase in smaller tenants,” he said. “Typically, these smaller firms may have a sizeable online presence yet only small two- to eight-person crew and awaiting funding or second rounds of funding.”

The demand is being met by building owners creating or allocating more incubation spaces for small tenants poised for growth and shared work space (collaborative) geared for facilitating ideas and communication between innovating firms, Swetland said.

The incubation space or shared work space may include common amenities like a shared conference room, kitchens and meeting rooms, according to Swetland.

“I see some office tenants who do not need Class A or B office space move into the industrial buildings that may lie in industrial parks offering a nice setting at much more flexible lease structures,” he said.
Building owners of large dysfunctional space meet this demand by dividing the space, adding amenities and softening the “industrialness” of the property, Swetland said.
“Cities like Stamford are doing with they can to bring in innovation and tech firms. This well-capitalized area is a breeding ground for good ideas, capitalization and deployment,” he said, such as ease of local government restrictions, physical transportation logistics, ease on tax burden, housing and local amenities to attract the right tenant.

Office occupancy growth will be at the smaller tenant level, and landlords need to offer creative, more flexible spaces with amenities and more flexible lease structures to attract occupants.

“There isn’t a lot of demand for the large floor plate in Fairfield County right now,” Swetland said, “and the landlords who will win will be the ones who can quickly respond to the demand of smaller spaces or the changing needs of the current tenant market.”