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Businesses borrow design concepts from college campuses

By Mike Wheatley | January 2, 2020
  • Suburban office campuses are borrowing design concepts from universities for indoor and outdoor communal spaces in hopes of appealing to more young professionals entering the workforce.

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    For example, in Warren, N.J., an office campus is building an indoor-outdoor, 20,000-square-foot amenities hub that mimics some universities’ student recreation centers. It features patio dining, exercise equipment, and a basketball court. It serves as a place for professionals to connect and collaborate.

    In Holmdel, N.J., Bell Works redesigned its office campus and took some inspiration from university libraries to cater to its younger employees who are transitioning from college life. The company created Holmdel Library with 18,000 square feet of space, offering a plethora of books for those who might miss the library setting.

    Offices are also offering dining venues like you’d find at colleges. Vision Real Estate Partners in Parsippany, N.J., is opening one called Latitude to offer a variety of food options, from Chicago-style deep dish pizza to New York-based cuisine.

    “The term ‘amenities’ does not do justice to what we are creating in the office campus setting,” Ross Chomik, managing partner at Vision Real Estate Partners, told Forbes.com. “We’re not simply putting a cafeteria or a gym in one of our buildings and expecting that to change the course of the workday for our tenants. What companies really want is a customized, hospitality-based experience—an environment that is thoughtful about how much time people actually spend at work, and what they really need from the workplace to perform at their best. That means creating spaces that cater to different work styles and infusing wellness-, food-, and recreation-based services integrating with people’s daily lives.”

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