When it comes to changes in commercial real estate site selection because of COVID-19, it appears that Tucson is ready to respond.
That’s how I see it at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson. Site Selection magazine recently published results of its survey of site selection consultants. The focus was on what a post-COVID-19 commercial real estate market will look like. I think Tucson is well positioned to meet new challenges in site selection.
About 83% of respondents in the survey said they expect to continue making decisions based on supporting a workforce that was forced out of centralized office space. More than 51% said their corporate clients will consider moving out of city centers to suburbs and rural areas.
Tucson already is considered a good place for these types of relocations. Site Selection Guild members named Tucson a top candidate for consideration in relocation activities. As a mid-size city of about 1 million residents, Tucson is known for having open spaces and affordable suburban housing supported by urban-styled art, culture, food and other amenities.
The generational makeup of a company’s workforce will require some thought about remote work. A survey in Business Facilities showed 67% of respondents felt they were more productive working from home. Gen Z workers wanted more task automation while millennials wanted better home office equipment. Gen X sought more work schedule flexibility. Senior employees more easily adapted to work from home than young career-starters.
Tucson has a reputation for meeting the needs of a variety of working styles. Co-working space exists and commercial real estate options include spaces for small satellite operations. A strong startup ecosystem attracts both young and experienced entrepreneurs. A current homebuilding boom is adding options for carving out work-from-home space from the start.
About half of the site selectors in the Site Selection survey said their clients weren’t planning on taking COVID-19 into account on decisions regarding international relocations. But 41% said they were considering more projects that bring company activities to the U.S.
Tucson site selection options is bolstered by its location 84 miles (103 kilometers) from Mexico. It gives companies the best of both worlds: a domestic operation with regional supply chain activity that includes the cost efficiencies of a foreign country. Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico have established an economic super-region where systems and infrastructure support a vibrant trade ecosystem.
As a Southwest trade hub, Tucson and Southern Arizona have beefed up a logistics and distribution infrastructure that is ready to meet the perceived increasing demand for this industrial real estate sector.
Not surprisingly, site selectors want to work with communities that listen to their clients’ needs and work to meet those needs. Tucson and Arizona economic development efforts are fully ready with various incentives, workforce development programs, startup support and sustained recruitment of companies with quality jobs.
Ready for 2021 trends
The site selection consultant survey pictures a 2021 with strong activity for industrial real estate. Along with logistics and distribution, Tucson already has the environment to support advanced manufacturing and biomedical and health-care facilities.
Several R&D and manufacturing business developments are waiting for tenants and owners. Opportunity Zones provide additional Tucson site selection opportunities.
Tucson will be among the right-sized cities that are ready to move on after COVID-19 is under control. CREG of Tucson can help companies get ahead of the expected rush for the type of commercial real estate that will be in demand.
Contact CREG of Tucson for an immediate, complimentary consultation, 520-299-3400.