I just finished reading the report by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009 (which may be accessed and downloaded at the PWC web site: http://www.pwc.com/ and enter the title in the search box). The report represents a consensus outlook for the commercial real estate future and reflects the views of more than 700 individuals who completed surveys and/or were interviewed. The consensus of the participants was that the financial and commercial property markets would hit bottom in 2009, and experience slow recovery beginning in 2010. However, what was even more interesting to me was the report's discussion of the "green trend." In the midst of all the problems that currently exist in our industry, the report acknowledges that big tenants are still putting "green" on their priority checklists. They want good PR for occupying environmentally correct space, savings from more energy efficient systems, and improved working environments for greater productivity and to recruit and retain younger, up-and-coming employees. Rising utility bills continue to be a key driver and demand attention. Cutting energy expenses, the report contends, should be a priority in controlling rising operating expenses.
There is no question that vacancy rates for all property types are increasing. This is already resulting in cut-throat competition for tenants. As such, building owners and managers will need every option available to them to attract tenants. The "green" option should definitely be in the quiver.