Amenities. They’re just as important at a commercial level.

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Nov. 17, 2011

In the real estate development community we’re all used to talking about the amenities in our residential buildings. But more and more, for progressive building owners and business owners, the amenities in our office buildings are equally as important.

Just as in home buying, the value well-programmed amenities offer to potential tenants cannot be overlooked. Well-planned and carefully targeted amenities mean long-term socialization, relaxation, convenience and enjoyment for the entire building.

Take, for example, the Sun Tower in Vancouver. I am biased of course, as this is the building that Braun/Allison calls home.

There are endless foodie destinations nearby for a client lunches and late afternoon meetings. But it’s the amenities within the office and that have made the Sun Tower a real winner for all the tenants of the building.

A bike lock up makes biking to work a viable option. Three of my staff members bike to work every single day – rain or shine. In the old days, they had to hunt for a place to lock up their bikes on the street. An empty bike rack wasn’t always easy to find . . .

Downstairs, top-notch shower facilities mean those crazy cyclists actually have a spot clean up after their trek to the office as well.

The showers also come in handy for those of us trying to keep fit at the gym. Every tenant is given free membership to Sun Tower’s in-building gym, Kalev Fitness – a great use of an otherwise awkward basement space, if you ask me. Yoga, Pilates, weight training: it’s all here. No more excuses for sedentary lifestyles!

And then there are the offices themselves. They’re updated, spacious and bright, while maintaining a heritage charm.

Amenities are considered incredibly important to many buyers when looking for a new condo. Real estate developers should think twice about how they are in commercial spaces as well. Leasing is essentially the same as selling. It’s still a matter of talking to human beings and finding a way to connect to their needs. You can make a great connection through your amenities.

In our fantasy dream-building, the B/A team would also like to see:

– a dry cleaning drop off and FedEx station
– a smart WiFi café with healthy lunch options and ready catering services; better still if it were licensed and knew how to lower the lights a bit at 5pm for post-work libations
– additional boardrooms and meeting rooms for ad hoc rental
– a screening lounge for presentations and movie nights

So let’s end here, with a question: what are the best office building amenities you’ve ever seen? Send us a list. We’ll follow up.



David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more

David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more




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