Office development

Next generation of employees may deem current office structures as 'archaic', says RealCorp Capital founder

The office market is alive but is bound to see changes as a result of technology disruption and different employee needs, said Chris Kanwei, founder of RealCorp Capital.


The comment was made during Bisnow’s smart money virtual summit, ‘Is London open? Financing & available capital in an uncertain environment’ on 16th March.

Paul Oberscheider, founder and CEO at Hilltop Credit Partners, kicked off the event with a keynote speech on the current lending environment and the opportunities available for investors, as well as the company’s plans following the £300m of investment it secured from Metropolitan Real Estate earlier this month.

During the webinar, Chris and fellow panellists Patrick Williams, partner at Fried Frank; Shiraz Jiwa, founder and CEO of The Valesco Group; John Carter, commercial director at Aldermore; Lorna Brown, head of capital markets at Delancey and Alexandra Lanni, head of investments of EMEA credit strategies at CBRE Global Investors discussed the current trends they are seeing in terms of real estate investment in London, as well as what the future might hold for this sector.

When discussing the investment opportunities available for different types of development, Chris predicted that, while the demand for office space will remain, developers will need to take into account ways the new generation of employees are interacting in the current technological era when considering office building projects for the long-term.

“The whole idea of humans collaborating, that’s never going to be taken away,” he said, “but we still have to understand that this generation coming forward is not [as] keen on engaging in the same way that we do,” 

“These same people are going to be moving into the offices of the future, and they’ll be looking at engaging differently, and they might look to the current office structures as archaic.”

He believes that the only thing that is certain is change.

“One thing we shouldn’t discount is the ability for disruption to completely change the way that we see and perceive things.”

John agreed and expects that the office market will bounce back strongly later this year.

“Will there be a demand for offices? Absolutely. But will they be different? I think so, but it’s really hard to call what that looks like, so we’re just monitoring that at the moment.”

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