190 Simcoe Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Managed by Great-West Life Realty Advisors Inc. (GWLRA)
Owned by The Canada Life Assurance Company
The 9-story, 313,897-square-foot 190 Simcoe Street office building is 100 percent leased, houses 750 professionals, is well-connected to the city’s public transportation system and is within steps of a wide array of cultural and entertainment amenities. Property management strives to maintain a high level of occupant satisfaction with such tenant-geared services as 24/7 security; a cafeteria; a fitness center with shower and change room facilities; a recreational lounge and wellness center; and two multifunctional soundproof office pods. Since occupant wellness and sustainability have always been at the forefront of this facility, GWLRA’s commitment to excellence is exemplified through its achievement of Fitwel certification in 2019, BOMA BEST Gold recertification in 2020, Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification in 2021 and the BOMA 360 designation in 2022. Of particular note in its community outreach is the company’s status as a long-standing partner to Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area, in which a corporate-sponsored home is built each year. To foster a strong tenant relationship, the team utilizes numerous forms of active and passive communications; in addition, several on-site environmental and appreciation events, which were on hold during the pandemic, are frequently held on-site as well. A sophisticated work management program efficiently manages all tenant service requests. As a result of the team’s oversight, biennial occupant comfort surveys have resulted in a 100 percent overall satisfaction rate across all survey categories.
11 Madison Avenue
New York, New York
Managed by SL Green Realty Corp.
Owned by SL Green Realty Corp.
Since Metlife first conceived it as its global headquarters in 1929, 11 Madison Avenue has taken on the mantle of sustainability leader by demonstrating how a multimillion-square-foot national landmark can deliver a high-performance, 21st century, eco-friendly environment. Today, the BOMA 360-designated 11 Madison is also certified to LEED Gold, WELL Health-Safety and Fitwel; houses two ice plants that manufacture ice at night; and retains its status quo as an ENERGY STAR building since 2016. Behind the scenes, 11 Madison, which now is the headquarters for two global tenants, essentially operates as buildings-within-a-building, while maintaining its heritage as one of America’s most distinguished commercial Art Deco structures. Owner/manager SL Green uses its environmental management system’s “Plan-Do-Check-Act” process to ensure it meets CRE’s highest benchmarks. As a result, 11 Madison has reduced its CO2 emissions by 14,715 metric tons since 2015, with a targeted emissions reduction of 30 percent by 2025 and plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 in alignment with the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint goal. Property management’s aggressive energy conservation program has saved more than $4 million in energy costs and 4.86 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). Regarding green purchases, the 11 Madison team strives to buy 90 percent of annually used cleaning products, 50 percent of existing cleaning equipment and 100 percent of new purchases with sustainable labels and other eco characteristics.
Canada Life Building
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Managed by Great-West Life Realty Advisors Inc. (GWLRA)
Owned by The Canada Life Assurance Company
The iconic Canada Life Building is an architectural jewel in downtown Toronto. The 18-floor tower, which blends French neo-classicism with Gothic and Renaissance elements, was constructed in 1931 to convey a sense of corporate stability through the Great Depression. First serving as the headquarters of Canada’s first domestic life insurance company, its principal tenant—Canada Life—remains. Likewise, the BOMA 360-designated and BOMA BEST-certified structure itself is one of the city’s most enduring emblems, a future that has been preserved since it was named a historical building under the Ontario Heritage Act. Property management shares information with building occupants predominantly through the team’s comprehensive tenant information and design criteria manuals; frequently circulated tenant advisories provide more regular updates. Email is tenants’ preferred communication method, functioning as time-efficient and paper-saving measures. During the pandemic, the team maintained a tenant-centered approach by executing rapid but strategic procedures aligned with government mandates and public health recommendations. Effective January 17, 2022, all staff, contractors and visitors must be double vaccinated to access any company property. Staff members also have undergone training in commercial building systems design, maintenance and operations. To remain abreast of best practices in preventive and corrective maintenance, GWLRA organizes meetings with contractors to review existing equipment and their recommendations on new technologies and aims to reach net zero emissions at each commercial real estate building by 2050.
6990 Creditview Road
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Managed by QuadReal Property Group
Owned by MNBP Single & Flex Holdings Inc.
Holding both a BOMA 360 designation and a BOMA BEST certification, the 159,677-square-foot 6990 Creditview Road is a single-story, U-shaped building that is home to six tenants and 355 occupants. Tenant uses include distribution; warehouse storage; sales and service outlets; and corporate and administrative offices. Full-height glass curtain walls, architectural precast, enhanced landscaped exteriors and ample parking, combined with a flex design, allow for both pure office users, combined office and warehousing or light manufacturing operations. A comprehensive tenant move-in package is supplemented longer term with numerous forms of communication from property management, among them email bulletins, annual in-person meetings, a tenant design criteria manual, sustainability newsletters, a monthly newsletter and a mobile app. Several measures have been instituted to improve energy performance, most recently an LED retrofit in electrical and sprinkler rooms. In 2020, a pilot project with Nerva Energy Group included the installation of an economizer with a smart controller to save energy and optimize/upgrade HVAC automation. The program includes an advanced wireless zone control system, carbon dioxide on-demand ventilation and advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that provide remote diagnostics and fault detection. The benefits realized have included optimized occupant comfort and up to 40 percent in energy savings. In addition, the property management team maintains an industry-leading tenant engagement program, which was upheld even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Managed by JLL
Owned by Prime Property Fund/Residences at Rowes Wharf
Rated as a BOMA 360, LEED Gold and WELL Health-Safety property, Rowes Wharf consists of 746,000 square feet of mixed-use space; 359,000 square feet of office space; a five-star, 232-room hotel; 100 luxury residential condominiums; street-level retail; a commercial maritime hub; private marina access/slips; three wharf buildings; a ferry pavilion; a 700-space, multilevel underground parking facility; extensive open space; and a brick-and-granite plaza. Several completed, in process and upcoming modernization projects have/will conserve energy, reduce liability and ensure a Class A experience. At Rowes Wharf, JLL looks for creative ways to weave in tenant appreciation events with community service—a dual goal that allows for meaningful community outreach for tenants within the convenience of their office space. A preventive maintenance system documents and ensures that equipment is being maintained in strict accordance with manufacturer recommendations; JLL’s engineering team also conducts formalized and documented daily tours of the property. In 2017, a strategic plan was developed and launched to accelerate energy conservation and broader sustainability initiatives, then implemented in phases. As a result, Rowes Wharf’s total energy use has dropped steadily year-over-year for the past five years, with 2019 (pre-pandemic) electricity usage down 14 percent through savings of 1.8 million kWh and approximately $330,000 per year. Such property management oversight is essential as Rowes Wharf has become a destination, one that houses activity 24/7.
Managed by Glenstar Properties LLC
Owned by Glenstar Properties LLC; Angelo Gordon & Co., LP
In northwest Chicago, four aluminum towers elegantly soar above the Kennedy Expressway. This is Presidents Plaza, an office complex composed of two buildings—each boasting a 12-story south tower and 10-story north tower, totaling 747,262 rentable square feet of Class A space—on a lush 14-acre campus. Glenstar and Angelo Gordon partnered together in April 2018 to add $20 million in capital expenditures to date, including lobby entrances, security desks, a state-of-the-art conference center, the Midtown Health Club, the Presidents Plaza Market, an updated salon and spa, the City Line Café, the Loop Lounge, upgrades to washrooms and corridors, spec suites and a $4 million mechanical chiller renovation. Besides its BOMA 360 designation, Presidents Plaza also has been certified LEED Gold, Wired Gold and ENERGY STAR. Property management is committed to building a professional relationship and promoting positive engagement with the 53 building tenants, and many newly renovated amenities encourage social interaction and camaraderie. In October 2019, the team introduced a new program, Glenstar Connect, which is designed to create fellowship and community; tenant employees who register on the Glenstar Connect website receive information and invitations regarding a variety of programs (giving, health and wellness, convenience, learning and social) and can reserve their spot for events (among which are concerts, a monthly book club and a pool tournament). During the pandemic, virtual events intermittently replaced in-person activities.
SUBURBAN OFFICE PARK LOW-RISE
Lakeview Corporate Center
Westlake Village, California
Managed by LBA Realty
Owned by LBA Realty Fund III-Co. XII, LLC
Lakeview Corporate Center, a two-story, 259,540-rentable-square-foot, Class A office complex, comprises four independent structures built around a grand, centrally located atrium space. Large skylights illuminate the two-story atrium with natural lighting to offer a unique gathering area that also provides food service, Wi-Fi and a state-of-the-art media wall streaming curated digital content. In tenant spaces, large efficient floor plates provide both unlimited design possibilities and spectacular views. Also offered are abundant surface parking and a multi-position loading dock. Property management uses a web-based work order system/mass communication program to assign, track and manage tasks, as well as to convey urgent messages to tenants. Customer service continues to be validated, most recently through an October 2021 Kingsley survey, in which a 100 percent satisfaction rating came from a 100 percent tenant response. Sustainable strategies drive value through tenant engagement, unique programs and expense- reduction opportunities. In addition, a proactive indoor environmental quality program, in which the team partners with Underwriters Laboratories, ensures a healthy and productive workplace. Of note is the center’s recent receipt of LEED EB O+M Gold certification, along with a long-standing ENERGY STAR rating. In addition, the property management team, which has developed a mindset of “life before property,” works closely with local police and fire departments to ensure the park meets all preventive measures for overall safety.
SUBURBAN OFFICE PARK MID-RISE
Managed by Crescent Property Services, LLC
Owned by Codina Partners
Despite its 39 years of age, the BOMA 360-designated Greenhill Towers boasts a uniquely modern layout: Two buildings, which offer a total of 278,000 square feet of space on nearly six acres, include ample pedestal, surface and below-grade parking options, vibrant green spaces, large floor plates and high-end finishes. A spacious lobby features a relaxing customer lounge area, boutique coffee bar and concierge desk with 24/7 security. Crescent’s strategy, in which terminology transformed its philosophy—specifically replacing the word “tenant” with “customer”—helps define the team’s ability to provide a heightened experience of community. Each Monday, customers receive the “This Week at Greenhill Towers” newsletter in their inboxes, which informs them about building events, retail partner promotions and happenings around the city—plus allows management to engage weekly. More recently, property management’s comprehensive COVID-19 response plan included a reentry package for customers to share with employees on return-to-work expectations. Through energy conservation initiatives driven by the management team, Greenhill Towers has reduced overall electric consumption by approximately 12 percent in the last year. In fact, based on BOMA’s Experience Exchange Report data, total utility utilization is $0.09 per square foot lower than competing buildings. With limited resources, the team creatively utilizes new customer build-outs as opportunities to improve building efficiency as well. Results speak for themselves: Greenhill Towers’ most recent ENERGY STAR rating is 94.
UNDER 100,000 SQUARE FEET
7 Post Office Square
Managed by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W)
Owned by Nuveen Real Estate
Built in 1968 and revitalized after Nuveen acquired it in 2016, the seven-story 7 Post Office Square is a premier downtown Boston property with exceptional setbacks, efficient floor plates and prime cityscape views. Almost $5 million in renovations included a complete overhaul of the main lobby, a new entry portal, state-of-the-art HVAC systems, LED lighting retrofits and impressive common area upgrades—all of which enticed a new generation of thriving financial and tech tenants to the building. A web-based work order and visitor management system effectively addresses tenant requests, and the property team reviews reports each month to ensure optimal customer satisfaction. They also created an extensive action plan to mitigate risk factors for tenants returning to their traditional work environment. These measures included a one-way traffic pattern in shared areas, touchless plumbing fixture retrofits (where applicable), copious signage installations throughout public areas, self-sanitizing surfaces on all touchpoints and frequent disinfecting of common areas. Today, property management continues to communicate biweekly with related reminders and policy changes. A C&W sustainable site management policy outlines best management practices designed to reduce harmful chemical use, energy and water waste, air pollution, solid waste and chemical runoff. The team also minimizes electronic waste through selective energy-conserving replacements and verifies that vendors oversee electronic waste disposal in the most environmentally responsible manner.
100,000-249,999 SQUARE FEET
Granite Place at Southlake Town Square
Managed by Granite Properties
Owned by Granite Properties
A six-story, Class A commercial office building located in a fast-growing and dynamic submarket of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Granite Place at Southlake Town Square contains 158,225 square feet and access to more than 120 shops and restaurants. An open-air courtyard, located between the property’s above-ground garage and building, offers the ideal spot for breaks and impromptu meetings, complete with Wi-Fi and cushy furniture. A unique feature is the LED exterior lighting system that highlights the building at night. Embedded in the fabric of Granite’s culture is its purpose statement: “inspiring people to flourish through the places we create.” Granite also decided to refer to “tenants” as “customers” to reflect their value to the business. As a result, Granite Place is 100 percent leased and plans now are underway for a mid-2022 groundbreaking of Granite Place Phase II. In addition to Granite Place’s current ENERGY STAR rating of 97, customer contact meetings, newsletters and emails coach customers about reducing energy consumption to shrink their operating expenses. Granite partners with the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center to track and improve the property’s energy, emissions, water and waste performance. Granite Place’s 2020 energy use intensity (EUI)—an indicator of a building’s energy efficiency in design and/or operations—is 8 kWh per square foot, which is well below the Greenprint U.S. office buildings’ median.
250,000-499,999 SQUARE FEET
Mandalay Tower 2
Managed by Parmenter Realty Partners
Owned by Parmenter Realty Partners
Las Colinas, the 12,000-acre development northwest of downtown Dallas, is known worldwide for its quality and uniqueness. In 1979, the BOMA 360-designated Mandalay Tower 2 was one of the first structures built as part of this development, leading the way for Las Colinas’ future and its exacting standards. Distinguishing features of the 16-story, 349,436-square-foot Mandalay Tower 2, a striking Class A office building, include easily subdivided, highly efficient rectangular floor plates; open-concept floor plans designed to promote collaborative experiences; and a seamless transition from car to office via a structured parking garage. The property team believes a symbiotic relationship exists between the building and community. Therefore, Mandalay Tower 2 staff practices an altruistic philosophy when maintaining relationships, giving back to the community in four ways: providing resources, collecting supplies, increasing awareness and allotting significant tax funds toward capital projects. In June 2020, Mandalay Tower 2 sent out a unique COVID-19 tenant survey to understand the needs and concerns of the current pandemic and provide helpful information to aid property management in creating a safer repopulating environment for upcoming years. Parmenter also strives to provide the most efficient buildings for the environment and tenants and is an ENERGY STAR corporate partner, as well as a BOMA 7 Point Challenge partner committed to improving 30 percent of energy savings over an average building.
500,000-1 MILLION SQUARE FEET
150 North Michigan
Managed by CBRE
Owned by CBRE Global Investors
From its distinctive diamond-shape sloped roof to its unsurpassed status as the cornerstone of Millennium Park, 150 North Michigan Avenue stands as a crown jewel in the Chicago Loop. The diamond face of the 41-story, 654,508-square-foot, Class A office tower, which holds a BOMA 360 designation, is actually two offset triangles that regularly display messages and are lit at night for a distinctive look on the city’s skyline. Approximately 50 people are employed directly or indirectly in property management, engineering, leasing, security and janitorial services, while the building provides office space for 60 tenants and more than 2,500 employees. A CBRE initiative—the Host app—literally puts the building and its amenities in the hands of tenants. Host’s original and exclusive content focuses on a range of such high-interest topics as health and well-being, productivity, professional development and sustainability. This platform also effectively acts as a notification system, highlighting upcoming building works, safety announcements and programs and a wide range of engaging events, both virtual and in person. Certified to LEED Gold, WELL Health-Safety and ENERGY STAR, 150 North Michigan is dedicated to energy efficiency and has expanded energy tracking to include waste and recycling. As part of these efficiency standards, the security department also uses technology-based equipment and software to provide automatic reporting and patrol notifications, paperless incident report writing, electronic logs and secured cloud-based storage.
OVER 1 MILLION SQUARE FEET
10 Hudson Yards
New York, New York
Managed by Related Hudson Yards Manager
Owned by Legacy Yards Tenant LP
Dramatic, dynamic and dazzling, the BOMA 360-designated 10 Hudson Yards (10HY) has defined a new nexus of imaginative architecture, community connection and corporate experience as it was the first building to rise and anchor the 28-acre Hudson Yards commercial-retail-recreational-residential community. Encompassing 1.85 million square feet, the 57-story tower showcases a façade that varies by four elevations but is united by its reflective glass curtainwall rendered in shingle-like forms. An emphasis on light, space and air are carried through by the tenants, who designed their spaces for the new workplace paradigm of expansive, column-free floor plates; above-average ceiling heights; abundant natural light; and spectacular 360-degree views. Although it serves as a private office tower, 10HY also takes on a public role with 30,000 square feet of sensitively designed outdoor plaza space and related amenities open to the public. Tenants are valued clients and visitors are guests, while property staff members are brand ambassadors personally charged with marrying the personal attentiveness of a five-star hotel concierge with the needs of today’s tenant environments. In fact, management actively uses annual Kingsley surveys to ensure that exceptional services continue, recently reaching a perfect score in “overall management satisfaction.” Built to LEED Core & Shell Platinum standards, 10HY has, since its 2016 opening, continued to strive for the highest possible energy conservation results, undertaking a program of multiple upgrades, performance optimizations and innovative operational practices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda K. Monroe, a freelance writer and editorial project manager, was the former editorial director at BUILDINGS magazine from 1981-2008.