Future for commercial property – has the sector changed forever?

Brought to you by Interaction

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the business world for over a year. With lockdowns and tiers, came restrictions on office working. Once sprawling, energetic venues transformed into ghost towns practically overnight. So what next for the commercial property sector? We’ve teamed up with Interaction for a special panel debate to discuss.

This live debate puts a microscope on what the future holds for the commercial property sector. Will many offices and retail units disappear or be repurposed as some suggest, or will real-estate obligations – and the gathering momentum with the Covid-19 vaccine – preserve the skyline of our cities and towns?

The panel:

Here’s a breakdown of what we covered:

  • Dr Walter Boettcher: Is there a threat to the future of commercial property and offices? (2:47)
  • Tom Morris: What have you seen in the office market over the last year and your expectations going forward? (6:19)
  • Hayley Blacker: How has the Interaction coped over the past 12 months and what type of enquiries are you fielding from clients? (7:59)
  • Toni Riddiford: You have a background in commercial design and lead on mixed use and office projects across the UK. What are the key trends you’re seeing in this space? (10:44)
  • Sarah Trahair-Williams: Can you tell us your thoughts around mixed-use developments and what we can expect to see? (13:15)
  • Jo Charles: What shifts are you seeing now, in regards to sustainability and how buildings are built and managed and constructed? (17:02)
  • Richard Bonner: Looking at our urban spaces going forward and building new offices at mixed use developments, how do you see our future cities looking? (21:49)
  • Dr Walter Boettcher, Richard Bonner & Tom Morris: How do the current levels of inward investment into the UK commercial office sector compare with previous years? (24:53)
  • Sarah Trahair-Williams & Toni Riddiford: What’s next for multi-use ex-retail commercial real estate? (32:55)
  • Hayley Blacker: What trends are you seeing when clients ask for a commercial office fit-out? (36:37)
  • Dr Walter Boettcher: What treats to you foresee for the sector post-COVID? (38:31)
  • Jo Charles: Regarding recent elections, are we set for a green revolution? (40:25)
  • Richard Bonner: Do you think governmental leadership is in place to handle these issues? (42:33)

Questions from the audience

  • Sarah Trahair-Williams & Hayley Blacker: What’s next for flexible office space providers? (44:25)
  • Jo Charles, Richard Bonner & Dr Walter Boettcher: Is enough being done to encourage diversity and inclusion in the sector? (46:57)
  • Final word from Sarah Trahair-Williams (50:57)
  • Final word from Richard Bonner (52:15)
  • Final word from Toni Riddiford (53:03)
  • Final word from Tom Morris (53:55)
  • Final word from Jo Charles (54:37)
  • Final word from Dr Walter Boettcher (55:18)
  • Final word from Hayley Blacker (56:12)

Be sure to subscribe to the Business Leader YouTube channel for more interviews with some of the UK’s leading business figures.

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