The 'Cinderella Treatment': An Alternative Approach to Saving the Suburban Office Park

As suburban office parks struggle to lure tenants not decamping for more urban environments, some are investing princely sums to renovate their buildings in the hope of capturing a slice of the shrinking pie.

"Owners of suburban office space in [New Jersey] face a difficult environment," writes Ronda Kaysen. "Eighty percent of the office buildings were built in the 1980s and 1990s during the reign of the suburban, self-contained corporate campus, according to a report by Rutgers University [PDF]. But over the last decade, businesses and workers fled the isolation of the suburbs in favor of accessible city centers. Added to that, businesses have been reluctant to sign leases or expand operations in a lackluster economy."

While some office parks are embarking on mixed-use redevelopment in the face of high vacancy rates and low rents, others are taking a different tack and investing in costly renovations to create corporate campuses "updated for a modern work force." One example is Novo Nordisk's new North American headquarters in Plainsboro, where a $225 million gut renovation "took a drab, bunkerlike edifice and made it a shiny example of how New Jersey’s aging suburban office stock could be reimagined for a new era."

Full Story: Drab Office in New Jersey Gets the Cinderella Treatment


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.