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Highwoods Properties’ CEO discusses office market trends

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Print this page By Veronica Garabelli

Feeling a little closer to your co-worker than before, literally? Highwoods Properties is finding that more companies are going for collaborative spaces where break and meeting areas may be larger but an individual’s working space is smaller. 

“It’s basically a Starbucks within an office,” says Ed Fritsch, president and CEO of Raleigh,N.C.-based Highwoods Properties.  Fritsch was in Richmond Thursday for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Real Estate Circle of Excellence Breakfast Program, where he talked to 150 guests about the current and anticipated state of the office market. The real estate investment trust is the largest landlord at Innsbrook Corporate Center in Henrico County where it is working to develop a mixed-use project.

Fritsch also noted that new construction projects have decreased dramatically, and they are likely to stay that way for an extended period of time.  He said the company is fortunate, however, to have new development projects such as a recent $56 million deal in Memphis, Tenn. to expand International Paper’s headquarters.  

Asked whether mixed-use projects were a fad by an audience member, Fritsch said he didn’t think so.

“I think it’s not a fad, not for the next several decades at least and I have trouble seeing beyond that,” Fritsch said.

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