Salem doesn't really have any of those - though SAIF, the Civic Center, almost all of the projects in whole Pringle Creek Urban Renewal Area follow the campus forms of this model in many ways; the new cluster of State offices out on Fairview Industrial also meet it in some ways; and of course the Kroc Center is a disconnected campus in a more modern idiom. There's some campus influence here for sure.
Closer to the real subject of the report itself, we do have those parcels out by Kuebler and Gaffin Road that we seek to build into a new suburban office parks.
|East of Kuebler, the Mill Creek Corporate Center|
and Salem Renewable Energy and Techology Center
are remote from anything except the interstate.
In a business that values location above all else, when tenants locational preferences change, asset values can be affected dramatically. For example, the expansiveness, serenity, and security of the 1980s suburban office campus once made that environment appealing for many professional and business services firms. Now, however, walkability and activated environments are at the top of many tenants' lists of must-haves. Suburban office buildings that have become obsolete due to car-centric and removed locations...are unlikely to achieve market-average rents as leases roll.These aren't whackadoodle New Urbanists or transportation advocates talking about problems with "car-centric" development! These are suits, commercial real estate suits, responding to the market.
Indeed the very first criteria in the flow chart "Is my office building obsolete?" are about walkability:
- Is the property walkable to public transit?
- Is it walkable to neighborhood amenities?
You might recall an interesting piece in the New York Times about this four years ago. Writing from her book, Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes, Louise A. Mozingo noted that
suburban offices are even more unsustainably designed than residential suburbs. Sidewalks extend only between office buildings and parking lots, expanses of open space remain private and the spreading of offices over large zones precludes effective mass transit.It seems quite possible that our wanna-be office parks will become stranded assets, in whole or in part, and possible that the City ought increasingly to see them as sunk costs and seek instead to focus on downtown and sites more central.
More and more, sites on the edges of the Urban Growth Boundary are problematic. So this is something of a medium-range trend to file away and watch.