As seen in New England Real Estate Journal
The amenity arms race has been ramping up in Boston, where tenants and employee’s expectations are predisposed to the typical fitness center or trendy café. As a concerted effort to remain competitive, the high quality owners and buildings are elevating their offerings, by building amenity centers for tenants with the goal of creating a truly engaging, community-oriented experience. A new role of “social manager” has been unveiled to promote these experiences and bring further programming into the office building environment.
The role of social manager centers around engagement and creating a dynamic community for tenants – the job description includes organizing tenant socials and ping-pong tournaments to local restaurant takeovers and weekly yoga classes. 451 D St. is leading the way in this space – a significant part of the role is to develop programming and events that will resonate specifically with the interests of the building tenants. This involves identifying opportunities to promote community collaboration through the outlet of planned events, specialty programming and social media engagement.
From a recruitment standpoint, it has become essential for companies to adapt and enhance their employee appreciation and work atmosphere. As a building that caters to many different types of corporations and tenants, Meritage Properties and the entire 451 D St. ownership team saw a need for a space that could act as a home base for tenants. As part of several capital improvements to the asset, a new amenity center was added to the building during 2016–featuring a lounge area, games, kitchen and conference/training center–to act as a space for employees to relax, recharge and socialize with one another. Once the amenity center was created, the social manager position was established to oversee the space and develop new programs for the tenant community. Prospective tenants benefit from curated programs for their employees, which also add value to the asset and their respective workspaces. From a leasing perspective, amenity centers improve tenant retention as well as new leasing activity, giving the asset more appeal and marketability than comparative leasing options for prospective tenants.
451 D St. is owned by a joint venture between Meritage Properties and CV Properties, managed by Lincoln Property Company and leased by CBRE/New England. The property currently has 73,000 s/f available for lease and offers numerous on-site and area amenities. In addition to recent capital improvements, it was announced that Kids & Company will open a 20,000 s/f day care facility in the building next summer.
Mary Landucci is the social manager at 451 D Street, Boston, Mass.