Dear Landlords: What this New York Developer is Doing Could Transform Your Office Project

This post was originally published as one of my LinkedIn articles on September 25, 2018:

Creating a collaboration hub for the innovation economy is where the future of office space is heading. Building owners in Carlsbad who are looking for pioneering ways to reduce vacancy beyond the typical uninspired suburban improvements such as new paint, updated carpet, fresh landscaping and the addition of a few outdoor amenities should look to New York City for inspiration and vision in preparation for the coming shift toward a more synergistic environment in the next few years.

Building a Purposeful Community

14th@Irving, a 20-story building consisting of approximately 240,000 square feet and steps from Union Square in New York City is expected to break ground early next year. The ground floor will include a food hall featuring local startup vendors. The building will also house classrooms, gathering places for networking and meetings, and most importantly incubator space consisting of small flexible suites for startups who will eventually grow into larger suites within the tower.

You may be wondering what a laid-back West Coast beach town has in common with The City That Never Sleeps, but you’d be surprised. There’s a vast North County startup scene under the surface that is slowly starting to convene in meaningful ways around town. Over the past few months, I’ve been visiting North County San Diego startup events and meetups where I’ve the opportunity to chat with local entrepreneurs. I’m so amazed at the projects underway and the ideas that are passed around over a cup of coffee.

14th@Irving is aiming to become an assembly point and heart of technology in New York City. An essential part of the plan is the backing of the city and partnership with local colleges and universities to help future tenants secure top-notch talent. In copying their approach, there’s an opportunity to partner with some of the best schools in the country based here in San Diego. Talent is abundant here, but the challenge is ensuring those people stay and thrive rather than leave for places such as San Francisco, New York City, Austin and Denver.

It’s Time to Take the Lead and Define the Future of Carlsbad

Sure, we can continue to meet in co-working spaces or at locally owned coffee shops, but as a building owner wouldn’t it be smart to position your building as the definitive heart of this emerging network of like-minded creators in Carlsbad? Have you thought about reducing vacancy by setting aside a small amount of incubator space in your building to create a pipeline of possible larger requirements in the future? How do you help your tenants come together? Entrepreneurs and business owners today are looking for more than just a space — they are looking for a community.

I am continually striving to build a more vibrant Carlsbad, but I can’t do it alone. It takes the buy-in of building owners, local businesses and the community to work together in making this area a winning choice. I’m fed up with double-digit vacancy, so let’s do something about it.

One last question to ponder – What can you do to take your building/project from uninteresting to fascinating? Hint: I have a few solutions, but you have to allow me to buy you a coffee!


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