Business parks are a space that separates large companies from other tenants and can be found in many different shapes and sizes. Business parks provide an attractive, safe, and comfortable area for the larger businesses in order to function. This article will outline what business parks have to offer and the benefits that they have for firms with a large portfolio of locations.
Business parks have some advantages that other forms of office space do not. Onsite services that are provided in most business parks include mail, printers, fax machines, phones, and even professional cleaning services. These services help the larger companies in the business park function much more smoothly and also save time by eliminating on-site employees dealing with these issues. Many firms also prefer business parks because there is more space to spread out and they can attract top talent. This is because the business park is usually a clean, safe environment which provides a nice work environment for people who work a lot outside of the office.
An office park is an area that typically contains commercial buildings, sometimes with rowhouses or larger apartment complexes, and is surrounded by a complex of roads and possibly also railroads. These are also sometimes called business parks as in addition to the buildings (and/or apartments) there may be other businesses, such as a gas station or convenience store. The defining feature of an office park or business park is that they provide parking space around the buildings and often have connecting roads between them. In the United States, this type of development was pioneered by William Levitt in Yonkers, New York. The idea was that a semi-rural location could support several companies or factories and that the factories, which were generally made up of just one or two stories, would not need much parking space, so could be supported by no more than one lane of roads. The pattern of development has been copied and refined across the United States in various locations.
The typical form of an office park is a long, winding road with numerous buildings along both sides. There are normally parking lots with access to the rear of each building. All of the buildings have shared access to utilities, such as electric and water supplies, but some also have their own individual generators. Another defining feature of office parks is the age of the buildings and the time in which they were constructed. Levitt’s first office park was built in 1946 and was generally updated, with new parking lots added, over decades. As such, Levitt’s developments are now quite old. This reflects the pattern across the United States: The 1970s saw many older office parks constructed in cities and suburban areas as new technology allowed for ever-larger numbers of employees to be supported from a single location; now there are very few new office parks being built and instead most are being replaced by mixed-use developments, which will contain some office space, but also residential and retail space.
Many of the reasons that people build office parks revolve around their location, but they are also often drawn by the density of their mixed-use development. Mixed-use developments are a series of commercial, residential or retail buildings in close proximity to one another where vehicle access to and from the different elements is either limited or prohibited outright, but allowed for pedestrians. Construction engineers call these types of developments “footprint protection”. Footprint protection is a relatively new concept; there are many different styles of office parks ranging from retail and residential in small amounts to single-story factories with little more than parking lots. Business Parks were once only found in industrial areas, but now it can be found anywhere from downtown to suburbia. With the expansion of the Internet, more people have found that they prefer to work from home in order to save on high transit costs and parking. Mixed-use developments give office workers an opportunity to live in close proximity to their workplace and thus benefit from reduced car usage. Mixed-use developments also enable office workers to shop for groceries, walk or bike to work, or utilize some form of public transportation if available.
Three Basic Types
Business Parks can be broken down into three basic types; Industrial parks, business parks and retail/commercial hubs. Each type of business park has its own unique look and purpose in mind when it is built. These different parks all have specific features to them which separate them from each other. Industrial Parks are the largest of the three as they are set up for commercial use, in addition to industrial use. The main need of an industrial park is to provide a large amount of land, both for parking and buildings, in a close range and at an inexpensive price. Because industrial parks are small and cheap to build, many small businesses will settle in these parks if they can afford it. The factories that come into these parks generally range in size from 18 million USD to 50 million USD with only 5% of them being over 75 million USD. There is a greater emphasis on industrial parks to provide goods, services and technology to the public. These parks are typically designed for one use only and that is to provide industrial space as cheaply as possible. Business Parks are smaller than industrial parks though only slightly. Business Parks tend to be built around big cities in order to attract local businesses and professionals who want the city life with an added work space. The park will usually be surrounded by restaurants, residential areas, shops and other business parks in an attempt to draw more people into the area. Business Parks are designed with a mix of offices and workshops that surround commercial buildings.
In many ways, office parks have been more successful than other kinds of suburban development. Their proximity to retail and residential areas allows workers to shop and dine at their convenience, and the lack of cars in the vicinity gives these businesses a reduced environmental impact. Office parks can also be located close to public transportation, allowing commuters to avoid both traffic and parking problems. The buildings themselves are typically well-insulated from noise pollution, reducing distractions for workers inside. However, with the rise of telecommuting and other forms of home-based work arrangements, office parks may someday be obsolete in favor of mixed-use communities built around a central business district or central business area.