The Changing Workplace: Why Offices Are Adapting

The office workplace is an environment that has seen much change over the last decade. From updated technology to construction materials, employers and employees alike have realized the average office space needs to adapt.

Where it used to be

We’ve all been there—the stuffy office space with only a few windows, many walls, and the same color patterns throughout. File cabinets used to be in any area where they would fit. Most employees dealt with sharing space with a personal printer. It left less room for comfort and more room for isolation. But over the years, businesses have seen the value in increasing the quality of the work environment in order to boost morale, attract talented employees, and enhance their bottom line.

Where it is going and why

Colors, windows, noise, collaboration, benching, wellness, and amenities—these are all major topics of discussion in the modern workplace. Many new factors are now being considered during the design and creation of new offices.

  • Color is being used to promote certain moods in specific environments, instead of being selected on personal preferences. For example, blue hues are being used for a calming effect, while bright colors have been shown to improve focus and accuracy.
  • Windows are now being placed in open areas to allow light to flow throughout, instead of in individual offices which traps light. This also gives employees a chance to interact with nature. Even if it is visual interaction from indoors, this perceived contact has a positive impact.
  • Noise is thought about differently in varying environments in order to make tasks more efficient and comfortable. Piping in white noise or music has become a common practice in many work environments.

And then, there is the important focus on office collaboration. The workplace is seeing several different types of collaborative areas to bring employees together.

Some offices have decided to incorporate “benching” to create shared desks and work areas. This can be especially valuable when you have a group of employees that spend a lot of time traveling, or maybe for someone on your team who doesn’t need a permanent workspace. Benching can be used when employees are working on different projects and need to move around the office to work with different groups of people. All in all, the concept of benching has the ability to boost productivity by enhancing office communication and making projects move faster.

Wellness and amenities are also main concerns that bring about many conversations in the planning process. From managing stress levels to retaining talent, businesses are adding incentives within the workplace to encourage and boost their employees. It’s becoming more common to see offices with gyms, social gathering spaces, and more.

How has this affected Huntsville?

Huntsville has already seen some of these changes first hand. As companies re-locate and real estate investors purchase new property, you will notice more and more of this. The construction materials, layout, design, location, amenities, etc., are all just a few qualities that were considered on the following Crunkleton projects:

104 Jefferson Street

The tenants, Prime Lending and KPS Group Architects, are both operating out of a modern workplace and came from very traditional environments.

315 Franklin Street

The first-floor tenant, Haufe, is in and operating.

Stovehouse

This development is in its early stages but has the ability to offer very modern environments.

ADS

ADS, located at Bridgestreet, built an environment their employees could thrive in.

Crunkleton: Commercial Real Estate Group’s Office

We built a space that has flexible workspace in an open and inviting environment.

How can we help?

If you think your office setting could use an upgrade, or if you’re looking for a new space to transform your office into the modern workplace, don’t hesitate to call us at 256-536-8809 to see how we can assist you.

As one of the team’s dedicated office brokers, I will work with you and your team in finding the perfect space to help maximize your company’s full potential.

Have other questions about adapting office spaces? Let us know in the comments below!

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ERIC ST. JOHN
ASSOCIATE
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
ERIC@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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New “STOVEHOUSE” Development Coming Soon To West Huntsville!

Stovehouse Properties and Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group are proud to announce Huntsville’s newest development coming soon to west Huntsville. Introducing, STOVEHOUSE!

(Click here to view the official PRESS RELEASE.

The historic Martin Stove building, located at 3414 Governors Drive, will soon become the site of the city’s next large-scale food, office, events, and entertainment complex. A 200,000 square foot building situated on a 10-acre property, STOVEHOUSE will blur the line between modern and historical, work and play, and small-town culture and high-tech urban energy.

Owners of STOVEHOUSE, Danny and Patti Yancey, purchased the building in 2016 and plan to preserve its rich history while creating a new thriving mixed-use center in Westside Huntsville.

“STOVEHOUSE will fill the vacancy for an all-in-one entertainment, dining, and business hub in west Huntsville’s burgeoning arts, brewery, and cottage-living district,” said Danny. “We’re intentionally building this development to be a destination that nourishes the community.”

An example of office space at STOVEHOUSE.

STOVEHOUSE will be the home of Huntsville’s first permanent urban food garden. Along with chef-driven dining options, there will be a gourmet wine bar, specialty coffee bars, and ample flexible event spaces.

With multiple entertainment stages that will adjust to fit audiences of 100 for more intimate shows, and crowds of up to 2,000 for well-known acts in its multi-purpose hall, STOVEHOUSE will be suitable for business meetings, conferences, weddings, and similar uses.

“We will be bringing regular, curated concerts to a city that appreciates world-class culture,” said Danny. “As the project moves forward we will continue to release details on the entertainment and event aspects of STOVEHOUSE.”

But Huntsville won’t have to wait long to see this development’s progress.

“We’re excited to help bring this vision to life,” said Wesley Crunkleton, co-developer of STOVEHOUSE. “Its close proximity to downtown, I-565, and Redstone Arsenal will make it the ideal hub for businesses, first-to-Alabama restaurant concepts, new entertainment, and events. The project is already underway and Crunkleton will announce the first confirmed tenant very soon.”

Construction is underway at STOVEHOUSE!

The History of STOVEHOUSE

The Martin Stove building dates back to the 1920s and was home to both Rome and Martin stove companies. At the time, it employed thousands of people in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The building, whose original address was 901 Fifth Avenue West, was completed in 1929 as home to Rome Electric Range Company which billed itself as “The Only Electric Range Factory in the South.” Rome produced the successful “Electric Belle” stove before the building was purchased by Martin Stove in 1939.

Huntsville’s Martin Stamping and Stove grew to produce the most complete line of gas heaters on the American market, as well as in Canada and Mexico. During World War II, the plant manufactured bomb crates, grenade fuse cans, and reclaiming drums for the Ordnance Department. Martin closed its doors in 2001 and the location has been home to several businesses before the Yanceys purchased it for redevelopment in 2016.

Preserving the past was important to the team of experts and collaborators executing the development, so many of the property’s original features will be maintained and highlighted throughout STOVEHOUSE.

“When you’re here in the bones of the building, you see the marks of hard-working Westside Huntsville folks who sweated it out producing tangible goods, from stoves to materials for World War II,” said Danny. “I imagine they would have enjoyed having a place in the community to unwind. STOVEHOUSE is being designed to honor that kind of hard work and the leisure it earns.”

Stay tuned!

As the project moves forward we will continue to update you here on construction and what’s coming to STOVEHOUSE. You can also sign up for updates on the development’s official website at www.stovehouse.com.

For more information on leasing, visit the property page on our website.

Is there a concept you’d like to see at STOVEHOUSE? Comment below and let us know.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Broker Spotlight: Eric St. John

How did you become interested in commercial real estate?

My interest in commercial real estate grew from my passion for entrepreneurship.

As a student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), I was very focused on classes and groups that fostered a future in entrepreneurship. I ended up earning a double major in corporate finance and taxation accounting—that’s the closest I could get to an entrepreneurship degree locally. I was also the President of the Entrepreneurship Club at UAH during my time there.

When I graduated, I was considering a career in private equity or venture capital because it covered many of my passions—sales, networking, mentorship, and dealing with small businesses.

Crunkleton thought that my background, skills, and interests made me an ideal fit for the job. Turns out they were right, and I have been here working in the industry for more than four years.

The job covers all of my interests and even presented me with the chance to experience new ones of which I wasn’t aware.

What were you doing before you joined Crunkleton?

Like I said, I have always had an interest in being an entrepreneur. When I was in high school, I opened my own landscaping business. It started out by mowing lawns but continued to grow into a full-service company that offered landscape and hardscape work. I ended up closing down the company my junior year of college and purchased a retail business in Chattanooga that sold supplies to landscape contractors. After that business venture was complete, it wasn’t long until the opportunity at Crunkleton presented itself.

It has turned out to be a very fulfilling career, and I feel like I have the personality for it. Even as a kid, I made business cards and would visit everyone in my neighborhood to sell whatever fundraiser was happening at school. I’ve never been shy.

What do you love about your job?

It’s not hard to guess that my favorite part of this job is talking to people. Meeting and interacting with a wide variety of people across different industries keeps things interesting.

Sometimes it’s a challenge to match up two totally different visions for a property, but it’s also fun to make it happen. When you get everyone on the same wavelength, you know you are about to accomplish something great.

Eric St. John

What makes Huntsville a wonderful destination for new business?

Huntsville is a great spot for growing businesses because it is so well connected. The workforce is also well educated and we have seen significant growth in a number of industries here.

You specialize in office leasing—what are some recent projects you’ve worked on?

First, I will say that all deals are rewarding in different ways. Some are plain and simple and some require different negotiation tactics and terms. That’s another thing that’s enjoyable about the job.

Most recently, I worked on a very involved project with Dr. Uptagrafft and Innova Primary Care. Being a part of the project every step of the way made it one of the more comprehensive transactions I’ve worked on. I was able to help them with selecting an architect, determining the right foundation of financing, and choosing a contractor that fit their needs.

I think the final product turned out very well. We were able to take their original vision and build upon it to create something everyone was excited about.

What do you find most rewarding about your career?

The most rewarding part is seeing projects come to a conclusion. Whether it’s a large-scale job where we update the entire space or a smaller project, I like to ensure the whole process runs smoothly. I consider myself a quarterback for every deal, and I make sure the right professional team is put together for each transaction.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in commercial real estate?

I’d give the same advice I give anyone who is considering this career. You have to be dedicated, motivated, and patient. If you aren’t patient, this isn’t for you because business doesn’t happen overnight. You have to stick with it and know you are going to encounter problems. You can’t throw up your hands and walk away. Work through them and understand commercial real estate careers are a long-term personal investment.

What do you do to stay on top of your game?

The most important thing I do to grow my skillset is consistent networking. I maintain my network and I’m constantly asking questions about new businesses and industries. By taking the time to dig deep and figure out how different businesses operate, it helps me improve.

What value do you hope to bring to your clients?

When doing business with a client, I like to make sure we approach everything in a logical way and ask plenty of questions. I do my best to make sure things are handled in a way that always benefits them. We may need to do things differently than they have been done before. Just because the traditional approach has worked for others, doesn’t mean it always will. I want to make sure they are protected and every deal is handled with care.

What do you enjoy doing outside the office?

Food! I am a big foodie and I love traveling to different cities and trying new dishes. Experiencing new places, meeting new people, and asking questions is something I am always up for. And of course, I enjoy hanging out with my friends. But really, I love anything to do with food.

I’m on the board of Care Assurance Systems for the Aging and Homebound (CASA) and currently serving as the Secretary. I’ve been a part of CASA’s board for three years and it’s an organization that’s near to my heart due to my own personal experiences.

2017-2018 Alumni Association Board of Directors (Photo Credit: UAH Alumni Association)

I’m also involved with the UAH Alumni Association where I’m the First Vice President and serve as Chair of the Career and Professional Development Committee. The largest task of the group is to start a formal mentorship program for alumni-to-student interaction. This gives them a chance to work directly with professionals in the field and gain valuable work and professional experience.

My passions are mentorship and giving back, and I follow through with that by staying involved in these organizations.

You can contact Eric by email at eric@crunkletonassociates.com or by phone at 256-536-8809.

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haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM