This story was written for WRAL TechWire partner CBRE | Raleigh.

It’s no secret the Triangle has an established reputation as a hub for businesses, whether it’s innovative startups or major tech companies.

With the influx of traffic in the area, however, some companies are looking to establish bases not only in downtown corridors, but in suburban areas as well where there’s plenty of room for both expansion and amenities.

All around the region, highly amenitized, innovative office spaces are popping up, creating a destination in and of themselves. For example, Park Point in RTP, the Stitch in Morrisville, Raleigh Ironworks and Dock 1053 represent new projects currently underway.

“Some of these spaces are still in the works, but you’re talking about social hubs, outdoor meeting spaces, common lawns, recreational areas — they want to be over the top, with all kinds of amenities,” said Brad Corsmeier, an executive vice president of the Investor Leasing group at CBRE|Raleigh. “It’s all about creating this collaborative environment.”

Corsmeier added, “Think of going to a large hotel. There are all the seating areas where you can plug in and work, there’s the café, a latte station and then a bar. Imagine all of those amenities in these new creative office spaces.”

Many of these new spaces also capitalize on adaptive reuse, a popular trend in commercial real estate that transforms older buildings for a new purpose, while still maintaining many of the original elements. Park Point was previously an old manufacturing facility, the Stitch was a former outlet mall, and Raleigh Ironworks used to be home to a steel plant.

“These projects are offering tenants features that they can’t get elsewhere,” said Jason High, an executive vice president at CBRE|Raleigh, on the appeal of adaptive reuse spaces. “The properties have higher ceilings and mezzanines that create a more open-air environment than in a traditional office building, where you’re really going to max out your ceiling and have the ability to integrate some really cool design features. It’s just a different look and feel compared to your typical office building.”

In addition to the unique atmosphere of the campuses, many of these spaces also offer a wide variety of amenities. Although plans are still coming together, Raleigh Ironworks hopes to host two outdoor event spaces and a food hall, while the Stitch will include outdoor seating areas, a yoga lawn and bocce court, and a food truck plaza, among other amenities.

According to Corsmeier and High, this trend toward modern office space is not only driven by the changing desires of the workforce, but also by the suburban location of many of the campuses.

“I think a lot of developers are doing it because of where they are located; being in the suburbs you do not have a lot of walkable amenities,” High explained. “For a Class A office development to be successful in today’s market, developers have to amenitize the buildings to attract tenants because tenants are focused on being able to offer those amenities to their employees, which assists in the attraction and retention of talent. Without it, businesses typically have a harder time recruiting.”

“I think amenities have become the number one aspect to office development, versus even location,” Corsmeier added. “What kind of environment can you provide to help companies offer their employees? That’s one of the main elements to most transactions I’ve seen lately.”

While these highly amenitized, suburban-based office spaces are relatively new to the market, both Corsmeier and High are confident they’ll succeed, especially considering the current demand for innovative office space around the Triangle. Not only that, but they are also creating a unique landscape around the area, rooted in renovating the past.

“You look at these older buildings that are functionally obsolete for their originally intended purposes,” High said. “However, developers are able to transition them into something unique and breathe life back into some pretty large historic vacancies in the market.”

As far as completion goes, projects like Park Point, the Stitch and Raleigh Ironworks still have a way to go before they’re open for business — but their development alone speaks to the Triangle’s focus on innovating the traditional office landscape and is a reflection of the continued economic boom in the area.

This story was written for WRAL TechWire partner CBRE | Raleigh.