Since making it through the peak of the pandemic, businesses have labored over how to encourage workers back to the office. Employees experienced the perks of remote work, such as cutting down on commute time, allowing them to spend more time doing activities they enjoy like going to the gym or shopping. Now, workers are starting to come back to the office regularly.
The Partnership for New York City surveyed Manhattan office employers and workers, finding that 49% of Manhattan office workers are in the workplace as of September 2022, and 54% of Manhattan office workers are expected to be in the office on an average weekday by January 2023. Not every worker is thrilled about having to return to the office full-time, sitting in stuffy cubicles under humming fluorescent lights, but they could be.
That’s where the healthy building movement comes in. The movement’s goal is to promote the health and well-being of all occupants while also protecting the environment and improving bottom lines.
Full-service real estate firm Dynamic Star believes that a healthier workplace is a healthier business.
The Healthiest Office Building in Long Island City
Acquiring the site in 2019, Dynamic Star is currently undergoing the standard Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) to approve construction on their new project, “Opus Point,” a 27- story Class-A office tower at 23-10 Queens Plaza South. The property is being designed according to the WELL Building Standard®, a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Over time, Long Island City, a once predominantly industrial area, has become a popular neighborhood for millennials, young professionals, restaurants, and retailers. Brad Zackson, co-founder and director of development of Dynamic Star, believes the newer generations of workers want a more conscientious, pleasant workplace; this includes the physical offices where they spend so much of their time.
Zackson shared that Opus Point will become a vibrant 400,000-square-foot office tower rising above the existing four-story loft building that once housed the Eagle Electric Manufacturing Co. warehouse. Eagle Electric was a residential electrical wiring device manufacturer and an important economic driver for the area that also owned three other properties in the neighborhood.
It’s an optimal location for commuters and workers looking for offices closer to their homes in the outer boroughs, too, Zackson notes. Opus Point will be located at Queens Plaza, surrounded by seven subway lines serving four stations, and is at the foot of the new Queensboro Bridge pedestrian path. Plus, midtown Manhattan is only five minutes away.
Zackson adds that SLCE Architects James Davidson’s innovative design will make an inventive and stimulating addition to the Queens Plaza skyline.
A New Meaning to Work-Life Balance
In an effort to adjust the traditional office to our new reality and connect with young professionals who place a greater emphasis on work-life balance than older generations, Zackson believes this new development will meet their needs.
The retail tenant mix will include an organic grocery, restaurant, cafe, and even a museum
dedicated to Eagle Electric. Office tenants will enjoy a host of top amenities, such as an 8,000-
square-foot health club and a half-court basketball court on the lower level. The fifth-floor terrace will have over 17,000 square feet of landscaped outdoor space, 2,300 square feet of outdoor seating for a restaurant or bar and a 6,000-square-foot indoor conference space for office tenants. At street level, a 2,400-square-foot community meeting space will be included for public use as well.
Dynamic Star will renovate the building to accommodate the post-pandemic world. They will outfit the building with HVAC systems that prevent the spread of COVID-19, touchless fixtures, and amenity spaces designed to allow for social distancing. Most impressively, there will be operable windows that can open and close. Office tenants will also enjoy programmed classes and events in the building.
The impressive amenities and the amount of green space to enjoy are sure to make coming to work a lot more excited to return to work. It will feel like they’re part of a community, where residents will enjoy going too.
Zackson is excited to bring this space to life.