weather icon Clear

Real estate firm opens offices in $400M UnCommons complex

Updated July 14, 2022 - 4:40 pm

CBRE Group’s new Las Vegas offices are a far cry from a cubicle farm.

The real estate brokerage’s local headquarters, in a new mixed-use complex in the southwest valley, features couches with pillows, wellness rooms with salt lamps and yoga mats, private booths with black-and-white photos of old Las Vegas, and open rows of unassigned work stations where anyone can plug in.

CBRE’s office design stems from a yearslong corporate approach to the workplace. But its Las Vegas debut also comes as the office market tries to find its footing after the pandemic sparked widespread work-from-home arrangements, raising questions over how much space firms really needed.

Rethinking workspace

Cassie Catania-Hsu, managing director of CBRE’s Las Vegas operations, said the intended use of the new space is not the way offices have long been used: for people to come in, sit at their desk all day, and then go home.

The goal is for CBRE staffers to use different parts of the office depending on their needs for the day, and the workspace features elements normally found at home “so that you feel comfortable here, just like you would if you were working from home for the day,” she said.

The firm, which had been based locally in the Hughes Center office park east of the Strip, opened its new offices Monday in UnCommons, a $400 million project being developed at Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway, near Ikea.

CBRE occupies the entire second floor of an office building there, comprising about 19,000 square feet. In addition to its open space, the office features numerous spots where people can have meetings or do other work behind closed doors.

The firm encourages but doesn’t require people to work from the new office, Catania-Hsu said.

“We’re still working through what we think the future of office looks like,” she said, adding the company hears other firms are largely adopting a hybrid model that combines in-office and remote work.

In a survey this spring of U.S. office users, 36 percent indicated a return to the office was already underway, and another 26 percent indicated it would be by the end of the second quarter, CBRE found.

More than 50 percent of respondents were leaving the decision to return up to their workers.

Questions still hang over the office market’s future. Many people prefer to work from home, and plenty of bosses have been letting workers continue at it amid a tight labor market.

Nonetheless, firms have been leasing office space lately in Southern Nevada, and developers have been pushing ahead with new buildings.

‘Destination, not an obligation’

UnCommons, for instance, broke ground after the pandemic hit and fully leased its first two office buildings, according to Jim Stuart, a partner with UnCommons developer Matter Real Estate Group.

Its announced tenants include financial services giant Morgan Stanley, accounting firm BDO, luxury real estate brokerage Sotheby’s International Realty, and online sports-betting company DraftKings, which said last fall that it expects to eventually have more than 1,000 employees there.

Construction is underway on the second phase of UnCommons. Overall, the campus calls for more than 500,000 square feet of offices, as well as eateries, a conference center, health and fitness studios, and several hundred apartments.

As Stuart sees it, CBRE has shown what the “future of a modern workplace environment can be.”

An office needs to be a “destination, not an obligation,” he added.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.