Why Jeff Vinik is “taking the over” on going again to the workplace

Why Jeff Vinik is “taking the over” on going back to the office

Since purchasing the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, Jeff Vinik has tried to transform downtown Tampa.

The NHL team has improved on the ice, won the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cups, and has spearheaded more than $ 3.5 billion in real estate development.

While CNBC’s Vinik Diani Olick said he was “not an expert on commercial real estate” during a CNBC Evolve livestream on Wednesday, the 56-acre project with more than 1 million square feet of new space puts a big bet on office space and the first Office tower built in Tampa for over 25 years.

This is because the commercial real estate market is still trying to gain a foothold amid the pandemic as employers and employees have adopted hybrid and virtual work arrangements. For example, a recent survey found that only 28% of office workers in Manhattan will be back at their desks, and less than half will be returning by January.

Vinik said the Tampa market has partially bucked this national trend. Of those millions of square feet in the first phase of development, he said 70 to 80 percent of it was leased last year, “well ahead of expectations,” all part of his belief that people will get back to work walk.

“For a year and a half I have been firmly convinced that I will take over the people who return to office,” said Vinik. “It will take time, but I think when you are talking about ideas, when you are talking about people’s careers, there is no substitute for Facetime.”

Development of work

Vinik said he sees a work environment that “will evolve into something where people will spend a day or two at home, three to four days in the office,” and employers will need to continue to maintain office space.

“I still think there will be really strong demand for office in the years to come,” he said. “There is simply nothing like being together and communicating, for culture, for professional advancement, for ideas, for talking to customers.”

While some tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Meta Platforms have tried to adopt hybrid working arrangements, Wall Street banks have been pushing to get employees back into the office. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, wrote in his annual letter to shareholders that “Remote working virtually eliminates spontaneous learning and creativity from not meeting people at the coffee maker, talking to customers in unplanned scenarios, or traveling to meet customers and employees Feedback on your products and services. “

On Thursday, Apple postponed its formal return for corporate employees until February next year.

“I’m optimistic, far more optimistic than many people who will be in office in the years to come,” said Vinik, who previously managed the Fidelity Magellan Fund before starting his own wealth management firm.

Focus on healthy, environmentally friendly buildings

The Tampa Project is about to become the world’s first WELL-certified neighborhood, a new standard that measures how a building is constructed to optimize health, much like LEED certification is geared towards energy sustainability.

“Our offices are going to be WELL certified and we have already planned better disinfectants for better airflow,” said Vinik. “It’s kind of a standard procedure for us when it comes to how we construct the buildings.”

Greener buildings are also crucial to attracting workers, Vinik said.

“Young people all want to live in environmentally friendly buildings and are going to zero,” he said. “But the pressure as a society is overwhelming and the real estate industry will have to adapt very quickly.”

Vinik said he believes that “consumers will spend 5 or 10% more to live in a green and as good a building as they can get, and developers will spend a little more on their building to get it.” reach.”

“You won’t have a choice,” Vinik said of the development of such buildings. “We’re on our way there, and it’s good.”