Much More than Bike Racks in the Basement
From marble-clad dressing rooms to luxe lounges with digital screens, end-of-trip facilities are much more than a few showers and bike racks in the basement.
Today’s end-of-trip facilities are a future-proofing strategy for owners to retain tenants and secure new ones, and a way for tenants themselves to encourage their people to embrace healthy living and sustainable habits.
A recent survey of 280 tenants by commercial property manager Colliers International found tenants valued bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities above car-parking. Meanwhile, CBRE’s first Australia Occupier Survey, published last year, found tenants want to get “more people in less space” – but they want the space to work harder. In fact, 74 per cent of respondents said they would value a “wellness offering” in their workplace.
And this is hardly a surprise when we consider the high-end offerings on the market.
At Grosvenor Place, the Harry Seidler-designed building at 225 George Street in Sydney, new end-of-trip facilities were unveiled by the co-owners Dexus, Mirvac and Arcadia in 2015. The deluxe ‘Camerino’, or dressing room in Italian, features full air-conditioning, 30 showers, more than 500 lockers and space to park 170 bicycles.
Each private shower room features a full-length mirror and splash-protected power outlet to charge smartphones. ‘Grooming stations’ include hair dryers and straighteners. The change rooms house fresh towels and luxe leather seats, as well as giant screens streaming news, sport and weather. An ironing station, dry cleaning service and shoe polishing machine, plus a bicycle repair station round out the offerings. Camerino is described as “a place to dress for the theatre as much as showering after a cycle commute”.
At AMP Capital’s 600 Bourke Street, the end-of-trip facilities include all the bells and whistles. These include a bike service and workshop, 21 showers, more than 240 lockers and 205 bike racks. Vending machines sell bike tubes and socks, there’s a complimentary towel service, ironing stations, hair dryers and straighteners as well as a drying cupboard for wet lycra.
And Westpac’s new headquarters at Sydney’s Barangaroo also reflect evolving expectations among tenants. International Towers Sydney boasts facilities that cater to a “growing two-wheeled army of professionals” that use their daily commute as a cardiac workout. Tower 2 features 1,120 bike parking spaces, 1,240 lockers and 110 showers, as well as fresh daily towels, garment airing facilities, ironing stations, hair dryers and straighteners.
Ian Bell, Westpac’s Head of Group Property says employees were asked what they wanted from their new office space before the bank moved to Barangaroo, and “overwhelmingly, they wanted a greater focus on wellbeing, including access to significantly enhanced end-of-trip facilities including bike racks, lockers and shower facilities and a towel service.”
Bell says Westpac has been focused on encourage staff to exercise more regularly by making it easy to use our end-of-trip facilities and providing a superior range of services; an approach echoed by AMP Capital.
“Office life has changed significantly in the past 10 years and commercial real estate is now a genuine platform for business and personal transformation,” says AMP Capital Office & Industrial Managing Director, Luke Briscoe. “AMP Capital saw an opportunity to create state-of-the-art end-of-trip facilities to nurture a dynamic and sustainable workplace environment, foster a greater sense of wellbeing and to facilitate a seamless transition across work, live and play.”
As the wellness movement continues to gather speed, the benefits of cycling stack up. A study published in the British Medical Journal in April 2017 found that people who cycle to work have a 52 per cent lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40 per cent lower risk of dying from cancer.