Monday, August 20, 2007

Office Parks

Boy meets City. Boy and City fall in love. Boy moves to city. Boy thinks: "I'll get a job in the city!" City has huge downtown office market, with millions of square feet. Boy hopes to walk to work. Boy finds great job. Job is located in office park outside of city center. Boy is confused.

Why are so many offices located outside the downtown core? This is a phenomenon not special to Minneapolis--I've seen it in many cities (Cleveland certainly among them). I'm baffled. Cities grew up as (among other things) vast employment centers. Developers have spent millions (and billions even) on million-square-foot skyscrapers. And yet, somehow, businesses open operations in suburban office parks, taking no advantage of the physical concentration of resources that a city would provide.

Ah well. I'm not naive about the market forces driving this phenomenon. Suburbs offer huge tax breaks, proximity to peripheral highway systems, cheap parking, and pretty landscaping. It's hard to fight that kind of economic logic. My main complaint is that it's hard to find lunch options in the 'burbs.


Blogger worldmatt said...

No lunch in the burbs? What, no dabbawallas in Minnesota? Perhaps you should outsource yourself to Mumbai.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Arthur Willoughby said...

Rents in Minneapolis and St. Paul...astronomical.

And just think of all the quaint, suburban amenities that are near the office park where you work.

Why, there's...mmmm...Super America! Two hot dogs for 99 cents, how can you go wrong?

And there is a Bruegger's 2.3 miles away.

And I guess that's it.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Generalissimo said...

Everywhere You Want To Be

Commercial rent in the city: astronomical.

Commercial rent in the burbs: economical.

Commuting for hours through gridlock just to reach a soulless office park that houses your little cubicle of insignificance: priceless.

And remember, those mediocre suburban chain restaurants don't take American Express.

12:56 PM  

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