When people left their offices as pandemic lockdowns set in back in March, they probably didn’t realize they’d be gone so long. Now, these long months later, some companies are seeking to cut their losses by offloading empty office space, and landlords are looking to sublease them, often at bargain-basement rates.
But what’s inside some of these abandoned offices is less than picturesque, Fast Company reports.
“I saw on someone’s desk in a plastic bag an English muffin that was past the point of being green and fuzzy. It was dripping this disgusting liquid,” says Emilie Goldman, a broker at the commercial real estate company SquareFoot in New York. “It was so gross. Someone just left this here because they thought they were working from home for the rest of the afternoon.”
She’s been reentering deserted offices and showing them to potential subtenants, and encountering some nasty vestiges of office life past.
“No one really tidied up their office, like, ‘Oh, let me clean up my office because I might not be back here for a year, or there might be people coming around to take our office.’ That thought didn’t cross anyone’s mind,” Goldman says.
For the past six months, Goldman has focused almost exclusively on subleasing office space around Manhattan and Brooklyn. There are the companies cutting back on their space needs, consolidating from multiple offices to just one or leaving office space altogether. These changes have created a glut of office space that’s available for subleasing, and some businesses willing to venture back to the uncertain indoors for dramatically discounted rents.
But what she walks into when preparing to show these spaces can be a mixed bag. Some bigger office buildings have cleaning built into their leases, she says. Others, where cleaning may not have happened since most offices closed in March, require more attention before they’re ready to be shown. Read the full story.