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Boutique buildings Concept of exclusivity in the CRE sector

Daniel Battistella • 2/6/2024

In the real estate market, the search for unique and exclusive experiences has led to the growth of boutique buildings. These developments, which value custom design, attention to detail and experience, can be found in a variety of categories, including hospitality, residential, restaurant, retail and even the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sector. 

What are boutique buildings?
Boutique buildings are constructions that stand out for their exclusivity and uniqueness. They are generally smaller in scale than conventional ventures, but they make up for this with an intense focus on quality, personalized design and high-level service. In essence, they seek to provide a memorable and intimate experience.

Application of the concept of boutique buildings in CRE
While boutique buildings are most common in sectors such as hospitality and residential, they also find application in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sector.

Daniel Battistella, General Director of CRE at Cushman & Wakefield, says that boutique buildings have up to 20,000 square meters of leasable area, while large corporate buildings can have twice that. They can also have items such as double-height ceilings in the lobby, original architecture, moving away from traditional mirrors and more landscaping.

In São Paulo, a city with a very diverse corporate property market, it is possible to find several corporate buildings with the boutique building concept. They offer an exclusive work environment, with a differentiated design and focus on experience and attract companies that value an exclusive and sophisticated presence.

Called Corporate Boutique, these buildings are smaller in scale, with few floors, small floors and privileged locations, which makes them very attractive for coworking networks, family businesses, fintechs and communication agencies.

The Itaim neighborhood, in the city of São Paulo, is the one with the highest concentration of buildings of this type. Of the seven buildings we surveyed in this profile, five are in Itaim. Currently the cost of a square meter in the neighborhood is R$280.96 for high-end corporate properties.

In short, boutique buildings provide unique and personalized experiences for occupants. They are designed to stand out through quality, design and exclusivity, thus creating a distinctive environment in an increasingly diverse commercial real estate market.

New post-pandemic occupation pattern
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the preferences of commercial space occupants. With changes in work dynamics and the need for greater flexibility, many companies and professionals are now looking for better-served offices. This shift in occupancy patterns is affecting the way buildings in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sector are designed and marketed.

Many companies have realized that smaller offices, but better equipped with cutting-edge technology, high-quality collaboration areas and high-end amenities, can meet the demands of their employees and customers. The focus is now on creating more efficient work environments that promote productivity and well-being.

Developments in CRE are adapting to this trend and moving closer to the boutique building concept, designing more flexible office spaces to meet the specific needs of occupants.

As this pursuit continues to grow, boutique buildings are positioning themselves as an attractive choice for companies and professionals seeking a high-quality work environment adapted to new post-pandemic realities.

These developments are ready to offer spaces that combine the exclusivity and quality that characterize boutique buildings with the emerging needs of the current market.

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