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A Fort Myers, Fla., developer finds growth in an office sector that, post COVID, might be catching its second wind

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Rendering of new North American HQs for Scotlynn USA Division

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, requiems for the office workplace were being held in cities around the world. Working remotely seemed to gain acceptance with every passing day, and companies pondered how much office space they’d need in the future.

The workplace revolution was a strange thing. With the availability of COVID 19, more people realized how attractive it was to work from home. Suddenly, the office didn’t look so bad, as people tiring of Zooming their bosses and clients every day craved face-to-face interaction. Cushman & Wakefield and other market analysts who have a stake in office developments predicted that things would return to normal within the next year.

“I believe, in time, the pendulum will swing back, and demand for office space will increase as the pandemic ends and executives focus more on productivity,” Matt Price, the CEO and Partner at Seagate Development Group in Fort Myers (Fla.), is a full-service construction and development company that specializes in offices design and construction. Seagate manages over 1.5 million square feet of office space.

SEVERAL OFFICE PROJECTS MOVING FORWARD

The pandemic didn’t crimp demand for Seagate’s services, and the firm has several office projects—all in its home city—that are in various stages of completion.

•As the owner, developer, construction manager, and site contractor of NeoGenomics’ global headquarters, which includes a 150,000-sf, $60-million state-of-the-art facility for administration and an expanded laboratory. The first building will house corporate offices and the second will house 75,000 square feet of wet and dry laboratory space. This project is being built by DeAngelis Diamond. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter 2021.

Seagate is building Scotlynn USA Division’s North American headquarters. Image: Courtesy of Seagate Development Group

 

•Seagate is developing and constructing the three-story 60,000-sf North American corporate headquarters for Scotlynn USA DIvision, which includes eight acres of on-site improvements and a road extension. The facility will incorporate contemporary interior design elements that have an industrial feel that reflects Scotlynn’s core business (hauling refrigerated produce), such as corrugated metal wall panels that mimic containers hauled by tractor trailers. A gym, basketball court and cafeteria are just a few of the amenities available. The indoor/outdoor space also has a recreational area with an eating area and an indoor/outdoor track. The headquarters will be finished in the second quarter.

•A 17,000-sf headquarters for Heritage Carpet & Tile includes a warehouse and office space that feature a mix of natural and artificial light. The combination of dark carpet and light gray accents creates a professional atmosphere without reducing the contrast light in the office spaces.

•Conditioned Air’s 41,745-sf operations center is supporting the company’s growth across three Southwest Florida counties with 30,945 sf of warehouse space and an abundance of additional areas for executive space, administrative offices, and a mezzanine. The building features an 18-bay loading dock and large training room and lab. It also has a Conditioned Air-branded, glass wall.

•After remodeling 11,314 sf of the biotech company EmCyte Corporation’s purchased space, Seagate reconfigured the 30,000-sf headquarters for storage and reception as well as training areas, restrooms, offices, a conference room and laboratory, an X-ray room and examination rooms, clinic treatment and manufacturing facilities, and an AV-equipped auditorium. Seagate is adding 13,000 sf of warehouse space and a 2,000-sf office as well as renovating a 5,000-sf manufacturing area—all of which will be complete in June.

TRADITIONAL BUILDOUTS RETURNING

Rendering of White Cap Construction's facility in Fort Myers, Fla.

White Cap Construction Supply’s new facility will include office space. Image: Courtesy of Seagate Development Group

 

Next month, Seagate will break ground on White Cap Construction Supply’s 45,000-sf facility in Fort Myers, adjacent to one of Seagate’s other projects, Alico Trade Center, a 40-acre business park for which Seagate is developing the land. Rice Insulation & Glass is one of the park’s first tenants. Seagate will open a 35,000-sf, freestanding facility with offices and a conference room. It will also include training and break rooms. A materials warehouse and high dock. It is expected that the building will be finished in October.

Price, Seagate’s CEO, is seeing most new office environments returning to traditional office buildouts. He’s also witnessing improved HVAC designs to incorporate better filtering and to let in more outside air. “Retrofitting older buildings will become expensive tasks, which could lead to more design-building of corporate offices,” Price predicts.

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