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How 'work from home' could change downtowns in the Triangle

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We now know the pandemic-forced experiment we all now call 'work from home' has been more successful than a lot of employers had anticipated.

Video Transcript

ED CRUMP: So you like working from home on the computer, and would consider doing it long-term because it suits your lifestyle? Have you ever thought your boss might grant that request because it saves the company cash?

BILL KING: Everyone's been trying to figure out, you know, how to assess the office market after this.

ED CRUMP: Bill King is the CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, so he knows something about the market for office space here. He says by this time next year, we may have an idea whether things like remote working will become more permanent, fade with the pandemic, or settle into a combination of both.

BILL KING: We're going to want to have offices in collaborative spaces for people. And maybe how much time they spend in those spaces will be altered, but I think the need for space will still exist.

GREG SANCHEZ: There's some jobs where people could potentially work remotely on a regular basis, but there's a lot of them where they need to be in the office collaborating, innovating.

ED CRUMP: Greg Sanchez's business is commercial real estate. The CEO of the largest firm in The Triangle, Tri Properties Carolantic, he agrees with Bill King that if there is a change in the downtown office market, it will be just a blip. He says a report by the Brookings Institute, Think Tank, showing a potential drop in office demand because of continued remote working would likely impact major cities, and second tier markets like The Triangle could actually benefit, with more than 160,000 people predicted to move here by 2025.

GREG SANCHEZ: They're coming from those, those big markets, a lot of them are, you know, a lot from the Northeast, and a lot from the big cities and the big markets, and there's opportunity here.

BILL KING: Now, our market is really well positioned still for growth. The quality of life is still very high.

ED CRUMP: These guys aren't just being partisan to their market and their industries, according to Crowdstreet. The platform which pools investor's money has picked The Triangle as the number one market in the nation for investing in 2021. So according to the experts, even with a likely increase in remote working, downtown Raleigh, downtown Durham, and the entire Triangle region should still look forward to continued prosperity post-pandemic. Ed Crump, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.