How the face of commercial real estate is changing

The nature of commercial real estate is about to change. Instead of the smokestack enclaves built in the past few decades, industrial construction in the '80s will consist of multiuse structures built to house the new wave of high-technology entrepreneurs.

That's the gist of a recent economic research report by Chemical Bank of New York. In the years from 1984 to 1988, hotel, office, and shopping-center construction is expected to show little relative growth. But in the other side of commerce and industry, the big push, the report says, will be to construct buildings in suburban areas to house the ever-growing technological industries and their satellites.

The trend is already apparent in many outlying regions where these kinds of enterprises are hiring more systems analysts, engineers, technicians, programmers, and sales-marketing experts. Many of the newer industries are expected to develop around hobbies, tools, gadgets, maybe trendy apparel, and electronics.

Space will be required near efficient transportation; and will need to be adaptable not only for light manufacturing but also for offices, storage, and showrooms. Factory-site experts say those cities with active community leadership, an expanding economic base, and a solid educational-support background will be the most likely recipients of these new industrial complexes.

(Cities expected to benefit: Atlanta; Washington; Boston; Philadelphia; Princeton, N.J.; Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; Chicago; Minneapolis-St. Paul; and Kansas City, Mo.)

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