“Millennials” Moved Out of the Dorm & Into the Workforce

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Facebook’s new office is a  great example how the built environment is responding to Millennials,  the complex was designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry.  The 430,000-square-foot space, spread over 22 acres, is LEED-certified and boasts a 9-acre green roof (complete with work cabanas) and underground parking lot.   In a statement, Gehry said the space was meant to be “unassuming” and “matter-of-fact,” and not “overly designed.” Mission accomplished.  “Our goal was to create the perfect engineering space for our teams to work together,” writes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his page. “We wanted our space to create the same sense of community and connection among our teams that we try to enable with our services across the world.”  And in contrast to most offices, the staff will work in one giant room, keeping Facebook’s open work environment in place for the 2,800 employees who will be based there.   Everett Katigbak, Facebook’s Environmental Design Manager, said back in 2012 that the space would also include cafes, micro-kitchens with snack and “break-away spaces” with couches and white boards.

The roof — the park on it creates a half-mile loop and was inspired by the Highline in New York City — will also be home to cafes and full-sized trees.  “The building itself is pretty simple and isn’t fancy. That’s on purpose,” Zuckerberg continued. “We want our space to feel like a work in progress.  When you enter our buildings, we want you to feel how much left there is to be done in our mission to connect the world.”  The building also boasts 15 custom, colorful art installations from local artists as part of the Facebook Artist in Residence program.   A bevy of photographers have captured the first images of the flexible work environment – energized by blasts of color – that Frank Gehry is designing in Menlo Park, California.

Content reference / Forbes Life:  Inside Facebook’s New Frank Gehry-Designed Headquarters MPK20

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Trend Report: Design Values Defined by the Millennial Class

The past 5 years have brought significant change to the real estate market. The “Great Recession” flipped the economy and real estate market upside down meanwhile, a new generation known as “Millennials” moved out of their dorm rooms and entered the workforce.

Even though the real estate market is seeing positive turn-around, the play book used to rebound development and investment in previous cycles is not holding up in today’s market.  In the past, land developers and home builders would buy land, develop the land, sell lots or homes and repeat.  Home buyers would drive until they could afford their dream home in the outer suburbs. This was a win-win for all parties. Today, single-family permits are well below historical levels but the multi-family permits have rebounded significantly.

“They don’t see money as a way to show off. They don’t flaunt it or need to impress others,” says Pedraza. And they aren’t saving their money for a rainy day. “They grew up watching their parents or older brothers and sisters struggling [through the dot.com boom and recession],” says Andrew Moultrie of Extreme International, a lifestyle brand favored by affluent Millennials. “They saw that playing by the rules doesn’t really work, so they want to have fun while growing up.”

If two Millennials walk into a bar wearing denim jeans, Converse sneakers, and carrying iPhones. They are identical except for one factor: one makes more than six figures a year, while the other is unemployed and lives at home. Affluent Millennials may be hard to pick out of a crowd, but they are redefining the luxury industry.

 Content Reference / Forbes:  Meet The Millennial 1%: Young, Rich, And Redefining Luxury

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