Jul 08, 2024 - 0 Comments - Office Property -

Video: The Demise of Office Real Estate Debunked with Madison Ventures Chief Strategy Officer Mitch Roschelle

The Discussion: The Resurgence of Office Spaces

In a recent episode of America’s Commercial Real Estate Show the spotlight was on the hotly debated topic, “the demise of the office sector.” The show host, a seasoned commercial real estate broker, shared his platform with Mitch Roschelle, Chief Strategy Officer for Madison Ventures Plus and a regular on Fox Business News. The conversation delved deeply into the current challenges and future prospects of the office space market. The general focus of this discuss is office investment property throughout the United States. Such observations can apply less or even not at all to Miami and other South Florida markets.

The Debate: Is Office Space Really Dead?

The episode began by addressing the prevalent narrative that the demand for office spaces has plummeted beyond recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael Bull opened the discussion by acknowledging the difficulties the sector faces, including increased foreclosures and some owners returning properties to lenders. However, he countered the notion that office spaces are entirely obsolete, noting that while certain properties are struggling, others are performing well.

Expert Insights from Mitch Roschelle

Mitch Roschelle brought a contrarian perspective to the discussion. He challenged the doomsayers who predict the end of office spaces, arguing that the situation is more nuanced. Roschelle pointed out that the average lease term for office spaces in the U.S. ranges from five to ten years. Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, a significant number of leases have been renewed. If the office market were truly dead, such renewals would not be occurring.

Historical Context and Adaptation

Drawing a parallel to the retail sector, which was once predicted to be decimated by the rise of e-commerce, Roschelle emphasized that office spaces, like retail, will adapt and survive. He recalled past discussions on the show about how e-commerce would destroy physical retail, which did not happen. Instead, retail evolved and found new ways to thrive. Similarly, office spaces are in a phase of evolution rather than extinction.

The Benefits of Office Spaces

The discussion highlighted several crucial points about the enduring importance of office spaces:

1. Lease Renewals: The renewal of leases since 2020 indicates continued demand for office spaces despite the challenges.

2. Inefficient Hybrid Models: Many companies currently operate under inefficient hybrid work models, leading to underutilized office spaces on certain days. These models need refinement to ensure consistent use of office spaces throughout the week.

3. Economic and Productivity Advantages: Office environments are essential for fostering collaboration, building corporate culture, and enhancing productivity. Companies like JPMorgan Chase, under the leadership of Jamie Dimon, are pushing for employees to return to the office to leverage these benefits.

4. Historical Recovery Patterns: Historical patterns show that real estate markets, including office spaces, often recover robustly from downturns. The post-2009 housing market recovery serves as a prime example.

Strategic Investment Opportunities

The show host and Mitch Roschelle discussed the unique investment opportunities present in the current market. Office spaces are being sold at prices significantly below their replacement costs, creating attractive opportunities for investors. Bull shared examples of office buildings in prime locations being sold at remarkably low prices per square foot, suggesting that these properties could yield substantial returns in the future.

The Role of Private Equity

The discussion also touched on the potential role of private equity in the office space market. Roschelle highlighted that private equity firms, with their ability to raise substantial capital, are well-positioned to take advantage of the current market conditions. By acquiring office properties at discounted prices and managing them effectively, private equity firms can make significant gains as the market recovers.

The Future of Office Spaces

Both the show host and Roschelle are optimistic about the future of the office sector. They predict that the value of office properties will increase significantly over the next 60 months as companies adapt to new hybrid models, and demand for office space stabilizes. They believe that the current market conditions present a rare opportunity for investors to buy office properties at low prices and reap substantial rewards in the coming years.


The episode concluded with a call to action for those in the commercial real estate market. Bull and Roschelle encouraged investors to consider the long-term potential of office spaces and to seize the current market opportunities. They emphasized that while the sector faces challenges, it is far from dead and holds significant promise for the future.