WiredScore, a New York-based company that rates systems for technological capacity in commercial buildings, announced that Christine Torres, formerly a vice president at Colliers International, has joined the company as head of WiredScore Chicago. WiredScore has expanded its Wired Certification platform to six countries and has chosen to invest in Chicago as a flagship city to address the local demand for the technology benchmark.
The Wired Certification program rates the infrastructure, connectivity and technological capacity of buildings. The certification helps landlords more easily communicate their connectivity as a valuable asset to prospective tenants, prompting shorter leasing cycles and an increase in price-per-square-foot, according to a new report from CoStar Portfolio Strategy.
“We are thrilled to have a true local Chicago expert to join our team,” said Arie Barendrecht, founder and CEO of WiredScore. “In her previous role with Colliers, where she specialized in tenant representation for technology, law, financial services and nonprofit firms, Christine saw first-hand how tenants present landlords with their connectivity requirements and asset managers and leasing teams struggle to effectively communicate how their buildings stack up in response.”
Leading up to 2018, a number of commercial owners in Chicago sought out Wired Certification in an effort to remain proactive in addressing tenant requirements. These landlords include: Beacon Capital Partners (1 North Dearborn), Riverside Investment & Development (150 North Riverside), Equity Office Properties (Willis Tower), Hines (444 W. Lake), Zeller Realty Group (The Wrigley Building), Callahan Capital Properties (180 North LaSalle), GlenStar Asset Management (Chicago Board of Trade), Golub Capital (300 South Wacker), John Buck Company (151 North Franklin), KBS (500 West Madison), 601W Companies (Sullivan Center), US Equities, now CBRE (737 North Michigan) and Walton Street Capital (401 North Michigan). In total, 19 properties in Chicago, totaling 22 million square feet of commercial space, have been Wired Certified to date.
“2017 was a recording-breaking year for Chicago in terms of venture capital funding, with $1.6 billion going to local startups and tech companies,” said Torres. “It’s more important than ever that owners and developers are serving the digital needs of high-growth organizations so that they can continue to thrive.”
A well-connected office is key to successful operations for all Chicago businesses in the city’s highly competitive talent landscape. The Value of Connectivity, a new report from Radius Global surveying office leasing decision makers in the ten largest US metro areas, including Chicago, found that office tenants recall increased stress levels, frustration in helping customers, and lower productivity when connectivity issues interrupt their work. 77 percent of leasing decision makers confirm that poor connectivity impacts the company’s profitability. As a result, tenants now rank quality of internet as their second-highest priority after location when searching for office space.