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Friday, October 7, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: What to do with empty office buildings?

Editor’s Notebook: What to do with empty office buildings?

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Brian Gordon (love him from back in my Arlington Chamber days!) and the other fine folks at the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington were out yesterday with an update on the state of the local office-building market, given the somewhat iffy return-to-the-office efforts that seemed to be picking up speed in the spring, only to have plateaued.

In fact, most days in most parts of the local area, office buildings are less than half populated with the people who used to be there. Workers are most frequently, ahem, “working at home” on Fridays and Mondays.

I recall editorializing about this back in the summer of 2020 — so long ago and far away in some ways — that business leaders were either going to have to get workers back in the office and deal with the ramifications, or let them stay home and deal with those ramifications.

Among the ramifications of that latter: Empty office space, declining values of office buildings, declining tax revenue for localities, a lack of vibrancy in urban areas.

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Gonna be a bumpy ride ahead, however it turns out.

Watch for coverage soon.

SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD: WE’RE #81: I won’t spoil the secret, but we have coverage coming up of a recent ranking of urban areas on a specific topic.

And while Arlington government officials love to put out press releases when they’re at the top of the pack in such rankings, they probably aren’t going to be doing so in this case, since Arlington ranks 81st out of 200 areas surveyed on this topic.

Coverage coming up in our weekend edition. And why the article will be paired with a photo of Jack Lord standing on a Honolulu balcony during his “Hawaii Five-0” days will also be revealed then, too. Stay tuned.

HERE COMES THE ROMAN EMPIRE: Having had some credit-card-cashback money burning in my pocket, I went on Amazon (Jeff Bezos, I don’t like your newspaper but I love your online retailer!) and ordered up the 1970s BBC series “I, Claudius” on DVD, to have on hand perhaps not for now, but for any snowy days we might have coming up in a few months when binge-watching is the order of the day.

(DVDs? Yes, I am old school. I would say Old School in caps but that is the bailiwick of our weekend-edition columnist Carol McEwen. But I digress…)

Because Amazon always suggests other related items, I also picked up the HBO series “Rome,” which I have seen some of before. (A little naughty on the nudity and fornication fronts, but those Romans did always have themselves a grand time). And I also picked up the complete run of the Starz series “Spartacus,” which apparently makes “Rome” look like going to church in comparison, given all the gore and whoopee that goes on.

  • Scott McCaffrey

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