Calling All Landlords: What Tenants Really Want In Their Office Space


I love office space. I love how a space can be transformed from a cold shell to a company’s hub and place to innovate. A key part of my role as a commercial real estate broker who exclusively represents tenants and buyers – the true consumers of office space – is touring our clients through different office spaces and helping them determine which has the most potential to be their firm’s new home should they move. Spending time with our clients as they evaluate the pros and cons of various alternatives has given me insight into what makes tenants fall in love with a particular space, but also what makes them rule others out. Below are ten simple and effective ways landlords can make their office spaces as attractive – and leasable – as possible.

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Spaces We Love: Beats Electronics’ Hip Culver City Headquarters


There are some offices that epitomize a company’s look, feel and brand to a tee – and Beats by Dre’s new space is no exception! Their 105,000 square foot Culver City headquarters is unlike anything I’ve seen before – and the best way to describe it is exactly how I would describe their product and brand. It’s just cool.

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Barrier Busters: Dispelling Myths About Millennial Women

Women Working

Photo from Huffington Post

Last week I came across an article on that I completely connected with. Written by Forbes Contributor Peggy Drexler, the piece Young Women Are Busy Knocking Down Barriers In Business grabbed me from the get-go. As a proud millennial woman, I’m always curious to read what others are saying about my generation’s impact on the workplace…and Peggy nailed it.

Millennials have been painted as all different “types” of employees, some of which are favorable and some… not so much. This article confirmed what I have long believed: People may say a lot of things about the youngest generation in the workplace, but they can’t call us pessimistic.

Millennial women are not miserable in their jobs or cynical about the future. In fact, millennials have the most positive outlook for women in the workplace of every generation. 65% of women polled by an Accenture study in 2012 felt equal to men on the job. 66% see visible female role models in their companies. Only 33% feel stagnant in their careers. We’re happy. We feel challenged. And we like it.

While glass ceilings certainly still exist today, that glass appears to be just a little bit thinner, and I believe it’s because millennial women place incredible value on having a rewarding and successful career. Proof can be seen in the fact that, in a 2012 Pew Research Center study, for the first time, more women than men placed great value on a high paying career. More than 2/3 of young working women rate a successful career as “high on their list of life priorities.” This is in contrast to less than 60% of men who deem a high paying career as a high priority.

I haven’t conducted a survey to find out why the women of my generation are more positive and more optimistic about our futures, but I’m willing to bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that we see progress in motion. 44% of us want to start our own businesses. We want to be in positions of leadership. We also want families. And with continued societal advancement, the idea of having it all is becoming a more and more realistic future for us.  We’re navigating our own destiny to obtain it. We see women including Marissa Mayer and Sara Blakely doing it, and we know that we can do it too.

So what will the future of the workplace in which women are happier and more confident look like?

My hunch is that, as more and more millennials move into positions of leadership in the workplace, we’re going to see even more positive changes. With far more millennial women in positions of leadership, I hope to see the workplace as a whole become much more flexible, and friendlier, when it comes to accommodating career-driven women who also happen to embrace motherhood.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes for the Office

When you’re on the go and trying to juggle hair, make-up, breakfast, and getting out the door on time, a make-ahead smoothie is a great morning option that is both healthy and delicious!

A few of my favorites are:

All Fruit & Vitamins Galore

Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

Healthy Smoothie #1

Puree 2 oranges (peeled), 1 cup of frozen raspberries, and 1 cup of frozen blueberries.  For some extra sweetness, add in two tangerines and 1 cup of frozen strawberries.

All Red Smoothie: Raspberry, Pomegranate, and Acai

Courtesy of FoodieCrush

Healthy Smoothie #2

Puree 1 cup of acai juice, 1 cup of pomegranate juice, and 3 cups of frozen strawberries.

Strawberries Wild CopyCat

Courtesy of

Healthy Smoothie #3

Puree 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1 cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt, and ½ cup of ice.

Mango Madness

Courtesy of

Healthy Smoothie #4

Puree 1 cup of frozen mangos, 1 cup of passion-fruit mango juice, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks, and 1 cup of ice.


Spaces We Love –’s New Singapore Office’s new Singapore office space is a contemporary garden in the sky – with bright, white, open ceilings, artificial turf flooring, and a living wall. The open ceiling is a key design element. Painted white to brighten the space, with illuminating hanging lights, the ceiling, in a sense, opens the space up to the sky. It’s clean, vibrant, and contemporary.

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Spaces We Love: Stripe’s New San Francisco Digs


We love tech up-and-comer Stripe’s creative new headquarters in San Francisco. The company, which helps businesses accept payments over the web and from mobile devices, has created a lush, vibrant space for its team, while managing to incorporate a color palette consistent with its brand. The bright blue accent wall color contrasts beautifully with the exposed wood beams and wood floor, making for a warm, inviting reception area.

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Time Saving & Task Boosting: Tips for Practical, Easy-to-Implement Ways to Raise Productivity at Work


Countless new books, articles, and seminars each year focus on how we can boost our productivity, get organized, and make the most of our days at work. Don’t get me wrong; the overwhelming majority of them are filled with useful information, clever tips, and inspiring ideas for ways to become more efficient. However, what works best for me are often the most simple of strategies. I’ve taken my favorite tips from what I’ve read, and also what I’ve personally found effective, to create a simple three-step system for staying organized and boosting my own productivity.

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Spaces We Love: Eventbrite’s New San Francisco Office


From unique bicycle storage, to breakout rooms with hammocks, to work spaces that vary from light and bright to rich and soothing, Eventbrite has blended an assortment of office design trends, and it’s all working very well. Find out what I love about the company’s new space on 5th Street in San Francisco.

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Tips for Creating a Casual Yet Chic Coastal Office Space


If your office is near the beach and you’re looking to capture a breezy, coastal feel in your workspace, there are some easy ways to bring the outdoors in. Here are a few tips to incorporate a beachy vibe into your office space so it can reflect its incredible location.

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The Millennials’ Guide to Charitable Giving


Every year we make that list. We resolve to do something new, something different, or something better in the New Year than we did in the last. But as we get further and further away from the Madison Square ball dropping, many of us often drop the ball on our own resolutions. This year, if one of your resolutions included giving more time, money or resources to charity, these are some easy ways to make sure you stay on track.

1. Research

It’s important to take the time to fully understand a charity’s mission, vision, long-term plans, and balance sheet. How does the charity plan on using your donation? Is it going to the area you were hoping for? Many organizations have several areas of focus – research, support for families affected, awareness, etc.

2. Pick More Than One Charity or Cause

There is no reason that you have to bind yourself to one particular charity or cause. I like picking one general category each year or every few years to support. For example, you may decide that in 2015 you’d really like to focus on children’s organizations. In 2016, maybe you’ll decide to support the arts, or medical research.

3. Have Passion for the Purpose

The most valuable asset a charity can have going for it is a passionate volunteer and donor. Passionate volunteers are invaluable to charitable organizations in large part because they help to spread awareness of the cause and the charity – and ultimately garner passion from other volunteers and donors that can continue to further the cause.

4. Get Involved

Even if your budget doesn’t allow for large donations, you can still generate money for causes close to your heart by getting involved in charity walks, runs, urban obstacle courses, cycling/spinning events, etc. where you can raise donations through sponsorship. Likewise, charities often need your time as much as they need your money, so consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, a local hospital, an animal rescue, or working with homeless children through mentorship or tutoring programs. Your time can make all of the difference in the world to someone who needs it.

5. Track Your Donations and/or Set up a Charitable Trust

If you’re donating money to charity regularly, make sure you have an organized system to track your donations. Specific a specific email folder and save all receipts in one place. This will help you when it comes time to pay your taxes. You may also consider setting up a Charitable Trust, which you can learn more about here.

If you haven’t started working towards your goal of giving back this year, there’s still plenty of time. If you’re looking to donate time, money or resources, but aren’t sure what causes appeal to you, I recommend checking out This site groups charities by region and cause, and may just inspire you to find an organization you can’t wait to help, and that would love your help too.

Star Hughes is a director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm specializing in tenant representation and building purchases. Based in Southern California, Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s Downtown San Diego brokerage team, where she has worked on more than one million square feet of lease negotiations. She makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at Contact Star at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT, or

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