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As economy changes, it's time to diversify.

Despite daily changes in the national economy, New York City's construction industry is still strong and predicting record activity levels this year.

Nonetheless, changes in the workplace -- emphasis on technology, leaner staffing, new centralized call center models and new data center installations -- are creating significant change in the construction industry. As a result of the strong emphasis on technology, more and more construction companies -- both general contractors and construction managers -- are choosing to expand their core competencies, prompting the creation of new Technology divisions.

The end of the 1990s saw a $10 billion outlay in the area of the newest type of commercial real estate -- Telco hotels, co-location centers and data centers. In 2000 alone, another $10 billion was spent in this area as a result of the ever-increasing appetite for bandwidth. Today, high-technology installations are a top priority on most construction agendas.

Most Telco hotel developers indicate that they have millions of square feet in new projects and that this level of high-technology development has just scratched the surface of market potential. New companies are continually forming to fill the growing niche in the Telco hotel, data center and co-location markets. Companies -- both small and large -- are adding high technology components to their standard corporate installations.

While building owners and managers must develop new tools to attract technology tenants and market technology components within their buildings, construction professionals are retooling and expanding their abilities to meet the ever-advancing technology. Consequently, real estate owners are re-evaluating their existing infrastructures and amenities to accommodate this clientele.

As evidence of. MB l's commitment to the ever-expanding role of technology in the workplace, MBI has recently implemented a separate division, MBI Technology. This group is dedicated to serving the construction requirements of high-technology facilities such as co-location facilities, data and call centers, Telco hotels and financial trading institutions. Network Plus, AOL Time Warner, and The New York Times Publisher Circulation Fulfillment Centers are among the clients MBI serves in this area.

For the past decade, MBI has undertaken projects that address the unique technology requirements of corporate clients, as well as technology and infrastructure providers. Over the last several years, MBI has developed a dedicated team of construction professionals who comprise our MBI Technology division.

As part of the selection process, "highest and best use" concerns dominate the decision making process for technology selection. In addition, the economics of each technology is playing an increasingly important role in the decision to select one technology over another.

Both the selection of a technology as well as the cost of introducing and maintaining that technology is yielding new concerns for many building owners. As a result, commercial spaces in New York City and in most major business hubs throughout the world are redefining themselves.

In addition to complex design specifications, new demands for wired environments with expanded power service and uninterrupted power systems are fast becoming the general installation standards for most companies.

At MBI, we have recognized these challenges and implemented a dedicated team to respond. It is' an initiative that is already changing the structure of our company and increasing the scope of our expertise. And, of equal significance, it has begun to alter the type of company we are, the way in which we service our clients and the new business opportunities that we have created.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:CAMPANELLA, EDWARD S.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 27, 2001
Words:554
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