Unveiling the Power of Business Parks: A Hub for Growth and Innovation
Business parks or office park is a large plot of land with many office buildings. The businesses that occupy the offices are commercial enterprises, not industrial ones. Industrial companies may have their offices there, but not their factories. You will find no residential properties in a business park.
In other words, a business park is for offices, not factories or people’s homes. They are popular in suburban areas, where land is much cheaper than in urban areas. Building codes are also less restrictive than in town centers.
Most business parks exist near highways (UK: motorways) or main roads.
Business park developers usually plan out the whole project carefully. They build access roads, parking, and landscaped gardens. They also consider the positioning and usage of office buildings carefully.
Business parks – rent or buy
Companies usually have the option of either buying or renting in business parks. Some parks allow buyers to join an association where they become owners of park space. A fee covers the costs of basic maintenance, security, and landscaping.
Many business parks are sector-specific. In other words, one may focus on hi-tech companies, while another has pharmaceutical and biotech businesses.
Companies like business parks because they are cheaper to buy or rent. They also have plenty of parking space and may be appealing to customers. Suppliers like business parks because they can visit one place with many target customers.
Business parks and inner-city decay
Many people are against business parks. Like out-of-town shopping malls and giant supermarkets, they say they destroy downtown areas. Towns and cities in the advanced economies have suffered from serious inner-city decay. Fifty years ago they were the hub of the community. However, today they are mostly run down.
Business park projects also encourage urban sprawl, opponents say. They make people commute by car rather than public transport. Subsequently, there are more traffic jams and pollution.
Most parts of a city have public transport routes to downtown but not to business parks. In other words, to get to business parks, you either have to go by car. If you use public transport, you may have to change buses or trains several times.
Considering a business park?
Do you want to move to a business park? Are you sure it is the best thing for your company? Consider the following:
- Does your business need to be near customers?
- Would your business benefit from being close to other similar companies?
- Does your business need to be near its suppliers? Do you subcontract work that needs close supervision?
- Would it benefit your business if all customers and employees had easy access to parking?
- What is your total office space requirement and how much can you afford?
Classification of Business Parks
We distinguish between the following types/classes of business park.
Industrial: Spaces that mostly contain companies belonging to the secondary or tertiary sector, and which predominantly consist of factories or industry. This class includes Industrial Estates, Industrial Parks and Business Parks.
Logistical: Spaces with a high percentage of companies involved in activities related to transport and logistics in the broadest sense, businesses which, for the most part, integrate complementary services in order to keep activity going. It comprises Transport Centres or Hubs, Logistical Centres, Logistical Activity Zones (ZAL) and Logistical Platforms.
Business and leisure: Spaces occupied primarily by large stores or leisure centres that come with entertainment facilities. This includes Shopping Centres, Retail Parks, Entertainment Complexes, Leisure Complexes or Recreational Areas.
Science and technology park: A business space linked to a project that:
Maintains formal and operative relations with universities, research centres and other higher education institutes.
Has been designed to promote the formation and growth of knowledge-based companies, as well as other organisations with a high degree of added value that belong to the tertiary sector – normally ones based in the same park.
Possesses a stable management structure that stimulates the transfer of technology whilst promoting innovation amongst the companies and organisations using the park.
Services: Spaces primarily taken up by hotel management and catering activities, information & communications activities, finance and insurance activities, real estate activities, professional activities, administrative activities, auxiliary services and other service activities not included in specific categories.
Pros and cons of a business park
Parking: employees and customers will have no problem parking their vehicles.
Driving: many employees, especially in the United States, prefer to commute by car.
Nice offices: business park offices are modern and spacious. Most of them have pleasant gardens. Some even have ponds with ducks, swans, and other wildlife.
Health: pollution and noise levels will be lower than in city centers. However, if there is a major highway nearby, it may be noisy.
Security: business parks have CCTV security videos and guards patrolling. Burglaries, especially for smaller businesses, are less common in a business park than downtown.
Charges: management and estate maintenance costs may be surprisingly high.
What was there before? Some business parks are built on former derelict industrial areas. Customers and workers might not like this.
Commuting: employees who do not drive may find it hard to get to work.
Services: there are fewer shops and services nearby.
Employee bonding: with fewer places to socialize after work, employees may spend less free time together.
What Is an Innovation Hub?
An innovation hub is a physical space that brings together researchers, creators and innovators to nurture ideas into industry-changing products and services. It can be the focal point of a city or a center of activity within an innovation district that encourages collaboration, serves as a springboard for new ideas and helps innovators pursue creative solutions.
Innovation Districts vs. Innovation Hubs
When a hub is part of an innovation district, it serves as a space dedicated to activating resources and forming relationships vital to growth. Innovation hubs are microcosms of innovation districts—both have missions to create an environment for innovation and productive connections that influence the success of entrepreneurs, companies and the surrounding community’s economic standing. The hub becomes a concentrated community where organic interactions in shared spaces can spur fruitful and fortuitous outcomes.
Business park developers usually plan out the whole project carefully. They build access roads, parking, and landscaped gardens. They also consider the positioning and usage of office buildings carefully. Anchor institutions, renovated spaces, various industries, hungry startups and supporting intermediaries are key indicators of an area with innovation potential. Cities looking to differentiate themselves as leaders in development can capitalize on innovation hubs that pull these assets together, igniting meaningful interactions and community impact that drive innovation district growth.