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Groups look to cut real estate costs, rethink office space needs

Teleworking success and financial hardships prompt associations to seek subtenants, renegotiate leases or make short-term moves

Cutting office space

By Kathryn Walson
July 24, 2020

The Obesity Medicine Association in Denver had planned to move later this year into a space more than double the size of its current office. A real estate broker helped them negotiate a lease. A lawyer reviewed it.

But when it came time to send the agreement to the board for approval in May, Co-Interim Executive Director Joan Hablutzel said she suddenly realized this was the wrong move. Hablutzel called her fellow co-interim executive director, who said she was thinking the same thing.

“We sat back and thought, ‘This doesn’t make sense. Why are we securing a seven-year-lease space not knowing what our revenue’s going to be for the next year, as well as not knowing what our staff size is going to be?’ We didn’t want to commit, especially for seven years,” Hablutzel said.