Vari CEO Jason McCann: ‘Workspaces Should Ebb and Flow—Just Like the Needs of Businesses’

"It's clear that the office of the future will change more than any other time in recent memory," McCann says.

The workspace innovator sees a niche for a new product—fully furnished, move-in-ready space.

Vari CEO and Co-Founder Jason McCann says flexibility is the future of office space.

The company that made its name with the standing desk and adjustable office furnishings dove into the North Texas office market, first renovating buildings in Las Colinas and Southlake. The company formerly known as VariDesk rebranded as Vari to reflect its entire platform of workspace innovation right before the pandemic. While that timing might have been less than ideal, McCann didn’t miss a beat developing Vari’s own headquarters in Coppell—basically its own proof of concept for the idea of a “building-as-a-service.”

“VariSpace Coppell is our first ‘ground up’ office building,” he said. The location, its third in DFW, will serve as Vari’s global HQ. Slated to complete in summer 2022, it will offer a flexible option for Fortune 50 enterprises and fast-growing local companies looking for a suburban location in DFW as a multi-tenant campus.

McCann calls VariSpace a “living, breathing ideation lab and showroom for Vari to show building owners and operators a better way to serve their current and prospective tenants and monetize their assets.”

The company’s space-as-a-service product, as it turns out, is remarkably well timed. McCann thinks the micro trend of offering fully furnished, move-in-ready space could become a standard across CRE in the near future.

McCann is among the experts invited to share their thoughts on the CRE market for our recent DALLAS® magazine that focused on how DFW punches above its weight in commercial real estate. Here’s what he had to say in “View from the Top Tier.”

In terms of the office of the future, what are the top things you learned?

1. Culture matters. Tenants will pay a premium for short-term leases and fully furnished space in a building with world-class hospitality, great energy, and culture. The majority of the tenants at VariSpace are headquarters locations, a competitive edge for attracting talent. 

2. Speed wins. Move-in-ready, fully furnished, turn-key office spaces lease faster.

3. Flexibility wins. Workspaces designed to ebb and flow as business needs evolve are a game changer for both CEOs and building owners. Our movable walls reduce the amount of sheetrock that goes into a landfill every time a tenant moves out.

What trends in commercial real estate should we be aware of?

Flexibility is the future. Workspaces should ebb and flow—just like the needs of businesses. There’s also a huge niche out there for a new product for landlords: fully furnished, move-in-ready space.

Building owners today are more open to exploring new models to improve their financial returns. The experience we have gained by owning and operating a few buildings in DFW has allowed us to “think like an owner.” 

Give us an example.

Our first location, VariSpace Las Colinas, was 90% leased while still under construction in 2019. VariSpace Southlake took the lessons learned from our proof-of-concept and applied them to test a second building in a different sub-market. Leasing more than 50% of the VariSpace Southlake building in the first year, during the height of 2020, has confirmed the model’s success. 

What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for Vari in the real estate realm?

The biggest challenges facing real estate are also the biggest opportunity. It’s clear that the office of the future will change more than any other time in recent memory. Asset owners that are able to adapt to a higher level of tenant hospitality and flexible lease options will win more deals.

We’re bringing our expertise to other building owners and tenants to redefine the future of office space. We’ll continue to test the concept of providing asset owners and operators with fully furnished flexible workspaces as the office space environment continues to evolve.

VariSpace is an opportunity for Vari to learn with other great companies and accelerate our flexible office solutions in one of the best business and commercial real estate markets in the world. We see a tremendous amount of potential for our core business—moveable walls, standing desks, lighting, storage—as part of commercial property build-outs across the country—and ultimately the world.

How is the industry changing?

The flight to quality and the flight to flexibility are the two largest trends today. We don’t see that changing any time soon.

Quincy contributed to this report. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

A version of this story first appeared in the print edition of DALLAS® Commercial Real Estate 2022, published by Dallas Next for TREC and the Dallas Regional Chamber. Read more in the digital edition of the magazine below, and request the next print edition here.


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The real estate magazine is part of the DALLAS® media platform that includes the DALLAS® Relocation and Newcomer Guide and the DALLAS® Economic Development Guide. Published by Dallas Next for the Dallas Regional Chamber, together they tell the world about the future of live, work, learn, and play in North Texas.

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