BY ELLIE HENSLEY
The owners of Bank of America Plaza, the tallest building in the Southeast, are going to great lengths to ensure their office tenants are staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the pandemic began in mid-March, the tower has remained open and followed the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The building has remained open to tenants and guests all year. We spoke with Linda Beauchamp, general manager for Shorenstein Properties, Bank of America Plaza’s owner, and Jack Corey, Vice President of Shorenstein.
What’s New: Elevator Capacity Limits, Signage and More Frequent Cleaning
From the parking garages to the lobby and elevators, there is plenty of signage to make people feel both welcome and protected at Bank of America Plaza.
“From the minute you enter the property, whether you’re on foot or in a vehicle, you see welcome back signage as well as safety protocols we’ve implemented,” Beauchamp said.
New measures include:
- modified the janitorial scope facility-wide to include more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas
- extended hours of operation for building ventilation systems and maximizing the use of outdoor air to freshen the space
- issued requirements to service providers for use of personal protective equipment (PPE) while in lobby and common areas and required them to notify building management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases
- installed social distancing floor markers and rearranged furniture to meet social distancing requirements
- set a capacity limit per elevator and posted that capacity in elevator cabs. Masks are also required.
Beauchamp said her team has remained in regular contact with tenants about what to expect when they return, as many of them are still working from home.
“As tenants started working remotely, we’ve been communicating with them regularly to let them know we’re on-site, operating and cleaning high touch points more frequently, installing additional directional signage and preparing property for reoccupancy,” she said.
Welcoming Back Tenants
It’s still fairly quiet at Bank of America Plaza, but Beauchamp is starting to see more tenant activity.
“We’ve had tenants in the building throughout the entire pandemic,” she said. “It’s been a fairly low occupancy like everyone in Midtown, but a couple of months ago folks started to reoccupy and lately additional groups are feeling comfortable coming back in.”
Shorenstein is a San Francisco-based real estate investment company that owns 22 million square feet of properties all over the country. Bank of America Plaza is its only property in Georgia. Due to its large portfolio, the company was able to develop its health and safety protocols for the building in part based on its earlier experience with properties in other states adapting to the pandemic.
“It seems like we were somewhat behind the curve, compared to some states like New York where the pandemic hit earlier,” said Corey. “We knew what was coming our way and we were able to prepare.”
Shorenstein acquired Bank of America Plaza in 2016 and has since helped it make a leasing comeback and invested in extensive renovations. While it’s been a challenge for building owners to secure new tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was recently announced that law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith is relocating its Atlanta offices to two floors in Bank of America Plaza in April 2021.
While tenants have been away, Shorenstein has also been catching up on some preventive maintenance and painting around the building, and Beauchamp said those who have returned have noticed the improvements taking place.
“As they continue rolling back and phasing in, we're prepared — we’re prepared for all of them, if they want to come back tomorrow,” she said.
Beauchamp welcomes back Bank of America Plaza tenants and announces some new safety measures.
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