After flocking downtown to woo millennials, offices might be moving back to the suburbs “Is office space going the way of retail in five years? That’s what investors are really trying to understand,” said James Farrar, CEO of real estate investment trust City Office REIT. After a wave of office deals in downtown districts such as Manhattan, activity looks to be picking up again in the suburbs – at least in the short-term. McDonald’s opened its new $250 million headquarters in Chicago in 2018, after 47 years in the suburbs. McDonald’s opened its new $250 million headquarters in Chicago in 2018, after 47 years in the suburbs. It was 2016 when General Electric announced it was moving its global headquarters to a smaller space along the central Boston waterfront, away from the quiet suburbs of Fairfield, Connecticut. And with each of these moves, there were perks: Millennial talent was more plentiful in these bustling districts such as the Loop in Chicago, where the nightlife and bar scene were also strong. Some companies, including GE, found tax breaks from municipalities when they positioned their offices downtown. And reliable public transit systems could seamlessly transport workers back and forth each week. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic hit. For weeks now, companies across the country have been adjusting to entire workforces working remotely. Many of these offices are sitting empty, if only to be frequented by janitorial staff and a skeleton crew of essential workers. Zoom video calls are replacing what would typically have been meetings in conference rooms filled with colleagues breaking bread. Click to read more at www.cnbc.com.