Here’s an interesting fact: because of economics, politics, and the need to make culture relevant again, heritage sites are up for grabs. No, you cannot buy a heritage site. It is for this reason that heritage sites were declared as such. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) oversees the World Heritage Center, which manages and protects heritage sites around the world. But the organization alone, as well as state funding, cannot cover the expenses of these sites. That’s why people can now rent these for private events. Heritage sites can also rent out their space to commercial businesses.
If you want your office to have a unique ambiance, you can consider renting in a heritage building. Or simply, take inspiration from it and call a corporate wall-cladding service to recreate the same design on your office building. The question that should be in your mind right now is why will businesses want to rent in an overpriced building?
Conversions of Heritage Sites
It isn’t so far-fetched to think about renting an office unit in a heritage site. The walled city of Intramuros in Manila, for example, is home to many heritage sites, buildings, and churches. And yet, almost all of the buildings that you can find inside the walled city are for rent. Old buildings are now hotels, museums, and restaurants. Many now house travel agencies, insurance companies, publishing businesses, and even government offices.
You can still find the old cobbled streets of Manila in Intramuros. Those are reminiscent of the bygone era of the Spanish period. And while those years are all but forgotten now, the historic relevance of the famed wall city is forever in the consciousness of historians and cultural buffs. Although many of these historical sites are now commercialized, their historical significance will attract tourists, who could be your business’ clients or customers.
The idea of wanting to hold a business office in a heritage or historic site is not new. Plenty of businesses already did it. They were fine. They gained more because they were in the thick of things. Tourists and local frequent heritage sites.
Heritage Sites Allow Restoration, Renovation
Are you apprehensive about renting an office space in a historical building because you might not have the freedom to renovate it? Don’t worry. Not all heritage sites have a hands-off policy. Restoring the building’s design, architecture, attributes, and values is expensive. State funding is not enough, so many buildings need the infusion of cash from rental money.
But before restoring or renovating the site, ask yourself this: what is the value of this site to people who know its history? If you are going to hold offices on a historical site, be careful about restoring and renovating it. In some way, these are still governed by UNESCO and its local counterpart. They need to approve the design and renovation plan.
It is not too impossible to think about upgrading some features of your office when it is in a heritage building. However, you need to gauge how your target market feels about it. If you’re selling cultural items, what would they think of you if you decide to modernize the design of the building? A heritage site or building has its own character. It is always a little bit outdated, but its charm and classic architecture more than make up for what it lacks in modern amenities.
Improving Cultural Awareness
Cultural experts agree that it’s high time to raise cultural awareness through renting out heritage sites and historical buildings. The more people are exposed to these sites and structures, the more they will want to know about its history. Opening these sites to commercial tenants and private events can be beneficial at a cultural level.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) said that a heritage site must have some function of public utility. Whether as a tourist attraction, museum, or hotel, heritage sites will contribute to the economic development of a country. It will also open up opportunities for other businesses to take part in the trade. Souvenir shops and restaurants can start operating in these heritage sites.
A business can stand to benefit from renting an office unit in a heritage building. One, your office is in a place jam-packed with tourists during its pre-pandemic days. Two, you will have access to this market when the market reopens. And three, you will present your business as the more reputable and legitimate among its competitors. In short, the fact that you are in a trusted historic site gets you extra brownie points.