Corporate Spaces that Give Back

Some companies are helping the community by offering the use of prime space in their buildings and on their campuses.

Many big corporations can be generous when it comes to making charitable contributions. They also encourage their employees to volunteer in the community. But some companies are going a step further, literally building the idea of giving back into their office space.  

A few examples:

Amazon. Last year, Amazon let St Mary's Place homeless shelter move Seattle's needy families into a small motel the company owned. (Seattle is one of the hottest housing markets in the country.) When Amazon decided to knock down the motel to build a six-story office building, it didn't forget about the city's less fortunate. More than 47,000 square feet of the new space — roughly half the building — will be set aside, rent free, for St. Mary's to keep doing its part to help Seattle's homeless.

Google. The internet search giant is getting ready to build a new campus not far from its current headquarters in Mountain View, California. The new campus is as design-driven as you’d expect, and that design rolls out the welcome mat for the public. Mountain View residents will be able to enjoy lush landscaping, a plaza, walkways and a pedestrian loop lined with shops and cafes that will take them right through the center of the new building. 

Quest Workspaces. Quest Workspaces built a business on charging companies to rent virtual and turn-key office space in its Miami executive suites buildings. But it decided to turn over some of that space to local nonprofits at no cost to them. The company said it realized many charities are overwhelmed by overhead and wanted to lend a hand by lightening that load.

Autodesk. Autodesk is one of the biggest names in construction design software and technology, and its office space is exactly what one might imagine. Its Boston headquarters is located in the dramatic Innovation Design Building in the city's Seaport District. But what's truly impressive is the space Autodesk set up to foster innovation in the construction and engineering industries. The company set aside 34,000 square feet, free of charge to those with insurance, so developers and entrepreneurs can tinker and otherwise experiment with new materials and processes. The Building, Innovation, Learning and Design (BUILD) lab is the ultimate workshop, equipped with six industrial robots that are ready to assist in whatever participants cook up.