In-building wireless connectivity inside commercial real estate buildings is an important service for building owners and enterprise customers, especially for those looking to ensure their buildings are 5G-ready. Airwavz Solutions, a wireless connectivity company that designs, develops, owns, and operates 5G-ready, fiber backbone wireless infrastructure as a service, recently partnered with Columbia Property Trust to upgrade one of their national portfolio assets, 95 Columbus.
Before the pandemic hit in the Spring of 2020, Columbia Property Trust was already exploring upgrades to their 19-story, Class-A office building, known as 95 Columbus, a New Jersey office building with direct transit access to Manhattan’s Financial District.
Columbia, a real estate investment trust, manages a national portfolio of nearly 16 million total square feet of best-in-class office space in central, high-demand business districts in cities such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and New York and New Jersey.
A priority for Columbia with the 95 Columbus upgrade was to provide comprehensive cellular coverage for tenants and future-proofing the building to be ready for 5G and other PropTech needs. They searched for a qualified partner to install a fiber-optic based distributed antenna system (DAS) to enhance the cellular coverage.
Columbia conducted an RFP and received proposals from many leading industry vendors to find the best partner. Ultimately, they chose Airwavz Solutions as the best partner for their needs and signed a contract in the summer of 2020. The company was chosen based on two main factors: their competitive business model and their proven ability to deliver a phased deployment of the solution. This means that the wireless infrastructure at 95 Columbus could be enhanced in phases, rather than all at once.
JD Jeske, Airwavz Director of Real Estate Partnerships said, “They wanted to deploy their wireless solution in phases, in alignment with tenant occupancy. They identified the building core and common areas as the first phase, which is what became our initial focus.”
Bringing connectivity to 95 Columbus
“The phased deployment immediately impacted the way we thought about the architecture and the systems we would ultimately deploy,” said David Herran, Airwavz’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Although we tend to think of buildings as a single unit, most have a mix of tenants with various needs. Airwavz’s approach to customized solutions allows building owners to assess where and how they want to enhance their wireless infrastructure. This flexibility allows for creativity and solution-oriented consultation. Laying these foundations today makes future upgrades much more efficient and seamless.
Herran stated, “In this case, we had to be very flexible with the deployment model, which didn’t just consider the complete building design, but how best to install a physical network that could scale over time. The final approach was to prioritize common areas and help Columbia’s team at 95 Columbus develop a model that was 4G ready and 5G capable.”
Tenants can trust their tech will work
Columbia’s tenants at 95 Columbus will benefit in a variety of ways from their landlord’s investment in wireless infrastructure. With Airwavz Solutions’ partnerships with the wireless carriers, tenants can be sure that they will experience excellent wireless connectivity at 95 Columbus regardless of their wireless service provider.
Gone are the days where tenants only ask if a building has a fitness center. Now, tenants need to know if their cell phones will work. And, while Columbia is investing in a full lobby renovation at 95 Columbus that will provide modern aesthetic appeal, both the building and tenants will further benefit from this upgraded tech. This is especially vital in the current environment where smart buildings rely heavily on their wireless infrastructure for essential PropTech functionality. Columbia’s renovations at 95 Columbus demonstrate their commitment to offering their tenants a truly top of the line experience.
“The property team at 95 Columbus told us, ‘we want to create an exceptional experience for anybody who walks into our building regardless of their wireless service provider.’ It’s a really intelligent decision and sets the bar for all other competing properties.” Jeske recalled.
As tenants return to 95 Columbus after the pandemic, they can expect a consistent wireless-connected experience, with a building that is ready for advancements as technology evolves in the real estate sector.
Herran added, “The architecture and the network deployment itself are pretty dynamic for us. We expect it to evolve and change over time as the needs of the wireless carriers change and the needs of the building owner change.” Whatever the future brings, Airwavz will be ready to support 95 Columbus, ensuring that the building’s technology infrastructure far exceeds the tenants’ technology needs.
Airwavz Solutions provide fast and sustainable solutions customized exactly to the building owner’s and tenants’ needs by partnering with both wireless carriers and building owners. Their commitment to a long-term solution for building owners ensures owners will always be prepared for future PropTech upgrades. They don’t just design and install a network – they deliver on service level agreements which are expected and required to provide an elevated tenant experience as demonstrated at 95 Columbus.