Designer Buildings: An Evaluation of the Price Impacts of Signature Architects
This study investigates whether commercial offices designed by signature architects in the United States achieve rental premiums compared to commercial offices designed by nonsignature architects. Focusing on buildings designed by winners of the Prizker Prize and the Gold Medal awarded by the American Institute of Architects, we create a sample of commercial office buildings designed by signature architects drawing on CoStar's national database. We use a combination of hedonic regression model and a logit model to estimate the various rent determinants. While the first stage measures the typical rental price differential above the typical building in a particular sub-market over a specific timeframe, the second stage identifies a potential price differential over a set of buildings closely matched on important characteristics (such as age, size, location etc.). We find that in both stages offices design by signature architects exhibit a premium. However these results are preliminary. The premium could be indeed an effect of the name of the architect, but others factors such as micro-market conditions might be the cause. Further tests are needed to confirm the validity of our results.
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