(Chris Stephens)
Chris Stephens

How many likely tenants are there for a concrete suburban office complex of 470,000 square feet? The owners of office complexes are having similar problems to the owners of malls, but for different reasons. As shoppers have moved either to ritzier malls or to shipping online, offices have moved back into cities. Both changes leave behind massive buildings or complexes that nobody wants.

One example that serves as an illustration is a building constructed for Western Union in 1973 in northern New Jersey. It was most recently the headquarters of education company Pearson, which took off for the city of Hoboken. The building’s design hasn’t aged very well, and the building’s owner…