A business park is a development set aside exclusively for the use of offices. Business parks are typically located in suburban areas because land tends to be less costly and building codes are less restrictive. In addition, this park will usually be positioned near a major roadway, to make it easy to access the development. In contrast with a business park, an industrial park focuses on promoting industry rather than offices.
The developers of a business park typically plan it out carefully, including landscaping, access roads, parking, and flexible-use office buildings. Companies can either lease space in the park or purchase buildings, depending on how the park is set up. In some cases, they may join an association when they take possession of a space in the park. Business park associations may have annual fees to cover ongoing landscaping, security, and basic maintenance costs, and they tend to have regular meetings as well; some associations may even elect officers with influence over operations in the park.
For companies, a business park is often a smart costing decision, because space in these parks tends to be very affordable, and it offers access to other offices which a company might want to network with. Several companies might decide to group together in one area to make themselves more appealing to potential customers as well. The spaces in a park are also extremely flexible, allowing businesses to expand easily if they need to.
The services in a business park vary widely. Some office buildings may be taken up by companies which are closed to the public, for example, while others offer services which do require public interaction, ranging from temp placement to proctored examinations. In some cases, a park may mix with light to medium industry, greatly increasing the diversity of businesses housed in the park.
In some regions, business parks are heavily criticized. Some critics believe that these dedicated areas can sap at the vitality of downtown areas by encouraging businesses to relocate, and they also create uneven development by developing previously unused land in suburban areas. This can encourage urban sprawl, which is undesired in some parts of the world. Businesses argue that these parks create a concentrated, affordable office district, and than when they are thoughtfully built, they can contribute to the communities that they are constructed in.