Searching for a new home for PadillaCRT’s New York office sounds like a great project, right?  What could go wrong?  Come on… No one would have an opinion!  It’s just office space…  Then I woke up.

It took 18 months – just to find the right space.  And I swear, if a commercial real estate broker could divorce us, we’d be served with papers.

We looked all over the city.  “It’s too big. It’s too small. There’s no natural light. What the hell is this neighborhood?  I’m feeling a negative aura.”  Yep… they heard it all.

But good things come to those who wait!  The 48th floor of 4 World Trade Center was just right.  From the expansive views of New York Harbor to the world-class services, Silverstein Properties did an amazing job with the building.

What came next required stamina of mind and body – design, approvals, redesign, and approvals.  Did I mention approvals?  Then, the build out and approvals.  Did I mention approvals yet?  Thank goodness we were graced with a wonderful group of talented, patient people that worked with us to design a space that was uniquely set to fit our agency’s needs and purpose – both present and in the future.

Finding a new home, building it and making the move are only one part of the equation.  The other part, which can trip up a successful move, is the human equation.  Many companies regrettably overlook this essential element.

When figuring out all the moving parts of the New York office move, we didn’t shy away from the difficult questions.

  • Will staffers be apprehensive to move down to the World Trade Center site?
  • Does this new location make employees’ commutes better or worse?
  • Can PadillaCRT maintain and grow its employee-centric culture in a new space?

So what did we do?  We asked – plain and simple. Active listening is so important to change management and as an employee-owned agency, standard practice. Whether or not you can act on the feedback isn’t as important as letting people express their concerns.

No surprise, the feedback was rich and actionable.

As part of our orientation to the move we had a fully realized communications program.  Elements included:

  • A full staff hard hat visit to the raw space with our CEO Lynn Casey ‘christening’ the new space with a champagne toast
  • A wall in the old office was transformed into an information command center that was constantly updated with floor plans, flooring choices, designs and the like.
  • Employees were able to try out several office chairs and vote on the one they liked best
  • Committees were set up to insure that everyone had a role and a voice on the move – from ‘What are our new standard operating procedures in an open space design?’ to the naming of the conference rooms

And as icing on the cake, we were lucky enough to move into the building just as the new Oculus transportation hub began to take shape and Eataly opened in the building.  Our team and the folks at Silverstein enjoy a wonderful relationship, and as part of this they asked if we’d contribute to their testimonial video campaign.  Here’s the finished product:

 

The pulse and energy of residing at 4 World Trade Center is palpable and PadillaCRT is so lucky to be a part of the rebirth of lower Manhattan.

Goldilocks got it right… Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t fit – and boy does our new office fit like a glove.

One more thing – Did I mention approvals?