Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) has completed the relocation of its downtown Los Angeles brokerage office to the 25th floor of The Bloc, a flagship urban destination in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The new space design is based on input received from an online employee survey and research process conducted by NGKF, in-line with a planning strategy the firm conducts for occupier clients based on current workplace models and wellness trends.
According to NGKF’s Senior Managing Director of Strategic Planning and Special Projects William Robertson, who led the process, the 64-person NGKF downtown team was ready for a departure from the traditional high-rise perimeter office build-out. While a fully open office environment was considered, the new hybrid workplace was designed to incorporate an ideal mix that includes open spaces on the exterior and private offices in the interior, along with high technology conference and collaborative areas.
“What we identified in our research is that workspace design excellence is achieved by accommodating the individual, their responsibilities and the needs of the organization. When these things are understood, then we understand the culture. When we understand the culture, then we understand what makes a company successful,” said Robertson.
“It was rewarding to participate in designing a space that is going to ultimately make our team members more productive and energized. While the word “creative” can be overused today, the real challenge is to understand how the new generation works, providing a workplace that promotes and motivates this workforce and embraces wellness as the main focus,” said Josef Farrar, executive managing director of NGKF.
He added that NGKF focused primarily on its culture and workforce, then considered the physical work space. “When our clients consider new space, we encourage them to rethink the traditional approach and instead engage their employees, in order to gather the precious data readily available to create a workplace that promotes culture, wellness and productivity,” Farrar stated.
Highlights of NGKF’s new environment include:
- An entry that combines technology, a café and all-hands meeting space, creating a welcoming, interactive and highly-functional greeting and activity area
- A central map room and marketing space, which serves as the office hub. The design is similar to the navigation room of a submarine, where teams can work on emerging assignments, collaborate and view presentations in progress, or reference content from past projects
- Workspace art that reflects Los Angeles. The original artwork, designed by NGKF Regional Marketing Manager Frank Cubillos, was designed to look as if made by hand to further encourage a distinct culture in the office. Featured artwork includes: Map of the Los Angeles Districts; Typographical icon for “Downtown LA” with an aerial of the city in the ‘A;’ and a wonderfully bold, colorful panorama of Los Angeles with a Sea Songstress Mermaid figure blowing light winds across the Santa Monica Bay, and buildings framed by hills, freeways and the L.A. River, along with a glimpse of roses for Pasadena, among other elements.
NGKF Regional Managing Director Greg May noted, “Our firm will also reap the benefits of The Bloc’s transformation, where we are surrounded by exciting new retail and entertainment options, as well as open and public spaces that encourage walking and biking. This location instantaneously adds more to our office space and the overall experience for our employees and visitors.”
Acquired by The Ratkovich Company with partners National Real Estate Advisors and Blue Vista Capital in June 2013, The Bloc inhabits a full city block and is undergoing a $180 million transformation to provide a curated experience of unique shops, premier retailers and restaurants. It is anchored by Macy’s, the newly re-opened Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel and a 708,000-square-foot transformed, creative-leaning office tower, where NGKF is located.
“The addition of NGKF further bolsters the vibrant collection of creative class companies which we’ve cultivated at The Bloc. We’re excited to welcome them to our community at the heart of Downtown’s revitalization,” said Wayne Ratkovich, president and CEO of The Ratkovich Company.
Robertson said that the process NGKF underwent is an important one for today’s multi-generational, employee-focused organizations. “Our method introduces a science to listening so that we better document the perspective of everyone in the organization. When we crowdsource the design, we can achieve better results. Moreover, a broader absorption of perspectives guarantees better retention and sustained workforce engagement,” added Robertson.
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit http://www.bgcpartners.com/.
About The Bloc
A landmark property at the heart of downtown Los Angeles, upon completion, The Bloc will bring Angelenos together in a vibrant, open-air, truly urban center. Acquired by The Ratkovich Company with partners National Real Estate Advisors, National Real Estate Development and Blue Vista Capital in June 2013, The Bloc inhabits a full city block and is undergoing $180 million in renovations to provide a curated experience of unique boutiques, premier retailers and restaurants. Originally built in 1973 by architect Charles Luckman, the development will be the single largest mixed-use property in Los Angeles where consumers can work, sleep, shop and eat. It is anchored by Macy’s, the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, and a 708,000 square foot luxury office tower. The Bloc will be LEED certified and will be the first full city block designated as a Delos WELL Building Project in the world. Construction began in the first quarter of 2014 and is anticipated to be completed in late 2015. For more information, please visit www.theblocla.com or follow us at https://twitter.com/TheBlocLA.