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5 Questions with David Keller – Shopping for a New Office

IMG_0191Although Kamus + Keller specializes in the planning, selection and design of new offices, we’re not immune to the ups and downs of the relocation process. With only six weeks to go until the move of our Long Beach office, we’re busy cleaning, discarding, shopping, selecting furniture and finishes, and giddily daydreaming of our sleek new space with incredible views. Leading up to that time, we’ll be sharing some thoughts and pictures on our process and progress. As such, here’s a chat with our President | CEO David Keller on his experience with office shopping and selection:

1. What were the deciding factors in determining that an office relocation was right for the Kamus + Keller Long Beach team?

Probably the main factor was to enhance the culture of the office, the convenience of a downtown location, and accessibility to DTLB’s restaurants and activities.

2. What was on your “Dream Office” priority list?

Ideally, I wanted a single-standing office building, which is of course very rare in Downtown Long Beach. So our next opportunity was finding a high-rise where I could make a hybrid-use creative/traditional space, showing our clientele how they too can work with different cultures, age groups, millennials, etc.

3. What were the biggest challenges you tackled during office shopping?

The limited availability of office spaces within the 3,000-6,000 square foot range, and the willingness of the landlords to [let us transform] them into hybrid-type offices.

4. What’s the lease negotiation process like?

Pulling teeth! We do it every day, and we tell our clients that they need to be more proactive on that. We fell in the same situation, thinking we could easily hammer it out because we have relationships with the brokers and landlords in town. It still took us the same amount of time. No deal is done until it’s done, and this was about a six month process.

5. What’s your best advice for businesses looking to relocate?

Give yourself a good year – if your lease is up a year from now, you should already be looking at office buildings, figure out what’s out there and what’s not. And it’s a great opportunity for you to start shifting your culture to new work styles, raising the bar [for yourself and your staff], prioritizing how you want to address the future of your company for the next five to ten years.

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