Wiss

Space 12,000 sq ft

Type Accounting Firm

Location 225 West 34th Street

Taking a page from Apple’s playbook, Wiss made a commitment to good design. After 30 years in space that separated its workers into oppressive little cubes that shut them off from light and human connection, Wiss accounted for its human capital. They decided to create a space with lots of light and communal areas that facilitated human interaction. What this forward-learning New Jersey accounting firm has created is a home in Manhattan where every one of its employees wants to work and where they are both happier and more productive.

The Challenge

Wiss came to us with their current lease expiring with a couple of clear mandates. They didn’t just want a great space, or a great deal. They also wanted a space that was cool — a place where their employees would want to work. Wiss was located at 225 West 34th and while they hated their space, which they had occupied for 30 years and was completely antiquated, they really liked their building.

The Solution

We took a journey around New York with Wiss, checking out building after building to see if a move was in their future. Obviously, with their headquarters in New Jersey, having an office close to Penn Station was desirable but they open to seeing other neighborhoods, so see other neighborhoods we did. In the end however, Wiss fell in love with a raw gutted piece of space in their size range, on a different floor in their existing building.

By working closely with the owners of 225 West 34th Street, we were able to structure a deal where ownership, at their own cost and expense, built Wiss a space that looked more like a tech startup than an accounting firm. The space features exposed ceilings, an open concept layout, lockers for the staff to store their belongings and communal space for meetings. The building, having been built in the 1920s, had the potential for a loft-like vibe — but Wiss’ existing space was so old and outdated that it hid this potential beneath bad office design. By negotiating for Wiss to stay in the building, but obtain a new space entirely customized for them by the landlord, we gave the company what they were looking for: a great business deal and a fresh lease on their work life.


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