Take a Look at Prince Lobel's New Office Space

Prince Lobel Scores With New Office Space
A “missed shot at the net” turns into an even bigger play for Boston firm

For nearly 30 years, One International Place has had pride of place in Boston’s skyline, as easily recognized today as icons like the Custom House and the formerly-named John Hancock Tower.

Inside Boston’s sixth tallest building, visitors and tenants who can make it past the aroma from Kane’s donuts are treated to a sophisticated atrium lobby and stunning views from higher floors.
While a move from 100 Cambridge Street may not have been on the minds of Prince Lobel leadership this time last year, Managing Partner Craig Tateronis is happy with how the new space has played out.

“Staying at 100 Cambridge was the course of least resistance, and it was what everyone assumed would happen,” he said. “But honestly, after the building traded a little over a year ago I just couldn’t get the puck in the net on the renewal. At the same time, during those conversations, we probably toured 20-25 properties. We put a committee together and got a good sense of what was happening in the neighborhood.”

With more than 10 years at the same location, the decision to move to One International Place wasn’t an easy one. Keeping staff concerns top of mind and partnering with service providers well versed in the firms needs helped make what could have been a difficult process smoother.

”I think the most difficult part was wrapping our heads around the fact that we needed to move; people really enjoyed being in the space at 100 Cambridge,” said Tateronis. “The hot button with staff was disruption of commuting patterns, which is why being in the Financial District continued to make sense for us. That was the biggest issue."

“From that point, we had Jones Lang LaSalle help us with the real estate search; they had placed us at 100 Cambridge ten years ago, and they were familiar with us. When it came to creating the kind of space we needed, we turned to Gensler. That had worked with us at 100 Cambridge Street so I think they knew what our aesthetic was and what we were trying to achieve.”

What Tateronis was trying to achieve was an updated and modern design – to stay in synch with their new brand and logo – that also created an engaging and collaborative atmosphere, one that not just maintained the congenial feel of the former office, but expanded upon it.

“Inviting gathering spaces were really important, both for outside guests and staff. For example, people tend to eat lunch together. It’s the culture of the firm. So we wanted to replicate the feel of the café, and we did. Most days, people will step out and grab something, and eat together here.

“Another thing, as I move from floor to floor, I see a lot of interactions happening outside of offices, which is a great thing. In the other space, people’s offices were so large that they would settle in, the door would shut, and that’s how people communicated. Now I see pods of people engaging face to face. And again, we went from two floors to three floors, which for a smaller firm in a culture like ours has been a bit of a shift. To be able to see people come together in the middle and use the space to catch up and communicate has been great.”
 
In addition to shifting to a sleeker office, the firm took the move as an opportunity to step up its technology.

“When we moved in at 100 Cambridge ten years ago, we were on the cutting edge of law firm design, and it’s amazing what happened during that intervening period,” said Tateronis. “We didn’t have video conferencing in our last space; it was a little before our time then. But we have it now, and staff use that function much more so than I would have envisioned. Even some of the dinosaurs in the room during those conversations thought that they would never take advantage of it, but as it turns out people enjoy it and the efficiency aspect is pretty helpful, too.”

At the end of the day, the “missed shot at the net” – as Tateronis put it – has turned into an even bigger play with no regrets. Well, perhaps one.

“If we’d had more time, I would have loved to have had some golf holes around the office,” he joked. “But we never quite got to that.

“This is a very different building than the building we were in before. This is an iconic Boston property, with a higher level of amenities, a neighborhood that is more vibrant, and the Greenway is spectacular for people who want to get out at lunch and walk over to the Seaport. Everyone was invested in the process and it pulled folks from all corners of the firm together. It was even more coalescing than I would have anticipated going in. We’ve only been here a few weeks but the longer we’re here the better it is.”