Corporate Realty Associates

This site initially arose out of my passion for research regarding the evolution of the workplace and its impact on my commercial real estate clients. As a former lawyer, I have a special interest in law firms that has evolved into an obsession with how the legal industry is evolving – especially in the area of client service. -Anita Turner

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What does the headquarters of a hip and growing women’s wear retailer look like? Not surprisingly, it looks pretty inviting. And from me, a self-professed lover of hospitable and welcoming office spaces, this is the ultimate compliment.  Who wouldn’t want their office to “invite” employees in, rather than demand their presence? Corey Gaffer Photography Warm and Soulful During a visit to Minneapolis last month, I toured the offices of Evereve and I didn’t want to…
It is said that you cannot put lipstick on a pig, but OTJ Architects proves that you can transform a below grade common area into valuable and attractive space with good design. The Foundry OTJ took what was effectively basement space in the beautiful brick Foundry Building in Georgetown and made it a selling point for the building owner.  How? By utilizing good design to build an amenity complex. OTJ added hardwood floors, a live-edge…
Can a law firm with 14 offices around the United States and Europe consolidate all of its shared services operations to one location, and in the process save money and improve productivity? The answer is “yes” if you ask Fish & Richardson. The Situation About four years ago, Fish & Richardson’s Chief Operating Officer, Rick Anderson, started exploring the possibility of a shared services “hub.”  It was Anderson’s belief that having all of…
Living in a southeastern city without a well-developed mass transit option, I bear witness to increasing commute times and the pressure they exert on employee and employer alike.  In fact, I recently spoke to a law firm principal frustrated by the dilemma of how to reduce the time her employees spend in the car without compromising culture, mentoring and teamwork.  She asked me what other employers are doing to solve the commute problem, so I…
The Set Up Earlier this year, I represented a tenant negotiating a smallish lease in a suburban Birmingham building.  The landlord’s brokers and I thoroughly negotiated a letter of intent which was to be the basis for the draft lease. Less than a week after we agreed on terms, we received a draft lease from the landlord’s attorney.  For those readers unfamiliar with the office leasing process, this is bordering on record-breaking speed.  My client…
I spent most of my twenties in Los Angeles enjoying some much needed sunshine (and grad school) after a childhood of Minnesota winters.  While Birmingham’s weather is much better than Minnesota’s, I still jumped at the opportunity to go back to sunny LA last month.  And although it was fun, Birmingham is not in jeopardy of losing me. Los Angeles, I love and miss you but we aren’t getting back together. Western Legal Leaders Council…
I freaking love to read.  And my two favorite non-fiction subjects are company culture and the legal industry. (Shocker.) I thought it would be fun to ask the people I admire running non-profits, companies and law firms here in Birmingham what their favorite books on culture are.  They did not disappoint! Some books I have read; others are now on my To Read list on Goodreads; a few are on their way from Amazon…
I’ve seen second stories added to residential bungalows, but did you know that you can “pop the top” (phrase to be trademarked) on a mid-rise office building? Yeah, me neither. I was not only told you can, but shown the results of physically raising the roof on a DC office building.  Gensler, Hines, Savills-Studley and Hogan Lovells collaborated to make it happen. The Setup Hogan Lovells has been leasing space in the Columbia
It is common knowledge in the legal industry that law firm offices built 5+ years ago predominantly still contain large (240 square feet plus) partner offices and typically only slightly-less-large associate offices (180 square feet). My question is: If a law firm is building out new space in 2019, will it use these same standards? The answer: Not in Washington, DC. Last week, I spent a few days touring some recently built out law firm…
When I started at Corporate Realty last year, I was given a lovely large office, albeit one with no ceiling and one full glass wall.  Result: quiet and visual privacy are arguably absent.  I also inherited a brokerage partner who I have written about previously, Emily Byrd. Emily had a workstation of her own with two large screens she could use when she docked her laptop.  However, our co-workers quickly tired of my and Emily’s…