In Fall 2019, Laura Britt moved her team into a newly built studio, an event that was years in the making for Britt Design Group. But BDG is more than just the first tenant of this gorgeous new space, they have an equity stake in the building and several surrounding properties thanks to a savvy deal they struck with the developer.
Laura and her business manager Jeff Capra had been on the lookout for years to find a property where they could consolidate their residential and commercial teams. But the hot Austin real estate market, made finding reasonable deals nearly impossible. They tried teaming with a couple of other professionals on a building, but nothing every was right for all parties involved.
But it was through one of those potential partners that they were introduced to the developer for this site, a collection of properties in a mixed-used residential area. Their building is the only new construction and it was an ideal combination of wants and needs on both sides. The developer wanted the firm’s design input and resources, and a confirmed anchor tenant for a new build, while BDG had the opportunity to create a studio environment that suits both current and future needs, and in a manner that truly showcases the firm’s expertise.
In addition, BDG received equity in the development, giving the firm many of the benefits of property ownership without having to take on the role of landlord to other tenants. In a video tour of the new space, Laura explained that there were three goals she had in mind:
1) that it be a WELL design space;
2) that it feature products the firm specifies so that clients could see them in use; and
3) that it featured space for art, so they could showcase some of their favorite local artists.
BDG occupies the approaximately 3,300 sqft ground floor, and if further space is required, has the option to expand to the second floor. The studio contains a large conference/client presentation room with a full wall magnetic white board and video conferencing; second smaller conference room; a materials/resource library with another video conference set up; open plan set-ups for staff; a large kitchen; private offices for executive staff; and plenty of storage and counter space. In addition, one of the baths includes a full shower, there is a wellness room with a biophilic ceiling light and aromatherapy, a room that also serves as a lactation room when required. And, there’s a large outdoor space that Laura refers to as the outdoor conference room, where people can have lunch, take a break, or yes, meet with clients if they want.
In the full video walk through that Laura shared with members, she took time to explain many of the specific details they built into the new space, and graciously mentioned the inspiration she received from visiting other member’s studios—always a highlight when our conference locations overlap a member’s homebase!