Retail Properties of America, Inc. (“RPAI”), one of the country’s largest owners and operators of shopping centers, recently completed a move of its corporate headquarters to a new 32,702-square-foot work space relocating approximately 120 employees. From major shifts such as cutting back on enclosed offices to incorporating design elements that represent the angles of the RPAI logo, the office is a new beginning for the company.
With a management team comprised of veterans boasting an average of 23 years in the real estate industry, the team has observed a variety of management trends and work environments over the years—from start-ups to retailers—and reimagined these ideas to introduce a fresh approach to fostering success in a corporate REIT environment.
While expansive c-suite offices and individual work spaces have long been the standard for major corporations, many are beginning to see the benefits of open environments historically reserved for creative agencies and start-ups. RPAI has “broken down the walls,” creating an open-air environment to encourage open ideation and discussion.
“Many times, retail real estate office environments tend to have a hierarchical and corporate feel,” said Steve Grimes, president and CEO of RPAI. “We wanted to create a space that stimulates effortless collaboration, teamwork and creativity as well as promote an open-door policy throughout every discipline and every tier of the company. My hope is that this new space further inspires our team to take pride in their work, company and community.”
Finding inspiration in RPAI’s core business, retailers stimulated ideas on how to bring the office and company to life visually. For example, lighting plays a huge role in creating energy and contributing to a store’s image. RPAI took that concept and translated it into the new office space, incorporating a variety of lighting sources including low-emitting lights and walls of windows boasting natural lighting to help encourage increased productivity and a positive work environment.