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Open Floor Plans Don’t Work for All

By Carrie Rossenfeld

Adapting space design to a user’s particular culture is enabling hybrids of traditional office and creative space that meet the needs of each company, Shay Hughes, COO of real estate firm Hughes Marino Inc., tells GlobeSt.com. While creative space is all the rage in the office arena, totally open floor plans don’t work for every company in every industry.

As GlobeSt.com reported last week, Hughes Marino has completed its own creative-office space at 2 Park Plaza, Suite 750, here. The space is the firm’s unique version of the creative-office concept, which strives for the right balance between traditional private offices and public space. GlobeSt.com has learned that Gensler was the architect and Howard Building Corp. the general contractor for the project.


Interestingly, the new office echoes the design concept of its Downtown San Diego office, which was built in 2011. “The Irvine office is both different from and similar to the San Diego office,” says Hughes. “The Orange County office is in a class-A high-rise building, one of the nicest—if not the nicest—office developments in Orange County in Jamboree Center. In San Diego, we purchased our own building, a freestanding historic building downtown. One is leased and the other purchased. They’re different, but we used a lot of the same design elements in both offices.”

Shay Hughes

Hughes says it’s a “cool transformation how you can take one look in a historic building and transfer it to a contemporary, beautiful high-rise. It’s fun for me to see the difference from this to that. We have the same farm table, marble, chandeliers and conference-room

chairs. There’s a lot of exactly the same furnishings, but there’s a different look because of the type of building it’s in. We’re enjoying the space so much. We’ve gotten incredible feedback from guests and employees.”

Before moving to its current Irvine space, Hughes Marino was located in another office in the same center. When the new space became available, they took a look. “It was occupied before, and it was terrible: closed in, and where we have glass was drywall. It’s the opposite of what we have now.”

Total construction costs for build-out of the new 4,500-square-foot space was more than $1 million, including $500,000 for tenant improvements, $200,000 in art and $300,000 in FF&E, Hughes adds. “We spend more than most businesses would spend, but we firmly believe in providing an amazing environment for your team is critical to your path to success for any business. It’s important to have inspiring space, whatever inspiring means to your team. This represents us well.”


Having common office space that includes guitars, a pool table and a living room is “such the fabric of who we are,” says Hughes. We’re very family oriented and a family-owned business. Work should be a home away from home. It’s very much a familial setting, where we have the kitchen and family-style farm table, and lots of room to hang out and be together.”

This article originally appeared on GlobeSt.com.

Shay Hughes is president & COO of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay.hughes@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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