South Florida Business Journal’s Brain Bandell writes:
Haber Law has moved from downtown Miami to a Wynwood building that defies the traditional law firm setting with street art and a “living room” floor plan.
The move shows how quickly Wynwood is changing, and how wide its appeal has become. The neighborhood started out as an apparel manufacturing area, and then become adorned with street art and full of restaurants and shops. After it was rezoned, there’s been a boom of development.
For years, Wynwood has attracted creative industries such as architects and graphic designers. Now, that is evolving.
Haber Law moving into 7,400 square feet in an adaptive reuse building at 251 N.W. 23rd Street might foreshadow a trend. According to a study by the Wynwood Business Improvement District, four projects with 197,000 square feet of offices are under construction, and another 767,000 square feet of office in six projects is proposed.
David Haber, managing partner of Haber said, said he saw a movie about Google and he admired the relaxed working environment it created in its Northern California campus.
“I wanted to give people the opportunity to work in a different atmosphere to give them a better sense of mental well-being, a better sense of teamwork, and a better sense of work-life balance,” Haber said. “I wanted to be where culture and art came together with business.”
Haber Law has 24 employees, including 11 lawyers that focus on construction, association law, commercial litigation, and real estate transactions. When its offices were in downtown Miami, many clients didn’t want to drop by for a meeting because traffic was terrible, Haber said. Now, most clients are eager to visit them in Wynwood, and usually visit a restaurant afterward, he said.
The law firm commissioned local artist Douglas Hoekzema, also known as HOXXOH, to create a mural on the building. Graphic artist Atomik created a mural in the office gym. The architect on the project was MKDA.
“I love the colors because the colors represent difference and diversity,” Haber said.
Many of the fixtures and furnishings used to build the office interiors came from recycled materials procured by DIRRT.
The new office features a “living room” style conference room so parties can negotiate in a more relaxed setting than the traditional tables and chairs. There’s also a coffee bar, and open seating areas, so employees can work in the open with their laptops if they choose. Many of his younger attorneys prefer to work outside their private offices, he added.
“The young lawyers in the firm love going to Wynwood,” Haber said. “Large offices in downtown skyscrapers are a wave of the past, not the future.”
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