By Holly Dutton
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a 130-year-old organization based in New York City, has moved to 2 Park Avenue, taking 100,000 s/f on the 6th and 7th floors.
The move wasn’t a far leap – the organization was previously housed directly across the street at 3 Park Avenue.
“We’re trying to turn a 130-year-old company into a forward-facing company,” said Tom Loughlin, executive director of ASME.
The group’s previous space had 70,000 s/f, and with the added 30,000 s/f in their new digs, the organization is primed for expansion, with room for 300 employees.
They currently employ 250 at their offices, plus a small amount whom telecommute.
“This gives us elbow room to grow,” said Loughlin.
The new space is sleek and modern, with warm touches of color and wood. The space was designed to be open and collaborative, with 20 conference rooms and a 2,000 s/f board room with teleconferencing capabilities.
The design is meant to reflect the history of engineering with a nod to the future.
One of the highlights of the organization’s new space is a 2,000 s/f multi-purpose staff area called “The Hub,” an informal meeting area for employees that also includes a café.
Loughlin said the organization looked at 25 spaces over a period of two years before settling on 2 Park Avenue, an Art Deco, LEED-certified building built in 1927.
The company’s 15-year lease at the Cushman & Wakefield-managed building was brokered by Colliers.
“We understood the market was changing in New York,” said Loughlin, adding that the Society wanted to be prepared. After signing the lease in the summer of 2011, architectural design firm HLW International created the design and co-ordinated the build-out of the $18 million renovation which began last summer and is nearly complete.
Loughlin said the space was “just right” and the lease was in the low $40’s as compared to their previous lease which was in the $50’s range.
He praised project management firm VVA and Icon Interiors for the on-time and on-budget project. “It’s one of those rare stories where it went really smoothly,” he said of the design and renovation process.
To co-incide with the move, ASME announced its new “2 Park Avenue Support Campaignˮ which will allow participants to support initiatives in education, humanitarian engineering and public policy.
The Campaign will allow participants publicly to recognize contributions to mechanical engineering, memorialize great contributions to the field, or simply to give back to their profession. Naming opportunities are being made available at locations within the new headquarters, from the central “Hubˮ to individual conference and reception areas, board rooms and gallery spaces.
According to ASME, “Supporters of the campaign will really be like angel investors, getting in at the beginning of philanthropic programs.ˮ