“For the first time in years, we have everybody on one floor, all together.”
– Scott Montgomery, Cofounder, BaM
Video courtesy of Bradley and Montgomery.
A Divided Past
The spring of 2016, the founders of Bradley and Montgomery (BaM), an Indianapolis-based marketing and branding agency, found themselves at a crossroads in their business, but things hadn’t always been this way. In 2004, the owners bought a two-story building at 342 E. St. Joseph St. on the north side of downtown Indianapolis. BaM already expanded the property twice by finishing both the basement and garage of the building but quickly outgrew it by 2012. They believed their only option at that time was to lease an additional space – a 6,000 square foot two-story loft building adjacent to its headquarters. Not only that, the firm leased yet another space in Brooklyn, NY, and Santa Monica, CA, which relocated recently to Culver City.
We Had to Help Bradley and Montgomery Come Together
During the past few years, the owners of BaM recognized the challenges that many multi-site businesses learn: working from two separate buildings became too difficult to operate operationally and culturally. Even though the offices were literally across the street from one another, it meant employees were making on-going daily treks between the two offices. Also, since buying the HQ building, BaM’s business had evolved and grown. Further, the firm faced the hurdle of attracting skilled employees that could help the company capitalize on growth opportunities.
Bradley and Montgomery co-founder Mark Bradley knew something had to change – fast.
“It just got to the point where it was just too spread out.”
– Mark Bradley, Cofounder, BaM
Finding a Space that Fosters Collaborative Creativity
They looked to Chris Carmen of the tenant representation firm, CARMEN Commercial Real Estate, to help develop strategies to meet their unique office challenges. BaM confidently contracted Chris since he had previously represented BaM first when the firm's partners purchased the HQ office building in 2004 and again during its expansions.
Having an "anything is possible" approach to their business and a strong focus on collaboration, it was important their next location truly capture the essence of BaM where employees could share ideas and instill a spirit of camaraderie.
Armed with these insights, Chris quickly understood that BaM's needs for a new building were just as unique as their firm. Not only did they need to consolidate the two Indianapolis offices into one site, sell the HQ building, and sublease their leased building across the street – they also needed to find a space that would reflect their brand promise and cultural values.
With a solid strategy foundation in place, Chris surfaced several office alternatives that allowed the firm to unify its Indianapolis offices at locations that would enhance their culture and image among employee candidates. After filtering the possible sites over a four-month period, BaM identified the highly sought after location of One Monument Circle as the best site to meet its office needs.
"You can’t get much closer to the heart of the city than right here," Bradley said on why he wanted the historic building with a modern facelift that pays homage to its decorative past.
"You can’t get much closer to the heart of the city than right here"
– Mark Bradley
This Was Going to Be a Hard Space to Get
Chris knew BaM would face intense competition from other businesses once the property came on the market since the space is one of the the most highly coveted office spaces overlooking Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.
photo courtesy Bradley and Montgomery
The owner of One Monument Circle, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, had undertaken an aggressive plan to completely refurbish the building while downsizing its offices to make the space available to a small number of outside tenants. It was critical that BaM became one of those tenants.
Over the past 30 years, CARMEN has cultivated several trusted relationships with the major players in the commercial real estate scene. It was this powerful network that allowed Chris to be able to identify the possibilities of the building before it even came on the market.
Looks (and Money) Matter
Not only did he surface the ideal physical location, Chris Carmen negotiated lease terms that included a complete demolition of the existing office space and rebuilding the space to BaM’s specifications. And because CARMEN is the city's only dedicated tenant advisor, Chris negotiated a rental rate that was below market and provided its client with free rent to offset BaM’s relocation costs.
The result? BaM founders couldn’t be happier.
photo courtesy Bradley and Montgomery
The founders admired the historical grit they found in the walls when they renovated the space.The bits of history -- like the old whiskey bottles stuck in the walls -- were kept to remember how far we've all come.
"For the first time in years, we have everybody on one floor, all together."
– Mark Bradley
"You see a lot more collaboration happening. People are excited to come to work."
– Scott Montgomery
Finally, after years of burdening themselves with a physically split team who struggled with in-person collaboration, BaM boasts a creative and functional space that will grow with the firm in some of the most unique office space in the city.