Culver’s restaurant takes step at Gate Parkway

The restaurant and drive-thru is planned across from Ikea.
by: Karen Brune Mathis Editor of Jax Daily Record

The city issued a concurrency reservation certificate for the Culver’s restaurant planned at Gate Parkway and Point Meadows Drive, across from Ikea.

The 4,378-square-foot restaurant and drive-thru is planned on about 1.5 acres now owned by First Coast Energy L.L.P.

Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. is the civil engineer.

GateLite3 LLC,  led by Don and Lori Lichte and their daughter, Sophie, is the developer and intends to buy the site.

As dLites3 LLC, they opened the first area Culver’s in July 2019 in Middleburg.

Don Lichte said in September they are in due diligence for the Gate Parkway site. Pending permitting, he said they hope to open by early summer 2021.

Sophie Lichte is the owner-operator of the Middleburg restaurant, which is in Clay County, and will be the same for the Gate Parkway store.

“We really like that area and the demographics,” Don Lichte he said. “We wanted to build east of the river closer to the beach.”

Their goal is to build three area Culver’s restaurants in five years, “and we’ll see after that.”

The Lichtes worked with real estate broker Clint Murphy, president of Jacksonville-based Murphy Land and Retail Services Inc., which represents Culver’s in its area site search.

Culver’s is based in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, near Madison. The Lichtes are based in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.

Culver’s specializes in frozen custard, cheese curds and ButterBurgers – named for their butter-toasted buns.

The company works with multiple franchisees to develop within areas. 

Culver’s plans to open in Southwest Jacksonville at 7923 Parramore Road at southwest Collins Road and Interstate 295; in St. Johns County at 3433 U.S. 1 S. in St. Augustine and at 45 Fountains Way in the Fountains at St. Johns in Saint Johns; and in Nassau County in Yulee at 463731 Florida 200.

Murphy said his company is the preferred area broker for Culver’s Franchising System LLC and the corporate real estate department.

He said Sept. 4 that there are six operators working on Culver’s sites in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. 

Murphy said he is working on a site in Arlington.

Founded in 1984, Culver’s now counts more than 740 locations across the United States.

Development & Restaurant Notes: 24/7 Pediatrics to Campfield Commons; Solar roofs for Extra Space Storage

by: Karen Brune Mathis Editor with Jax Daily Record


Dunkin’, Starbucks take steps.


The city issued a permit Sept. 2 for Tim Young Construction Inc. to build a 5,591-square-foot office for 24/7 Pediatrics at a cost of $1.37 million at 8990 RG Skinner Parkway in Campfield Commons.

24/7 Pediatric Care Centers LLC of Jacksonville Beach is the developer. The project is planned on 0.69 acres.

Solar roofs for Extra Space Storage

The city issued permits for the installation of photovoltaic systems for Extra Space Storage at 100 Girvin Road and 5550 Timuquana Road.

Dunkin’ in Baymeadows

Dunkin’, formerly called Dunkin’ Donuts, wants to remodel its store at 9978 Baymeadows Road, No. 5, at a cost of $65,000.

Starbucks to Branan Field

The Clay County Development Review Committee is reviewing plans for a drive-thru Starbucks at southeast Blanding Boulevard and Baxley Road in Clay County.

Banks Must Help Business Navigate The New Normal

Man by Sign

Banks Must Help Business Navigate The New Normal

As the country begins to reopen, there has been no shortage of projections on what the new normal for business may look like in a post-pandemic world. Research has shown that small business owners are optimistic about future business conditions and expect the recession to be short-lived as the country re-opens. For example, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index showed significant improvement in May, but despite the improvement and reports on businesses reopening, there is no question that a great deal of work must be done in order for our economy and especially small businesses to fully rebound from the impact of COVID-19. 

Businesses should be looking to their banker as a partner and counsel to help navigate the long road ahead. As businesses adapt to the new normal, they should also prepare for what banks like ours will be looking for. 

Businesses must reevaluate their current business model and prepare detailed action plans on what success will look like in the future. These action plans must include information on pre-COVID sales and volume, how the business was impacted, and determine a new plan of action that accounts for risk, but also underlines how the business projects transformation and profitability going forward. Businesses currently can be broken down into three categories: 

  • • Those who may quickly rebound from pandemic-driven shortfalls.
  • • Those who may or may not have to adjust their business models to reflect the changing business environment.
  • • And those who will need to completely rework their business models in order to survive in a post-COVID world. 

Financial institutions are an important tool and resource to help businesses assess which category they fall into, and what actions they can take to persevere.

For instance, some industries, like construction, fall into the first category and are expected to recover quickly to their pre-COVID profitability. While some restaurants may fall into the first category, many will still have to adjust their plans and operations going forward and fall into the second category where they will likely need to have conversations with their banking partners to determine what financing is needed to digitize processes if they are not yet in place.

The third category includes the physical brick-and-mortar retail market, an industry struggling even before the pandemic hit. According to the findings of a PYMNTS consumer survey, 42% of consumers are engaging in even the most routine activities online, and as much as $158 billion in brick-and-mortar sales are moving to digital channels. Market research outfit Forrester predicts that the US retail sector can expect to see $321 billion in losses this year when compared to gross sales from 2019. Forrester is also predicting that it will take four years for retailers to get back to and eventually overtake pre-pandemic sales figures. The same may apply for businesses that involve large group gatherings, like movie theaters, performing arts centers, and sporting arenas that may require major adjustments to their pre-COVID models based on how efficiently communities are able to minimize spikes and spreading after enacting initial reopening phases. 

It is important for all business owners to be able to describe what category they fit into and why – while also demonstrating how their business may have changed for the positive. There are a number of real live examples of previously unimagined change such as the walk-up drink counter at a restaurant. In the end, banks can play a critical role in helping business during this challenging time. After all, the new normal is nothing like the normal we have ever known. Fresh thinking and guidance are needed, and banks are here to help you succeed.

Fading Vintage Ads Bring Nostalgia to Neighborhoods

Fading vintage ads bring nostalgia to neighborhoods and possibly value to properties.  Nostalgic and a bit eerie, ghost signs—fading advertisements from previous decades that still remain—hark back to a time when hand-painted advertisements on building facades were the primary way businesses marketed to motorists, commuters and passersby.

The intricate typography and hand-drawn designs attracted customers throughout the late 19th century up until the 1970’s. Hawking goods from bar soap to classic beverages to appliances, these vintage signs were the premier way for companies to publicize products and services. Today, you can find them peeking out from the past on exterior walls in cities across the world, adding character and old-world whimsy to neighborhoods.

In rare cases, some have been restored to their vibrant pasts, but most ghost signs are fading and chipping away with each passing year. But these old-fashioned ads represent unique periods that reflect the economic and social standings of the era.

‘You can
get nice clues of an area’s industrial heritage through the presence of its ghost signs.’

“You can get nice clues of an area’s industrial heritage through the presence of its ghost signs,” says Sam Roberts, director of Ghost Signs, which offers ghost sign tours in London. “For example, there is a part of London where the leather trade was based. Hundreds of businesses that operated in that area are now converted into working and residential spaces, but there are still little clues from the past that reveal the history of London’s leather trade.”

In a sense, these signs can be viewed as passages to the past. “I think they are survivors of an era that ensures that the period is not entirely forgotten,” Roberts says.

Preserving a property’s history could be an intriguing selling point for owners. For developers who opt to keep the fading signs in sight, they can bring interest to their properties, and, in turn, increase appeal.

“If owners were to incorporate a bit of the history into the narrative that surrounds their properties and why they have value, it could be a potential benefit,” Roberts suggests.

Through restoration, companies that are lucky enough to still be in business decades after their signs were originally painted can reignite interest and bring attention to their brand for new customers.

For example, Coca-Cola, the iconic brand known for its bright, ubiquitous soft drink ads, was a leader when it came to using hand-painted signs for promotion. In fact, the company allocated a quarter of its marketing budget to wall signs that date back to the 1890’s. Coca-Cola leased wall space with blank canvases from property owners to showcase their products through colorful illustrations and slogans like “Refreshing and Delicious” that have become embedded in American culture.

‘If owners were to incorporate a bit
the history into 
the narrative that surround their
and why
they have value, it
could be a potential benefit.’

While many of those quintessential soft drink ads are now weathered and discolored, Coca-Cola Consolidation has revitalized some of its artwork. Since 2011, Coca-Cola has brought new life to some of the colorful ads giving the surrounding area in which they’re displayed a newfound charm. Through its restoration initiative, around 15 of the company’s additional vintage signs in southern American towns such as Hendersonville, N.C. are slated to get a fresh coat of paint.

“We tapped into a movement,” Lauren Steele, Coca-Cola Consolidated’s former (now retired) SVP of corporate affairs said in a 2016 article on the company’s blog. “These old wall murals are an important part of our Coca-Cola history. But they’re also an important part of the history of these towns. They’re so much more than painted signs to people. They’re living testaments to the enduring bond between Coca-Cola and the American experience…and we’re rekindling that emotional connection.”

Those nostalgic associations that ghost signs evoke are growing each year thanks to the advancements in digital technology, photography and the prevalence of social media. Now more than ever, people can find these disappearing signs and share their thoughts, ideas and discoveries online with like-minded enthusiasts.

“People who are interested in ghost signs have the mechanisms to share interest across borders,” says Roberts. “Digital technology has allowed any kind of niche interest to be facilitated through digital media.”

Although the visibility of these vanishing signs has increased thanks to social media and rapid urban redevelopment—many only emerge temporarily after a building has been knocked down during the construction of a new one.

In a place like New York City, these signs surface frequently, and it’s up to property owners to preserve or paint over them. In most instances, bigger and taller buildings erected obstruct views of the signs. Additionally, the density between these structures can hide them indefinitely.

For historians and ghost sign enthusiasts like Roberts, bringing awareness to the historical significance of these eye-catching signs is a passion that they hope can help others recognize their value and what they add to a neighborhood. “It’s my mission to preach the gospel of ghost signs,” Roberts says.

Who knows? One day the public street art and murals found around the world today might eventually be uncovered after years of obscurity, revealing mesmerizing remnants of today’s captivating culture and past.

“The passage of time increases our interests,” says Roberts. “The new and shiny things of today aren’t fascinating, but give it time and they become more interesting.”

Why Traditional Retailers Are Hopping on the Wellness Bandwagon

It’s no surprise that traditional brick-and-mortar retail has had to make significant changes in recent years to keep up with ever-evolving consumer demand. With the increasing prevalence of online shopping and its related perks—free shipping, deep discounts, endless options—brands have had to get creative in order to lure customers to spend money in store. But by incorporating new experiences like virtual reality, robotics, out-of-the-box anchor stores and more, the industry has managed to maintain its foothold. Now, a new retail trend is popping up in stores around the world, and it’s something a bit more relaxing.

‘Today’s consumer has embraced wellness.’

“Today’s consumer has embraced wellness. The shakeout is evident in the new wellness-related technologies, products and services that cater to this knowledgeable, wellness-engaged consumer,” said Jim Holbrook, CEO of Daymon Worldwide, a global consumer retail expert, in the company’s “What’s Next in Wellness” trend report. “If retailers haven’t yet made wellness a key priority, or there’s uncertainty about what’s truly meaningful to individual store shoppers, they need to know that competitors are not waiting and are looking to woo their customers away.”

Wellness is the next great trend in the retail space, and for good reason: The worldwide health and wellness industry was a $3.7 trillion market in 2015, according to a study conducted by the Global Wellness Institute, and it has only gone up from there. It’s no wonder landmark brands are trying to cash in on the trend by creating unique wellness experiences for their guests. 

Founded in 1924, Saks Fifth Avenue might not be what comes to mind when thinking about of-the-minute, trend-adaptive retailers. The department store titan has 39 stores across 22 states and is synonymous with luxury retail. But no stranger to the ever-changing landscape of the retail industry, Saks has seen its fair share of changes throughout its long history and has learned how to adjust accordingly. Its latest adaptation is none other than an approximately 16,000-square-foot space filled with state-of-the-art workout classes, unique health services, specially curated wellness products and more—all inside of the brand’s Fifth Avenue flagship store. 

Saks Wellery_Saks Studio.jpg

Customers can now experience the Saks Wellery, located on the second floor of the brand’s Fifth Avenue flagship store. Photo courtesy of Justin Bridges for Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Saks has a long history of creating breakthrough, experiential environments in our stores—in 1935, an indoor ski slope was constructed in the flagship store in order to offer skiing lessons. The Saks Wellery, our latest concept shop, focused entirely on wellness, continues the Saks tradition of elevating shopping to a higher level by building exciting customer experiences,” said Saks Fifth Avenue chief merchant Tracy Margolies in a press release announcing the new initiative. “We want the Saks Wellery to be a sanctuary for our customers—a place to find peace and solace in the middle of our bustling city.”

On the second floor of the historic building where the Wellery is situated, shoppers can take a workout class at ConBody, a prison-style boot camp class, or Bendable Body, a self-stretching class, or one of the classes offered at the rotating pop-up studio. Afterward, they can experience dry salt therapy inside the Breathe Salt Room, get a manicure with a side of guided meditation, or undergo some non-invasive body contouring at CoolSculpting. The company hopes that by getting customers in store to participate in wellness events, they’ll stick around after to browse the racks. 

Saks Wellery_TechnoGym.jpg

Within the Wellery, shoppers can take a workout class at ConBody, Bendable Body, or one of the classes offered at the store’s rotating pop-up studio. Photo courtesy of Justin Bridges for Saks Fifth Avenue.

Though activewear brand Lululemon caters to a more niche clientele than the traditional department store—the activewear apparel market has continued to show double-digit growth since 2012, according to consumer tracking service The NPD Group—they’re also upping their in-store wellness offerings by introducing meditation space at their new store near Rockefeller Center in New York City. The concept space features cushioned “Zen pods” where guests can listen to one of 12 self-guided meditation recordings and zone out for a bit, all inside the bustling retail store. Considering the company already offers in-store yoga classes at certain locations, the new meditation space is a natural progression into the wellness sphere.

London’s Selfridges department store has a full Body Studio department that offers shoppers everything from high-intensity cycling classes to fitness talks and debates at the health-conscious in-store cafe. And in Berlin, Adidas opened a RunBase store location that seamlessly combines fitness and retail. The space features workout classes and has on-site physical therapists, a healthy sit-down restaurant and a private running shoe store where you can test out the shoes with tracking devices and have a trained salesperson evaluate your performance.

Get ready to sweat where you shop!

New Retail Experiences Include Skiing, Rope Climbing, Car Racing and More—And They’re Shaking Up the Mall

As retail becomes increasingly focused on the omnichannel experience—the ability to browse and buy via multiple channels, including online and in-store—many brands are turning their attention to their e-commerce strategy. However, for traditional shopping malls that rely on in-store purchases, while an e-commerce approach will help boost sales, they have to look further for new, innovative ways to draw in customers.

‘It’s a very fashionable thing to say that malls are dying, but it’s simply not true.’

One strategy mall owners and developers are turning to? Investing in interesting experiences, like indoor ski slopes, water parks, ropes courses and more that can allow consumers to shop, dine and play all in the same spot.

“While some see the challenges happening in the retail industry as adversity, we see nothing but tremendous opportunity. After all, adversity creates opportunity. It’s a very fashionable thing to say that malls are dying, but it’s simply not true,” says Rachel Chester, Marketing Director for Palisades Center of Pyramid Management Group. “While many malls have died and many more will close, the concept of ‘mall’ is actually undergoing a healthy natural selection where only the strongest, fittest and most diversified will survive.”

Palisades Center, located 18 miles north of New York City, plays host to 24 million annual visitors and offers 2.2 million square feet of gross leasable area. Built in 1998, the mall has undergone its share of changes as the industry has adapted to the rise of e-commerce and new types of retail. Today, aside from housing traditional retail stores and anchors like Target, The Home Depot, Macy’s and more, it also is home to a handful of experiential tenants that help draw in new types of customers and bring more foot traffic to the center of the mall. Such experiences include the world’s tallest indoor ropes course, Lucky Strike, 5 Wits—a live-action immersive adventure—Autobahn Indoor Speedway, Palisades Ice Rink and more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Malls aren’t dying, and the proof is in the numbers: The International Council of Shopping Centers estimates that 84 percent of shoppers will visit a mall or shopping center this holiday season.

“Retail has its cycles, and right now it’s focused on food and beverage, and entertainment,” says Mark Hunter, CBRE Managing Director of Retail Asset Services in the Americas. “While the department store footprint will continue to shrink, it’s going to take time for malls to adapt to best meet the needs of consumers. What we’re starting to see in some of the larger malls isn’t just dining and entertainment, but residences, offices, medical facilities, colleges and more—they’re becoming live, work and play shopping centers.”

One such live, work, play shopping center in the works? American Dream Meadowlands, a behemoth retail and entertainment development project in a popular retail hub in New Jersey, which has been underway since 2002 and plans to open in 2019.

‘Retail has its cycles, and right now it’s focused on food and beverage, and entertainment.’

Currently being developed by the owner of the two largest shopping centers in North America—Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall—American Dream will encompass approximately 3 million square feet with over 450 retail, food and specialty shops. As for the experiential component, the mall will include over 18 acres of entertainment, including a fully enclosed indoor water park, theme park, a 16-story indoor ski slope and snow park, an observation wheel, aquarium and more. It will be 55 percent entertainment and 45 percent retail, with an international tourism center, hotel, convention center and more dining options than any other retail center in the U.S., effectively shifting the focus to make the complex a complete destination, instead of simply a shopping destination.

“Brick and mortar continues to play an integral role in the omnichannel retail experience,” Chester adds. “Shopping malls, especially those that are dynamic and experiential and incorporate mixed-use development like hospitality and spas, will always play a significant role.”

The Transformative (Super) Power of Convention Centers

From the Bruce Waynes of Wall Street to the Daredevils of Hell’s Kitchen, thousands of superheroes and villains alike descended upon the Javits Center this month for the 12th annual New York Comic Con. For four days, the cosplaying community came to life inside the 760,000-square foot showroom – bearing witness to a city-wide transformation.

“The Javits Center, like any convention center, is very much a city within a city,” says Tony Sclafani, chief communications officer at the Javits Center.

Indeed, the experience was anything but conventional. Looking up at the massive steel spires and cross stitched beams, one could see the result of the venue’s five-year renovation, which included the addition of a nearly seven-acre green roof, more than 100 energy-efficient HVAC units and the removal of its former dark-mirrored glass façade.

The renovations at the Javits Center are reflective of a growing trend where convention centers are shifting to meet the evolving needs of customers.

“We’re becoming much more integrated with the community around us, especially with sustainability, and we’re now seen much more as a partner within the community,” says Sclafani. “Today, the show floor looks more dynamic, more lively, more exciting than ever before. Event producers are starting to change the layouts of their shows to accommodate a new generation of consumers armed with mobile devices and tablets.”

Event producers are starting to change the layouts of their shows to accommodate a new generation of consumers armed with mobile devices and tablets.

Across the nation, convention centers are doubling down on their investments and expansions. The Las Vegas Convention Center is undergoing a $934 million expansion that includes an additional 600,000 square feet of exhibition space, building landscaping and canopy over the building’s loading docks. In Florida, an estimated $500 million is being allocated toward the Orange County Convention Center for additional space and a new ballroom, while Miami Beach Convention Center is in the midst of a $620 million-dollar renovation. As for the Javits Center, the renovations are anything but conventional. The venue is investing another $1.5 billion on an expansion that will add 1.2 million square feet of total space, as well as 27 new loading docks.

With the recent advances in technology, sustainability has been top of mind for many of these convention centers — including the Javits Center. Before the renovation, the center had an issue with birds colliding with the dark mirrored windows. The incidents led to an unfortunate moniker: “The Darth Vader of the Hudson,” Sclafani says. But just as Darth Vader was reformed in the end, the Javits Center found its way back to the light.

Whether it’s a college graduation, automotive show or comic convention, convention spaces are being built to accommodate and capture the essence of what makes each community unique.

With its new, bird-safe windows, collisions have dropped by 90 percent. What’s more, since installing a green roof, the Audubon society has identified 26 species of birds nesting on top of the center. With fully functioning bee hives and a garden that will supply its restaurant with seasonal vegetables, the Javits Center is proving that going green is the way of the future.

“Convention centers are economic engines that support the industries of their cities and beyond,” says Sclafani. “In New York, the Javits Center supports the tourism industry, the restaurant industry, the hotel industry… So many businesses and people depend on the work that’s done here.”

Whether it’s a college graduation, automotive show or comic convention, convention spaces are being built to accommodate and capture the essence of what makes each community unique. As Comic Con travels on to another venue, the Javits Center will once again transform into another hub for enthusiasts. In a matter of days, the interior will become something entirely different. In a matter of years, so will the exterior.

How’s that for a super power?

The Food Industry’s New Path to Brick and Mortar

Opening a restaurant before technology was integrated into our lives was no easy task.

In pre-Internet days, restauranteurs and chefs had to follow a hunch that a certain location could use a specific type of restaurant (Ben and Jerry, of the eponymous ice cream brand, bought a clicker and tracked pedestrian traffic on various corners around Burlington, Vermont, to find a high-traffic spot to open their first shop). There were few ways to test the waters to see how a product would do, and once open, restaurants had to rely on local news outlets to spread the word.

But since Ben and Jerry started their first shop in 1978, digital advances have opened countless new doors for the food industry. From scouring rental listing sites to find a shop, to utilizing census data to select a prime location, to reaching out on social media platforms to understand a demographic and potential market, restauranteurs are no longer going in blind. And perhaps the biggest changes are the new modes of bringing a concept to market. Chefs can open a food truck, spend a fraction of what they would on opening a restaurant, and can essentially test out a new concept and an unlimited amount of locations at the same time.

“Food trucks have gone from fad to necessary platform,” Matt Gellar, co-founder and CEO of The National Food Truck Association, told Utah Business. “Food trucks continually innovate because they can. They don’t answer to investors. If someone has a crazy idea for a Mexican/Asian-fusion concept, they can bring it to the public and allow people to decide for themselves whether the food is good or not. Consumers are very platform agnostic. They just love good food.”

Beyond food trucks, pop-up shops in temporary markets and vendor booths in food halls or stadiums offer restauranteurs the ability to build a customer base and drum up excitement without committing to a permanent brick-and-mortar location.

“For the most part, it’s hard to go from being a weekend baker to running a store that operates seven days a week,” says Eldon Scott, president of Urbanspace. “There’s a big gap between those two things. It’s harder to be successful at owning a restaurant than it is to have a great concept.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Food markets, like Urbanspace—which operates permanent and temporary food markets in New York, London and an upcoming Los Angeles location—provide vendors with those in between spaces that offer direct access to prime community locations and customers. But what the vendors choose to do next is entirely up to them.

For chef-owners of pop-up restaurant Talat Market in Atlanta, the success found during their stint as a weekend-only pop-up dinner spot has spurred the pursuit of their own brick-and-mortar location. They now have a location secured and plan to open their permanent restaurant at the end of the summer.

Similarly, in San Francisco, Hillside Supper Club started as just that—a supper club run out of friends’ houses. To test how they’d fare as a slightly more permanent spot, the chef-owners transitioned into a pop-up restaurant a few times a week and maintained that business for over a year. Finally, only after thoroughly learning the neighborhood and understanding its wants and needs, did they transition to a permanent restaurant.

According to CBRE’s 11th “How Global Is The Business Of Retail?” report, restaurants and coffee shops make up 25 percent of all new retail openings in 2017—the highest percentage for any retail category—proving that even though the path to brick and mortar might have changed, it’s still a well-traveled road.

Elevating Office Spaces with Inspiring Art

For companies looking to inspire creativity, spark passion and generate interesting new ideas, stark white office walls can be a deterrent. As more research emerges on the topic, companies are moving beyond painted walls and turning their attention to art in the workplace. According to a study by the Business Committee for the Arts and the International Association for Professional Art Advisors, 82 percent of employees said art was important in the work environment and 73 percent said their view of the company would change if art were removed.

“Art has the power to be much more than merely a decorative element. It conveys the human experience, and when in a workplace, art can be a source of inspiration for both clients and employees,” says Katarina Wong, founder and curator of MADE and former director of curatorial and community engagement for the New York office of Edelman, the world’s largest global public relations firm.

‘Art has the power to be much more than merely a decorative element.’

Major companies have even started picking up on the trend. In 2007, Goldman Sachs commissioned New York-based painter Julie Mehretu to create an 80-foot-long-by-23-foot-high mural for the entrance hall of their lower Manhattan office. In 2009, the mural was completed and put on display. Today, it’s viewed inside by thousands of employees each day and even more passersby on the street, as the mural is visible through the building’s glass facade.

Similarly, CBRE offices in Chicago and Los Angeles worked with street artists to create eye-catching murals to enhance their globally focused offices with some local artistic flair.

“For companies looking to add art to their offices, I suggest they ask themselves what they want the art to reflect about themselves. Are they a cutting-edge, tech-savvy, high-energy company? Or perhaps they are a practice that needs to convey confidence and calm,” Wong says. “Anything placed in a space—art or otherwise—tells a story of those who inhabit it. In a business context, art is an opportunity for companies and organizations to help clients, guests and employees get to know and experience who they are.”


People walk past the $5 million mural by Julie Mehretu inside the global headquarters for Goldman Sachs.

For U.K.-based curator Katie Henry, the importance of showcasing art in office spaces is nothing new. Since founding her aptly named firm Art in Offices in 2012, she’s helped dozens of companies fill their bare walls with interesting and inspiring artwork.

“When you’re thinking about an environment for people to work in, it’s so mind numbing to only have a white wall to look at, or worse, corporate posters. You need those few microseconds away from your desk to escape, just to stare at something nice,” Henry says. “Paintings are something you can get lost in—they give you inspiration, they’re chewing gum for the eyes while you’re thinking about something and they make a space so much more dynamic.”


U.K.-based curator Katie Henry mocks up artwork in an otherwise bland reception area.

She recognizes that navigating the art world for affordable pieces can be tricky, so Art in Offices offers three options: Companies can rent art starting at £40 per month, buy art from £500 or rotate art every few months through her subscription program, which starts at £100 per month.

“We act as a broker essentially between clients and artists. We sign artists that already have a body of art that they’re trying to sell,” Henry says. “When we go to a space, I can think through a stock of artwork that we have that might fit. We get a sense of the company, ask about the personality and then we talk to them about preferred colors and preferred styles to find the right match.”