After three years of planning, the law firm debuts its new office space.

In 1986, the Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP law firm moved into a building in the Discovery District which, at the time, represented the fourth time it would hang a shingle along East Broad Street. The structure was built in the 1920s and had workers scattered among three stories in more space than is now needed, resulting in a setup that wasn’t ideal for the way a modern law firm operates. Firm partners decided to make a change and formed a building committee in May of 2017.

The firm’s wish list for a new office was pretty straight forward. It wanted ample parking in a central location. A new phase of Nationwide Realty Investor’s Grandview Yard would provide just that.

Exactly three years after the committee was formed Carlile Patchen & Murphy welcomed some of its 75 workers into the new office at 950 Goodale Blvd. during the week of May 4th. The firm took the whole 17,000-square-foot second floor of a building that boasts views of downtown Columbus and has all the modern amenities businesses embrace these days, including a café with a fireplace, high-tech conference spaces and a floor plan that will allow workers more opportunities for teamwork.

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“In the old building, with workers spread across three stories, people didn’t see people sometimes for weeks,” says Partner Jane Marx. “With everyone on the same floor now this will be way more of a collaborative work environment.”

Other features of the new office include the “Richard Patchen Community Room” that will be available to groups like nonprofit boards. There also are offices that part-time or semi-retired attorneys can use as needed. 

Moving an office is a big deal in normal times, but especially so during a pandemic. The firm worked with Nationwide Realty, the landlord and developer, and Equity Construction Solutions, the general contractor, to coordinate the build out of the space. Design Collective handled the design and Dupler Office was responsible for the interior furnishings. The move relative to those four firms was perfect and on time, Marx says. The only issues she encountered were needing to find a new sign company – Atchley Graphics – and a new vendor for letterhead – Dancor.

Because of COVID-19, the firm has implemented several health and safety measures.

Its suite, the first-floor suites and the common areas were disinfected prior to taking occupancy. The firm’s HVAC is separate from the first floor and its filters were changed before move-in. Foot traffic is one-way in hallways with one door serving as an entry and another serving as an exit. All workstations are 8 feet wide, 5 ½ feet tall and 6 feet deep. Distancing can be achieved while sitting or standing. Cotton masks were provided to all employees. Disinfecting wipes are placed in the work room and conference rooms and employees are able to wipe down equipment and counters.  The office is closed to guests and clients and meetings and hearings are handled via teleconference. Once the firm opens to clients it will add disinfecting to the plan for conference rooms. Employees who are working from home continue to work from home. 

Moving to a new space during a pandemic presented several challenges, says Partner Geoffrey Kunkler.  

“Thankfully, both our employees and our community partners helped to make the transition as smooth as possible,” he says. “Everyone involved was aware of the need to take extra precautions and follow the guidelines set forth by the governor. It involved a lot of planning, organization and scheduling considerations to ensure we maintained the appropriate number of people in either space at one time and were in line with social distancing requirements.   

“We will miss the beauty, history and memories at 366 E. Broad,” he says. “But we are very excited to have been able to begin our new journey at 950 Goodale and our thanks go out to all that made the move possible in these unprecedented times.”

Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer for Columbus CEO.