John McKenzie thinks Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate’s new west Wichita office represents the real estate office of the future.
Plaza’s new west-side office at 7515 W. 37th North does away with a lot of — but not all — private offices and semi-private cubicles and instead provides a large amount of open space with high ceilings.
“It’s an open-desk concept,” McKenzie, Plaza’s CEO and founder, said. “… Picture Dell and all the Silicon Valley companies where they have their people sitting in huge rooms ... but can lift their heads up and talk to somebody four feet away from them.”
The 6,000-square-foot building was constructed by Icon Structures and designed by SPT Architecture. It replaces Plaza’s 3,200-square-foot west-side office at the Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler.
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The new building includes 1,000 square feet of office space for mortgage lender Busey Bank and Security 1st Title.
It’s also larger to accommodate more agents. McKenzie said Plaza’s west-side office currently has about 30 agents, and the new space will accommodate as many as 60. Plaza’s goal is to grow its agent ranks at both its east and west offices by 40 or 50 more in the next two years, McKenzie said. It currently has 103 agents between the two offices.
When McKenzie went into planning for the west office more than a year ago, he wanted to tailor its design to Plaza’s current and future workforce.
“We’re having to appease four generations of agents,” McKenzie said. That’s why the new space still has some private offices and cubicles. But it’s some “late Gen Xers and millennials who want collaboration,” which the open office concept provides.
“There isn’t a single thing in the building that we designed that was an original idea by John McKenzie,” he said.
Instead, the ideas for the new office, which also features a wet bar for coffee and other refreshments as well as a patio that overlooks a lake, is “just a culmination of my travels and visiting with companies all over the United States,” McKenzie said.
When it comes time for Plaza to do something different with its east office, “we’ll incorporate a lot of the ideas we did” on the west side, he said.