NELSON Designs Labs And Burger Dives
NELSON Boston managing partner Stacy Chambers and CEO John Ozzie Nelson (whom we snapped at a recent Bisnow event) tell us the 400-person firm is in growth mode. It recently acquired H2L2, a 107-year-old Philadelphia firm specializing in academic and infrastructure projects. Another Philly firm, Space Design, joined NELSON, bringing close landlord relationships with them. The firm is changing with the industry, as the large strategic moves of the past-- like the 500k SF NELSON is designing for Biogen Idec in Cambridge--are being supplanted by smaller, 50k SF to 75k SF jobs, especially in parts of the country where, unlike Boston, the economy is still uncertain.
There's an uptick in restaurant assignments as moremove into hot downtown locations and others seek to differentiate themselves, using their interior and exterior space to boost their brand. In Boston, NELSON is designing a Papagayo at Assembly Square and recentlycompleted a Burger Dive (also in Somerville) and Cakeology in the Ladder District (It's the retail location for the Internet-based bakery). Corporate clients, meanwhile, continue to consolidate design vendors. In the past, they may have used one firm to evaluate space in Chicago and another firm in Shanghai.Now, Ozzie says, they may turn from perhaps five design partners to just one for a region or worldwide.