Case Study
Pew Research Center

Background

Pew Research Center (PRC) is an independent think-tank that is primarily funded by the Pew Charitable Trust. Over the past 12 years, PRC's office space has grown from 18,000 to 73,000 square feet. During the annual planning meetings with West, Lane & Schlager, PRC outlined its mid- and long-term organizational issues. As a result, WLS was able to provide PRC with intelligence, space and cost projections necessary for PRC to secure funding for three expansion projects from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Challenge

PRC had outgrown its space and needed to more than double in size, but it had over four years left on its lease. WLS had previously negotiated a favorable termination option that PRC could leverage towards a renewal/expansion negotiation or utilize it to facilitate a relocation – either way, the termination provision provided the leverage necessary to insure PRC achieved the most cost effective solution.

Solution

WLS completed a strategic plan that revealed a number of options that could provide enough space necessary in the most cost effective manor, including outside options that would pay PRC’s termination penalty at its existing building. This created enough leverage to renegotiate and expand in its current building.

Results

Through our strategic planning process, we were able to uncover the possibility of renegotiating the existing lease and reducing PRC’s per-square-foot costs by 20%. Moreover, the plan provided the tools necessary to gain funding approval from the Pew Charitable Trusts. On behalf of PRC, WLS renegotiated its lease and doubled in size. In addition, WLS’s operating expense reviews uncovered landlord errors which resulted in refunds in three years, totaling more than $60,000.

Key Contacts