American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA), a $23 million 501(c)(6) organization, occupied space at 1111 19th Street, NW for 15 years. Over that time, AFPA’s membership had consolidated which impacted staffing and led AFPA to occupy two floors of the office space.


Two years prior to AFPA’s lease expiration, West, Lane & Schlager completed a strategic real estate plan which determined several key issues. To start, AFPA could increase collaboration and effectiveness by consolidating onto one floor. And while their existing layout consisted of large private offices, which was obsolete and inefficient, they did not want a fully “open-plan” layout. Furthermore, AFPA needed a large 800 square foot, column free area for conference and meeting rooms. Finally, while the organization was focused on maintaining or reducing the real estate budget, their office’s Central Business District location was not conducive to hosting members of Congress.


WLS worked closely with Fox Architects to pinpoint options that could improve AFPA’s layout efficiency without resorting to a fully open-plan design. The final plan allowed for AFPA to reduce its office “footprint” by 38%. After considering 31 options, AFPA focused on 1101 K Street, a three-year-old building with only four interior columns on a floor. The layout allowed for AFPA to maximize efficiency and install the conference facility.

  Eric West and WLS have been a trusted partner of the American Forest and Paper Association for over 20 years. I particularly appreciate the fact that they remain involved and protect our interests after a move. Specifically, as a result of WLS’ annual operating expense review, they found and corrected a $100,000 landlord overcharge. When we had excess space, they executed a program to sublease the vacant offices and they advised us of an opportunity to renegotiate our lease to reduce costs by 20%. In every situation, they created a rational business case and they executed their plan efficiently.   


AFPA improved its building and space quality, improved its location and reduced costs by 41%. AFPA, its members and board recognized that the new space improved operational effectiveness and reduced costs.