Case Study
Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association


Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) is a 501(c)(6) organization based in Washington, D.C. MEBA’s headquarters has occupied office space at 400/444 North Capitol Street, NW for more than 15 years. Being close in proximity to Capitol Hill and Union Station are two of the main reasons this building and location has worked well for MEBA. However, with their impending lease expiration and slightly excessive space, MEBA determined it was the right time to evaluate their options.


MEBA engaged West, Lane & Schlager to assess their existing real estate situation and identify possible alternatives. WLS identified a couple key challenges, the first of which was their occupancy costs were above market. Secondly, MEBA's space was outdated, inefficient and too big for current staff size. Finally, the organization needed to create leverage due to their existing relationship with ownership.


WLS negotiated a long-term lease for MEBA to downsize in their current suite to the appropriate square footage while addressing the above market rental rates and outdated and inefficient layout and finishes. Through the successful negotiations, WLS was able to significantly reduce the rental rate, achieve their desired square footage and fund all space improvements, all while doing an "in place" renovatoin of the premises and keeping employee disruption at a minimum. 


 West, Lane & Schlager was instrumental in guiding us through a complicated negotiation and build out process that included procuring significant concessions from the landlord and planning a renovation within a very small window of time. WLS made it possible to obtain a lower rental rate, along with a new modern and efficient space. 

MEBA leadership


WLS found a solution for MEBA’s space requirements: create leverage during the negotiation process given the unique relationship between MEBA and ownership, obtain a more efficient layout, significantly reduce yearly occupancy costs and receive no out of pocket expenses for the build out. Based on the goals determined at the beginning of the process, WLS was able to successfully meet all of MEBA’s requirements while doing so in a limited time frame. As a result, MEBA benefited from a reduced rental rate and more modern and efficient space far earlier than expected.

Key Contacts