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Spector's challenging job.

In an effort to help Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP expand its law practice, Spector Group Architects recently had to redesign the firm's space while the lawyers continued working.

Client occupation of space during construction presents unique challenges to both architect and builder.

"The project had to be phased in such a way that allowed Milberg to occupy swing space to enable work to continue and, at the same time, provide a safe and secure environment," explained Spector Group principal Marc Spector.

"We defined paths of travel and maintained proper entrance and egress, carefully mapping out the details before work began. We guaranteed them an uninterrupted flow of operations."

With 60,000 s/f of space being renovated, moving people around was not unlike fitting pieces of a puzzle together. Moves took place five times, with 30 people at a time being relocated, involving 20% of the office every time. Each time a sector was moved it propelled firm partners, associates, their administrative assistants and their 'workroom' to a different location within Milberg's four floors at One Pennsylvania Plaza. Each phase required 10-12 weeks, with a two-week gap for finishing and preparation for the next phase. Five phases resulted in approximately 70 weeks in construction.

According to founding partner Melvyn I. Weiss, "From day one, The Spector Group's commitment to the project was repeatedly demonstrated. The entire team had a clear understanding that we are a 40-year-old firm prosecuting numerous important class and private actions throughout the country. They understood that with over 120 attorneys and nearly 300 support staff, we had no time to waste. From filing complaints, writing briefs and conducting conferences and depositions to the necessary use of our technology, we had to be able to conduct 'business as usual' throughout the renovation process. Marc Spector, Scott Hayden and their team, working closely with our management team, accommodated our requests and the project's outcome certainly exceeded our expectations."

Milberg Weiss' growth and acquisition of square footage was accomplished incrementally over the years, resulting in 'bits and pieces' of new space scattered among the floors. In finally becoming a single occupant, Spector Group was able to design and layout the space to best suit the firm's needs. For example, more and more case information is stored electronically, resulting in smaller spaces for legal literature. However, group work sessions are on the rise and conference areas have taken over as popular 'workrooms.' In renovating Milberg Weiss, the addition of conference rooms was a priority. Located at the center of the firm's space is a document processing room with a special reinforced steel floor below.

All electrical panels were rewired to accommodate new web-based document processing.
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Title Annotation:Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP and Spector Group Architects
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 23, 2005
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