Design & “That Vision Thing”

nyc office spaceMay 12, 2011 – Imagine it: you walk off of an elevator into an empty expanse of, well, nothing. You have floors and a ceiling, and elevators that stop on your floor, but not much else. Your task: convert this downtrodden expanse of empty space into a luxury serviced business center, containing 50+ offices, two conference rooms, a kitchen, a reception area, and a lounge, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Can you do it? Where would you begin?

This is the challenge Jay Suites faces each time we’re ready to expand. Location is everything – especially in the highly competitive Manhattan market – but the real work begins once the site is chosen & the paperwork completed. Before the ink dries, our team is actively searching out contractors, construction crews, and suppliers to transform a cavernous vacancy into a designer business center.

It would be logical to assume that, after opening four business centers in Manhattan’s most highly-trafficked locations, building out additional spaces wouldn’t require the same amount of involvement and oversight… But it’s exactly the opposite. With experience comes knowledge, and the upper management at Jay Suites rigorously apply this enhanced expertise to each new project they embark on.

Unlike other business center providers, that outsource every aspect of the design & construction process, Jay Suites’ management is actively involved in all aspects of building executive suites officesout their business centers. Donning hard hats and foregoing the suits, the management actively determines the aesthetic possibilities of the unfinished space and begins designing immediately. “I remember my first day on the job, when we toured the under-construction Penn Station location,” reminisces Caitie Bucci, Jay Suites’ general manager. “Jack [Srour, COO] showed me a drawing filled with lines and dots, and explained that this was the origins of the layout for the reception area and the intricate ceiling work, featuring recessed ambient lighting. I was floored to see the humble beginnings of such a beautiful space.”

Not every aspect of Jay Suites’ designs is based solely on personal creativity, however. As Srour explains, “We did our homework – there is plenty of research to back up the need for a comfortable, ergonomically-sound working environment in order to maximize productivity, and this is what we strive to bring to our clients every time we create a new business center.” Each detail is carefully assessed for its aesthetic and/or productivity-maximizing value, before it is implemented into the Jay Suites design concept: “We’ve made golden-yellow Venetian plaster walls our hallmark, but not without reason,” Srour continues. “Yellow and other warm colors inspire action and results – adding in the Venetian plaster design was our way of modernizing the space and adding classic New York elegance, so we’ve combined the functional and style aspects to make our spaces bright and welcoming.”

In addition, numerous studies on the effects of the physical work environment on employee productivity indicate that giving employees a choice over their own work station furniture maximizes commitment & output. “It’s impossible to not give our clients a choice – they need to love their office, and we are in no position to tell them what they need or like. Besides, everyone is different – having a wide array of options available ensures each employee within our suites is comfortable and in control,” explains Juda Sour, the company’s President.

Other unique design elements include ceiling carve-outs, accented by recessed ambient lighting, onyx marble flooring, stainless steel trim, and frosted glass accents. “Each space is similar, yet has its own unique touches, most of which are intended to capture the personality of the neighborhood each center is in,” Bucci added. “The triangular corner spaces at our Penn Station location mimic the geography of Times & Herald Squares, while our Grand Central location features more traditional styling, such as a mahogany reception desk, which is more reflective of the historic Manhattan style in the Midtown area.”

So how does Jay Suites’ management really feel when they walk into a newly-leased, vacant floor of an office building that they will turn into a luxury business center? “Excitement and anticipation,” Juda Srour promptly answered, “we see the possibilities for what we can bring to our clients – and we can’t wait to get started!”

To get started in your own Jay Suites office, or to check out any one of their four luxurious business centers, please visit

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