Moving Day(s)

 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that UTC’s D.C. staff has been in a holding pattern since mid-January in terms of our office space. For those not familiar with the situation, to sum up:

  • UTC had office space in D.C. that we wanted to vacate (too expensive, not convenient for us, not the right configuration, etc.), but our lease isn’t up until 2021
  • We found a few good options for new space in an area called Crystal City, which is a neighborhood in Arlington County just across the bridge from Capitol Hill and adjacent to Reagan National Airport
  • The best deal/right fit for us was at a newly refurbished building where we would be able to build out our own office
  • We needed a sublessor in order to move out before our lease is up in 2021
  • We found one (!!), but…
  • The rub was that the sublessor wanted to move in by mid-January, but our new space would not be ready until April
  • We decided to move…just before Amazon decided to put its East Coast headquarters in Crystal City (our lease was signed just in time – yay!)
  • But, we would all have to work from home for at least two months – the promised move-in date was late-March/early April
  • Notwithstanding a couple of minor glitches, the move-out went smoothly and the staff were connected and able to work – another yay!
  • By mid-January we were all working from home, getting together every couple of weeks for an all-staff meeting at the conference center in our new office building and humming along.

That brings us up to speed to the last time I’ve written about the move in this blog. By early March, the team had settled into the routine, we had had a couple of successful UTC regional meetings, and the accounting department was in the thick of our audit.

But I was starting to get antsy. I asked the broker the status of the move-in date and basically got this response (paraphrased): “The move-in date will be delayed until the end of April because the lights won’t be available until then.” Lights? Really? Couldn’t we just go to Home Depot and grab some? Apparently not, and apparently the dearth of lights was a problem with everyone building out their offices in Crystal City. I mean, I wasn’t naïve enough to think that we wouldn’t have a delay or two with the move, but for lights? Was this some existential reference to the fact that we represent electric utilities?

So, we waited for the lights and added a few more staff meetings in late March and April. The accounting team completed its work on the annual audit (a good one!) and then focused on the details of the move-in that we hadn’t already addressed. A couple of weeks ago, we got a peak into the space and finally, last week, we saw a close-to-final product. After successfully completing the various inspections that go into building new office space during the last week of April, we are now officially moving into our new office this week (week of May 6)! We still have one more small hurdle before we can all be working in the space – the County of Arlington has to verify that we are using the space for its stated purpose, or whatever that means. We are now in the process of moving boxes in, unpacking, and making sure that all the “stuff” works – the electrical, Internet, refrigerator, water, air conditioner/heat, security system, etc.

The bottom line is, by this time next week, the D.C. staff will all be at our desks in one beautiful space…2511 Richmond Highway (formerly Jefferson Davis Highway), Suite 960, Arlington, VA 22202. No change to our phone numbers or other contact info. Until we meet again…at the new office that you’re all invited to visit!