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25 Years of MGAC: FF&E Procurement and Relocation Management

MGAC was founded in 1996 with three goals: to do the most interesting and challenging work, to have fun working together, and to build a successful business in the process. Twenty-five years later, we have met these goals and more. At this milestone moment, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of our most memorable projects—our favorite missions made real. Today, join us as we revisit some of our most memorable FF&E Procurement and Relocation Management projects.

Would You Like a Job? How About 74?

MGAC’s first major FF&E Procurement job came in 2007—in the form of 74 projects—all for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). 144 years after its founding, the OCC was ready to renovate its headquarters in Washington, DC along with district, field, and satellite offices scattered across the country. It was no small task, with MGAC engaged as a partner providing, Relocation Management, FF&E Procurement, and installation support.

The headquarters consolidation work consisted of an in-place renovation and re-stacking of the nine-story, 396,000 SF headquarters building and an expansion into 62,000 SF in neighboring leased facilities. MGAC’s FF&E team was responsible for procuring all new furniture, maximizing the reuse of existing furniture, warehousing surplus furniture, and disposing of excess furniture through the established General Services Administration program.

For the OCC’s district, field, and satellite offices across the country, MGAC managed the furniture procurement, delivery, and installation process, which included producing an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) manual and handling all warranty issues for the year following the installation. In the end, the team worked in 74 locations. More than 6,000 pieces of furniture, 1,600+ offices and workstations, and 1,200 employees were involved. Despite the scale of the work, no detail was overlooked, and every employee returned to a moved or renovated workstation to find everything exactly as they’d left it—down to their pencil on their desk—so that no one would miss a beat.

Civic and Government Gigs Galore

From there, our civics classes in grade school continued to pay off. We worked with the U.S. Department of State, the White House Visitor Center, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Fannie Mae, the FBI, DARPA, and others, offering FF&E procurement services over the years.

Just last year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library reopened its doors after a three-year renovation of the historic Mies van der Rohe building. MGAC was tasked with procuring all FF&E for the renovation of the 427,263 SF building. By the numbers, the project counted 55 private offices, 165 workstations, 2,500 bookshelves, more than 550 library tables, 375 lockers for staff and visitors, 1,850 pieces of seating for visitors, and even a trash compactor—a first for the FF&E team.

Going Corporate

Our FF&E team’s first foray into the corporate space came in 2009 when Hilton Worldwide was ready to move its headquarters from Beverly Hills, CA to McLean, VA. There was a six-month timeline for us to provide site selection and real estate acquisition, project management, program management, design and construction management, relocation management, and, of course, furniture procurement. In the end, the transcontinental move was a success. Two hundred employees were moved, and a new 118,000-SF headquarters ensured Hilton’s own workspace rivaled the experiences the company is known for offering its guests across the globe.

Another large corporate project kicked off in 2013 when American Greetings made the decision to move its world headquarters from Brooklyn, a suburb of Cleveland, OH, to nearby Westlake. The FF&E team would be responsible for outfitting the entire 657,000 SF headquarters and creative studios. Each corporate team had entirely unique workplace needs to be addressed and the team worked on everything from c-suite offices and state-of-the-art conference rooms to video production studios and even a retail store. There were massive prop rooms, printing equipment, and all kinds of unique features for the FF&E team to work with while on an active construction site.

Just a few weeks before the scheduled move-in, a propane tank at the site caused an explosion and a brief fire on site. Fortunately, no one was hurt or found to be at fault for the extreme and unforeseen event, but it pushed the construction timeline out by 11 weeks. At the time of the explosion, MGAC’s FF&E team had 64 tractor-trailers on their way for install in the space. The team, who’d been based just across the street from the site, immediately went to work to navigate this sudden and significant setback.

A local warehouse was secured to house all the furniture and equipment that was no longer able to be immediately routed to the building, and the team re-sequenced the entire move-in plan working around just one freight elevator and a much more active construction site. The new timeline entailed working floor by floor, moving in as each was able to be occupied again. In the end, 1,800 employees moved into a new, state-of-the-art headquarters seamlessly.

The successful delivery of these projects has led to more corporate work and, today, we are providing FF&E Procurement and Relocation Management for the renovation of T-Mobile’s Headquarters in Bellevue, WA and a confidential new Global Headquarters and R&D Center.

Highly Skilled, Uniquely Nimble

Over the years, MGAC’s FF&E team has worked across every sector the firm has served. Including their work on American University’s Hall of Science which has brought even more firsts for the FF&E team including freezers that must be kept at strict temperature ranges to protect the life’s work of research teams, massive fish tanks housing all kinds of live sea creatures, and chemicals requiring special handling.

Beyond civic and corporate projects, MGAC has also offered FF&E Procurement and Relocation Management services for educational institutions, cultural spaces, luxury living properties, and more—each time, working on behalf of the client to ensure no detail is overlooked and that every deliverable is of the highest quality and value.

While some FF&E teams might offer a scope that only touches the most commonly procured items, MGAC is nimble enough and skilled enough to deliver on any ask. By definition, the categories of furniture, fixtures, and equipment are broad and can truly entail any number of things. True to MGAC’s nature, the FF&E team never backs down from—and, in fact, thrives—when thrown a new challenge.

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