St. Louis Business Journal: Coolest office spaces – Kirkwood real estate firm renovates office for ‘homelike’ feel

St. Louis Business Journal: Coolest office spaces – Kirkwood real estate firm renovates office for ‘homelike’ feel July 28, 2017

When John Jackson Neighborhood Real Estate set out to renovate its office at at 105 E. Argonne Drive in Kirkwood, company executives wanted to create a welcoming environment for clients and a collaborative space for employees — a rarity in the real estate industry that focuses on competition between agents.

The real estate firm purchased the building, which was divided into four sections and housed several tenants, for $437,500 in late 2014. After buying the building, the firm spent the next year and a half renovating it over three phases, spokeswoman Mary Schanuel said.

Work inside the 2,000-square-foot space included exposing brick walls, restoring the original tin ceiling and building out the interior to create a unique office space for its staff and clients.

“We wanted to create a collaborative, welcoming environment where our clients and employees would feel comfortable,” said John Jackson, owner and broker at John Jackson Neighborhood Real Estate.

The office includes a conference room, a full kitchen, a flexible work space, three renovated bathrooms and a living room area dedicated for meetings with homebuyers and sellers. The new space also features an 8-foot sliding glass door to create a separate work area for the firm’s sales agents. New lighting, paint, fixtures and flooring also were added.

In addition, workstations are set up in pods of two in an open area, encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Other tiny rooms are nearby that Jackson dubs “funky phone booths” where staff can work quietly or make a private phone call.

The space was designed by Erica Watterson of the Painted Wall and Celeste Padberg of Staged 2 Sell. The contractors were Herring Design & Development, Complete Drywall and Painting, and Hennessey Construction.

John Jackson currently employs 10 people, including six agents and four administrative staff members. The firm plans to add several more agents by the end of the year, Schanuel said. Renovation costs were not disclosed.

The firm, a residential brokerage in Kirkwood, Glendale and Webster Groves, closed on $43.91 million in sales in 2016, according to Business Journal research.

Click on the photo to get a tour of the revamped space.

If you think your office belongs in the Business Journal’s “ Coolest Office Spaces” feature, send me a quick description (including cost, square footage and any unique features) along with 10 photos to



Synergy Group