Return-to-Office Done Right: Walker & Dunlop Unveils New Amenity-Rich HQ
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it has moved into a newly constructed office to upgrade and expand its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The firm will occupy three stories in The Wilson, a mixed-use, 295-foot tower completed in 2021 and developed by Carr Properties.
The 59,000 square-foot suite, custom-designed by global architecture firm Gensler, promotes Walker & Dunlop’s unique brand, collaborative company culture, and its focus on community – from the moment you walk in the door. The space also fosters a sense of home for the nearly 250 Bethesda-based employees. “Our employees are best served when creativity and connectivity can flourish in person, and what better way to return to the office than with a brand new space designed around these concepts?” commented Willy Walker, Walker & Dunlop Chairman and CEO.
Gensler’s 2020 U.S. Workplace Survey, found that:
U.S. workers continue to view the physical workplace and in-person collaboration as key aspects of their jobs—and they are driving reasons behind their desire to return.
Employees want to return to the workplace to collaborate and socialize, and for the long-term positive impact on their careers and organizational relationships.
Many of the benefits of working from home—greater flexibility and access to privacy, in particular—will need to be reflected in the future workplace.
The space is designed for flexibility and collaboration, offering dedicated spaces to gather and brainstorm with colleagues, “work from anywhere” communal areas, focus rooms, and a wellness room on each of the three floors.
Not only is Walker & Dunlop’s new space designed to meet the top reasons employees desire to return to the office, but it does so in a safe and responsible manner. Covid design considerations include advanced MEP and HVAC design, glass dividers, more than six feet of workspace, touchless technology, and an overall focus on mental wellness and wellbeing.
“We wanted our headquarters to be a place that feels like home, where our people can connect, have a sense of belonging, and continue to cultivate our unparalleled company culture,” added Mr. Walker.
“What stood out from the start of this project is that Walker & Dunlop’s company culture is like a family,” commented John McKinney, Principal and Design Director. “The design was inspired by a house, built on a strong foundation, but what makes it a home are the people and the unique experiences within it. A centralized staircase encourages movement through a three-story hub, creating memorable and engaging moments under one roof.”
The Wilson’s building amenities also include an indoor penthouse and outdoor terrace on the rooftop overlooking downtown Bethesda, a fully equipped, 6,900 square foot fitness center, a secure bike room, a parking garage, and proximity to the Capital Crescent Trail. Other tenants in the building include news station FOX 5 DC, as well as Tatte Bakery & Café on the ground level.