In Newark, I get to have these amazing moments where I discover a company that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting before. I was invited to be a keynote for Next City Vanguard and speak about the spirit of collaboration in our city.
Newark is about equitable development for its citizens and small business owners. It is a point of pride in my career that in this city, I have found multiple ways to partner and bring hyper-local companies into projects I work on.
After such an amazing experience of speaking on collaboration, my favorite part of any engagement is afterwards! I want to meet everyone in the room, learn about their projects and services, especially when the leaders in the room are in Newark. I want to grab every card and find moments to take in their stories.
I had a moment to chat with the amazing Kraig Kalashian and Jennifer Van Blarcom of KKAD. Their boutique powerhouse Architecture & Hospitality Design Firm creates breathtaking environments and they are headquartered in a building I have been curious about since coming to Newark. They invited me to their Raymond Blvd studio for coffee and I was beyond, excited to sit with them.
So before I can even talk about how beautiful their work is, we need to understand how welcoming their space is. It was so evident that they wished to have every member of their team have an optimal work environment to execute in. It was ultimate luxury meets function.
There were so many common areas to grab the latest in design publications, create mood boards in their sample space, or even to play a good game of chess. The creative in me was instantly drawn to ever corner of the studio.
I lust after studios because they open your mind up to possibilities in executing your own projects.
Sitting in the well-appointed conference room, we discussed the beauty of Newark and our shared obsession over historic buildings waiting to be brought to life again and the neighborhoods in Newark like Vailsburg, Lincoln Park and Lower Clinton Hill where small businesses need spaces to bring those areas to life and reflect the residents. I’m excited to know that KKAD founder Kraig Kalashian is committed to building relationships with small businesses that will help them to take up space in their developments.
Over all I was so happy to visit this space and speak with the team, cannot wait to see what is next for KKAD.
Kansas City, MO – 2016
Take a moment to see this Historic project executed by KKAD.
Previously listed on the National Register for Historic Places, the recent renovation enhanced the existing architecture while repositioning the hotel for the 21st century traveler. The redesign included three new food and beverage outlets as well as a new design concept for all 217 rooms.