SAN DIEGO – Boston Consulting Group, an international firm that advises businesses on a wide range of issues, has moved its San Diego headquarters from the Gaslamp Quarter to Little Italy.
The company in late January moved into 20,000 square feet of space it leased at 2100 Kettner Blvd. in a new building constructed by Kilroy Realty Corp.
BCG shares the third floor with San Diego Football Club, Major League Soccer’s newest franchise, which leased 15,000 square feet in the building for its corporate headquarters in October.
“It’s energizing to have them as our neighbor,” said Jason Jager, managing director and senior partner of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in San Diego.
Jager said that BCG moved because the Gaslamp Quarter offices were getting cramped and chose Little Italy because, “It’s an amazing neighborhood.”
“Our teams work hard, and to be able to walk out of that nice space and go to the coffee shops and the restaurants and the happy hours and all that that area has to offer, brings a lot to the dynamic and the energy that we have,” Jager said.
The new location is “a rare gem, in that it was a new construction by Kilroy right in the heart of that area,” Jager said. “It’s very airy and open. You can see the city, you can see the airport, you can see the bay.”
Designed by ID Studios with Pacific Building Group as the general contractor, BCG’s space was nothing but bare concrete floors and walls when the company signed a lease.
“We had a pretty unique design concept for this project, and it was really centered around who BCG is. It was about creating an office that was what we call a journey with moments of discovery,” said Maegen Curry, associate principal of ID Studios.
“Our planning revolved around creating small, clustered neighborhoods.”
The clustered neighborhoods consist of workstations and private offices with glass walls to add to the overall open feel of the office.
“As you’re walking through the space, you can see into the offices that have beautiful wall panels,” said Isabella Ontiveros, assistant project manager at Pacific Building Group.
The neighborhoods “are not necessarily defined by walls. They’re spaces throughout the floor plan that have a mix of different types of work areas,” Curry said.
“The overall feel that we were going for is this light, bright feel,” said Kassandra Becerril, an ID Studios designer, who worked on the project.
To build on that open feel, Becerril said that some of the ceilings were left exposed, while others have sound-dampening acoustic tiles.
The journey of discovery begins at the entrance in a 1,000-square-foot reception area.
“As soon as you walk in, you have this beautiful reception area that pays homage to coastal San Diego,” Ontiveros said. “The reception area has color tones of blues and greens, earthy tones in the wall design, and custom millwork.”
Most striking is a 10-foot-long reception desk made of concrete with specks of stones of a variety of colors embedded in it.
Adjacent to the reception area is a 490-square-foot client conference room that accommodates 20 people, Curry said.
Two separate pathways lead out of the reception area, one to the client’s conference room and the other into the workstation neighborhoods.
“We don’t have really assigned offices. It’s shared offices, so we have individual offices that people can go in and sign up for,” Jager said. “Our most senior folks will have ones they can prioritize, but the idea is that it’s open, it’s collaborative, and it’s really designed around our team rooms.”
Among the discovery points along the journey through the office is what Curry called the cove, because of its shape.
“It’s a beautiful, curved banquette. The flow of it looks like San Diego cove,” Curry said.
Calming and Welcoming
“The heart of the office is the café space, and that is really the physical anchor of this project, and the adjacent patio,” Curry said. “That’s where their teams gather.”
Located in the southwest corner of BCG’s office, the café has a stage at its center so it can double as an all-hands meeting area for up to 100 people, with a ramp leading to the stage to make it accessible to someone in a wheelchair, Curry said.
“It also has a large (video) screen with speakers and cameras,” Curry said.
The café also has a 115 square-foot green wall made of freeze-dried moss in earth tones.
That, and the color palette of the overall office is meant to reflect the colors of San Diego.
Jager described the color palette as grays and greens.
“It’s calming, it’s welcoming, it’s comfortable,” Jager said.
There’s also a 40-square-foot BCG logo embedded in the ceiling.
The office has three patios, two of which have sliding glass walls that are 37 feet long and 10 feet wide that open to the outdoors with views of San Diego Bay or Kettner Boulevard.
The glass panels are so big that they had to be hauled up to the patios and eased into place, Ontiveros said, adding that “The project definitely had its unique challenges.”
At various places in the office, there are six focus rooms of about 56 square feet and five phone rooms of about 36 square feet.
There’s also a private mothers’ room of about 100 square feet for lactating mothers, a wellness room, and a 285-square-foot “genius bar” where workers can go to with IT questions or repairs.
“You can kind of go there and sit in bar-style seating and get assistance,” Ontiveros said.
There are six focus rooms of about 56 square feet, five phone rooms of about 36 square feet, and 13 conference rooms of varying sizes.
Room to Grow
Jager said that BCG wanted offices that were “San Diegoesque.”
“We didn’t want it to feel like we’re in a big city, high rise working out of a cube,” Jager said. “We wanted it to feel open, airy, warm, welcoming – the kind of things you would expect from San Diego.
Jager said that he’s lived in San Diego for 22 years. The company opened its San Diego office at One Columbia Place in 2022 with a staff of about eight, has grown to more than 60 employees, and Jager said that the new offices “can handle multiples of that.”
“We’re very optimistic about growth,” Jager said. “For San Diego, I wouldn’t said we have a specific target.”
Having a local office was important to develop relationships with clients.
“We serve a very diverse and broad set of industries – industrial goods, the defense sector, consumer, healthcare, energy – on down the list,” Jager said.
Boston Consulting Group
CEO: Christopher Schweizer
BUSINESS: management consult firm
ANNUAL REVENUE: $12 billion
NOTABLE: Boston Consulting has more than 100 offices in 50 countries