Bridgepoint Invests in Downtown VisionMar 17, 2023 12:25PM ● By Lisa Lukecart
Photo by Bill Sitzmann.
A sweeping, stunning vista of downtown Omaha greeted guests as they stepped off the elevator in the Landmark building at 13th and Farnam streets. The glow of the city lights illuminated the office space. Wine corks popped, and lively conversations ensued.
Jason Fisher, CEO of real estate firm The Lund Company, decided a happy hour seemed a perfect opportunity to host his friends from Bridgepoint Investment Banking who wanted to make a move into a new office. Fisher believed the independent financial boutique was a great fit since the available space could be a valuable tool to entertain clients, recruit employees, and enhance advancements.
“The 15th floor in downtown Omaha in a luxury property says something more meaningful and successful than any property in the suburbs,” Fisher said. “There is nothing like the city center.”
Natasha Plooster, Bridgepoint’s COO, remained unconvinced until she experienced the atmosphere herself that summer night—the “hidden gem” in the recently renovated Landmark Center mingled a soft elegance with an energetic vibe.
She visualized dressing up the lobby for entertaining. The front desk could transform into a bar, while the conference room could house catered food. Subtle jazz music might filter through the speakers to create ambiance. Industry leaders, partners, and clients could feast at premier restaurants nearby or stay at the The Farnam, Autograph Collection Hotel. Employees could partake in revitalizing walks, lunches, or boot camps in the Heartland of America Park on the riverfront.
Natasha and her husband, Matt Plooster, Bridgepoint’s co-founder and CEO, could see the potential of the space far outweighed their long commute from Malcolm, Nebraska. The company made the move two years ago, and has since kept the previous owner’s design scheme, which gels with Natasha Plooster’s vision.
“I want clients to feel at home and to feel the expertise of the group,” she said.
Tobacco leather chairs sit outside a meeting area next to the windows, showcasing an eye-catching view of the city. A chandelier hangs down for opulent indoor lighting. The area rug mirrors the Farnam Hotel, a topographical abstract of golden wheat, muddy fields, and blue rivers.
The Malcolm conference room, so named after the Ploosters’ home residence, seats 20 while the Omaha meeting room holds 10. A click of a button controls the enclosures, frosting the glass like a car window on an icy day, encasing the rooms in privacy.
Modular walls make it easy for whiteboards, pinboards, or even monitors to be easily inserted. Plooster thought this detail would allow for growth as needed. Charcoal chairs and local artwork lend a vibrant yet classic feel to the bigger offices. Cubicles keep the open area neat and tidy with sit-to-stand desks, stylized wooden rolling cabinets, and smudge-proof surfaces.
In another meeting room, comfortable chairs in navy—the signature hue of the Bridgepoint brand—surround a fully equipped table. The airiness feels intimate due to the walnut acoustic clouds embedded in the ceilings. A big-screen monitor pops against the espresso-colored paneling.
“We are a group that loves to have fun,” she added.
This is evident in the lobby, where a hidden butler’s pantry for catering and wine storage resides. Customized lucite awards— fun “deal toys” used to commemorate closings—cover the shelves up front. A shiny, black automobile, a wooden rolling pin, and metallic car keys all add a sense of playfulness and competitiveness. Matt Plooster loves baseball; an array of personalized bats hang on plastic hooks in a meeting room. When a closing happens, each transaction member receives a colorful hardwood reminder of all their hard work. A ring of the bell calls team members to convene for a drink and a celebratory cigar on the outdoor patio overlooking a broad swath of the city.
The lounge area, utilized for internal meetings, contains taupe leather sofas and a soft gray chair. Photographs of team-building trips to Vail, Colorado; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Sonoma, California; and other leisure destinations line the walls.
With the backdrop of bustling downtown Omaha, the company is galvanized to continue its successful financial ventures.
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