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Is Wall Street going to be the new Madison Avenue? Barker DZP CEO explains why he thinks so

Good art direc­tors are as moti­vat­ed as their account man­ag­er col­leagues when it comes to cre­at­ing the best prod­ucts for their clients, and both would agree that cre­ative tal­ent flour­ish­es when the right phys­i­cal con­di­tions are in place. In New York, agen­cies seek­ing a change of busi­ness venue might do well to con­sid­er a loca­tion where those con­di­tions are in sur­pris­ing­ly ample sup­ply – the Finan­cial District.

From finance to media 

It might sur­prise art direc­tors out­side the Big Apple to hear that Madi­son Avenue may be los­ing its crown as loca­tion of choice among adver­tis­ing agen­cies. Eigh­teen ad shops have moved to the Finan­cial Dis­trict since 2005, and it’s no acci­dent. Mil­lions of square feet of office space have been vacat­ed by con­sol­i­dat­ing finan­cial firms over the last few years. Cre­ative and media com­pa­nies are being encour­aged to take their place by con­cert­ed efforts between pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor orga­ni­za­tions keen to breathe new life into the area.

A recent new res­i­dent is ad agency Bark­er DZP, whose 10-year lease on its SoHo offices was draw­ing to a close at the end of 2013. CEO John Bark­er hunt­ed around for a new loca­tion, inves­ti­gat­ing Chelsea, Brook­lyn and the Flat­iron Dis­trict. But as soon as he found out about the ben­e­fits of the Finan­cial Dis­trict, he was con­vinced it would be the best choice.

Fab­u­lous spaces

A recent vis­it to his new pent­house office in Broad Street from a col­league who’s worked in Adland for fifty years says a lot about the kind of space on offer. He told Bark­er “…this is the best view he’s seen from any agency in his lifetime.”

Barker’s con­vinced, in fact, that the Finan­cial Dis­trict will very soon be asso­ci­at­ed with the ad cul­ture of Madi­son Avenue. And the rea­son is fair­ly easy to iden­ti­fy: it’s pro­vid­ing fab­u­lous office spaces – the kind of inter­est­ing­ly capa­cious set­tings most art direc­tors long for to set their cre­ative juices flow­ing – at amaz­ing­ly cost-effec­tive prices.

Spaces like this, as Bark­er under­stands intu­itive­ly, tend to impress clients, who like their ad agen­cies to demon­strate their prox­im­i­ty to the pulse of what’s trend­ing in the wider cul­ture by being based in mod­ish offices in mod­ish locations.

And Barker’s not alone: recent new neigh­bors in the Finan­cial Dis­trict include Droga5 and NY-based ad shop Mekanism.

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