Reimagining the office experience on the original T3 project
What is special about your project?
T3 Minneapolis was first the T3 project Hines developed, and I was fortunate to be there at the very beginning when Steve Luthman (now CEO of Midwest/Southeast/Canada) and Managing Director Bob Pfefferle came up with the concept.
It’s rewarding for our entire team to see this concept growing both nationally and internationally and the positive impact it’s having on the environment, the tenants, and guests that activate these projects.
Our project office at the time was in a brick and timber building and there were discussions about how to develop a building that would have the charm and character of what we loved about the brick and timber building without the downsides of those types of buildings such as the noise, inefficient layouts and outdated HVAC systems. Our team went through an extensive research and development process and as a result we were able to reimagine the office experience we now know as T3. VP of Construction David Spillman led us through the construction process of the first T3 and the endless list of things we needed to figure out, but our team did it and in the process were able to make this innovative project type a reality.
I feel privileged to have been part of the team that developed the original T3 project and it’s rewarding for our entire team to see this concept growing both nationally and internationally and the positive impact it’s having on the environment, the tenants, and guests that activate these projects.
What has been the most challenging part of building a T3 project?
Being part of the first T3 meant that our team had a steep learning curve and had to figure out solutions for a number of things that were unique to this new product type. But these challenges were also great learning opportunities for our entire team that would benefit future T3 teams and the overall T3 platform.
How did the T3 product change how people experience their office space?
When we were developing the T3 concept, we were in the process of completing the second multifamily project in the Midwest Region. We learned a lot about the hospitality and experience-driven nature of that product type and brought the hospitality focus and feel into the T3 concept to change how people experience their office space. We didn’t want the lobby to feel traditional and be something people just walked through to get to the elevators. We wanted to change the entire experience, so we came up with a more boutique lobby design that felt warm and inviting and included a social lounge/workspace that was weaved throughout the first floor. We also added a large rooftop deck so tenants could get outside and enjoy fresh air. This variety of spaces enabled tenants to have multiple areas throughout the building where they could connect and collaborate in addition to using traditional amenities like a fitness center and conference space.
We also embraced the bike and bike commuting by adding bike storage, bike repair station, and locker rooms with showers. The amenities in a T3 building and the design of those spaces are thoughtfully curated to provide a cohesive, inviting experience for our tenants to enjoy throughout their workday.
Get to Know Michelle
What brought you to Hines?
I’ve been with Hines for over 20 years. It has been an amazing company to work for and while it’s a large company, it has always maintained the warmth and familial nature of a smaller company. It is a company with deep integrity throughout the organization, which is something I’ve always admired and appreciated. It is a company that is always striving to improve and has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion and making sure that all voices are heard and respected. There are always opportunities to learn new things and experience different sides of the business, which is crucial to understanding the overall real estate sector.
What would you like to share with young women starting out about your own personal experience of working in the industry?
While there were many times in my career where I was the only woman “at the table” or on a team, I didn’t let that limit me because I always felt it was important to share the female perspective because we need diverse input when we’re developing projects. You need to own your seat at the table and know that your perspective matters and not be afraid to share it. I’ve been blessed to work on great teams at Hines where everyone’s input is valued because it makes for a better end product that we deliver to our investment partners and clients.
What do you love about CRE?
There is never a lack of things to do in real estate development and I love the variety of things I get to do and be exposed to in my job, as well as the ability to always learn new things and the opportunity to work on amazing projects. It’s rewarding to work on these projects from the conceptual phase through the entire development process and see them come to life and the positive impact they have on the people who occupy them and the surrounding community.
Want to join Hines?