By: Malcolm Mayhew
The office remodel is unveiled with the help of Moera Creative’s drone services. To see the video, visit fwtx.com/videos.
Founded in 2009 by Erick Moya, Moera Creative is a digital design and photography company located in Fort Worth. Specializing in graphic design, aerial photo/ video, and fashion/travel/blogging photography, Moya has been a professional graphic designer/photographer for nearly two decades and a drone pilot for about two years.
Drone footage is quickly becoming a popular industry. In addition to providing the drone services for the reveal of the magazine’s office remodel, Moera Creative facilitates the needs in the DFW area for real estate, safety inspections, promotional events, advertising and marketing, surveying, engineering, weddings, law enforcement, indie filmmakers, roofers, landscaping, golf courses and more.
Aerial photos and video can capture that new perspective desired on both the creative and business sides. With a ceiling of 400 feet and distances up to 2,000 feet, flight paths are GPS guided for accurate precision.
Moera Creative operates its drones following the required safety standards, and it carries aviation liability insurance.
Photography & Design
6824 Muleshoe Lane
Fort Worth, Texas 76179
| by Hal Brown | photography by Alex Lepe | After I bought my partner out of his portion of Fort Worth, Texas magazine in 2008, we decided to move our office from Hurst to Fort Worth. While Hurst is considered our market, there are more of our readers in Fort Worth proper. Since Camp Bowie is centrally located and provides easy access to all parts of Tarrant and surrounding counties, we decided that this was where we wanted to be.
Being The City’s Magazine, we wanted to ensure we had a strong local presence. A friend of mine, in charge of leasing for the Hickman Company, happened to call me at just the right time. He was peddling offices in the Hickman Building that he thought were a great fit for us and was pushing the 30-foot ceilings in a specific open-shell space that he suggested would be great for creative folks.
While the building was a little further down the west end of Camp Bowie than I originally wanted, the space he was offering was street level with road frontage, plenty of parking, with its own separate entrance from the rest of the building. Plus, he included a discounted space for magazine storage (which is very helpful to a magazine that prints hundreds of thousands of copies per year), and he was throwing in building signage. After numerous negotiations, we came to terms on our Fort Worth office in the six-story Hickman Building at 6777 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Six years later, the office had served us well. However, we had grown, and the space was showing its wear-and-tear. When a tenant in a contiguous space in the building moved in June 2014, we renegotiated our lease and completely gutted our space. Thus began the five-month expansion and remodel, which was broken into two phases. The first starting mid-September, and the second being completed in mid-December.
Our former office was primarily an open-space concept with only two private offices and an open-ceiling conference room. Because the needs of our sales and marketing staff and our creative staff are quite different, having those two departments side-by-side was not perfect. Our creative staff likes it dark with maybe some ambient music in the background, while our sales staff needs plenty of light and are on phone most of the day. The new space allowed me to provide them both with what they needed.
We grew from 3,562 square feet of main office space to 6,330, keeping the 985 square feet of magazine storage space, making our new footprint 7,315 square feet. To celebrate and break in the new space, the magazine held a Christmas party for several of its friends the following week.
Dennett Construction supervised the project and handled the millwork, framing, plumbing and demo. Founded in 1995 by Scott Dennett, Dennett Construction is responsible for several local recognizable and impressive projects such as the 8.0 patio, numerous Sundance Square’s storefronts, UTA’s Fort Worth Center, Bluebonnet Bakery and the Arlington Heights Post Office, to name just a few. Dennett prides himself on maximizing construction investment returns through high-quality craftsmanship and timely project completion. As a side note, when Scott is not building something, you might find him kicking back in his new Silver Leaf Cigar Lounge located in the heart of Sundance Square. It serves hand-crafted cocktails, fine wines and an extensive selection of fine smokes.
Upon entering the lobby area of our new office, the first thing visitors will notice is the sweeping high ceiling. Rows of leather cream-colored storage bins align symmetrical alcoves holding the magazine’s archive of issues from the last 17 years. A large flat-screen TV hangs on the wall behind the reception desk and features a live feed of FWTX.com, the magazine’s website.
Rich Courchesne, who owns Floor Depot Texas, provided the eye-catching 6-inch by 24-inch Noir Oak Deluxe colored ceramic tile by Mohawk Treyburne that unifies all of the open spaces in the office and is what we get the most comments on. As the name indicates, this tile emulates a grey stained oak and is laid in a herringbone pattern. All private offices and conference rooms are carpeted in Pebble Dust color, 12-inch by 36-inch commercial grade Planx carpet tiles. It is also laid in a herringbone pattern color and is made by Beaulieu Carpet.
Brenda Blaylock and Susan Semmelmann of Grandeur Design were responsible for the office’s overall aesthetic plan. Providing hours of consultation and expertise, they helped with everything from paint color and flooring choices to furniture placement and countertop/cabinetry selection.
The focal point of the area that houses the magazine’s creative team is the eight-station Knoll Morrision Desk System provided by Office Interiors Group (OIG). I worked closely with the Chief Marketing Officer at OIG and 247WorkSpace.com Gary Pearson to select the perfect desk system for our space that is affectionately referred to as “megadesk” by staffers. Twelve oversized framed prints of the previous year’s magazine issues decorate the walls, and the current issue is changed out monthly.
Sharing this open-concept square footage is our photo studio that is fitted-out with a cyclorama or “cyc” wall that curves smoothly at the bottom to meet the studio floor. The cyc provides for a corner-less joint and offers the illusion that the studio floor continues to infinity. This area also features a changing lounge for models. Assorted toys are strewn about for creative inspiration, including an impressive Nerf gun collection. A commercial Coke machine cooler, fully stocked with an assortment of beverages, anchors the corner of the studio and is adorned with the magazine’s logo and creative sayings.
One of the most impressive additions to the office is the spacious commons area that includes a sitting area, island and full kitchen. Gray leather couches and chairs, provided by Luxury of Leather, provide a comfortable setting for our staff meetings and occupy half of this space. A large, square island with a luxurious granite-top provided by IMC is surrounded by black leather barstools, afforded by Fort Worth Billiards and Barstools, and provides a great space for dining or an additional work space for interns with their laptops.
The kitchen’s backsplash is a matte stainless steel penny round tile also provided by IMC that frames an 80-inch, flat-screen television installed by the magazine’s go-to audio/video, surround sound, theater expert Brian Huggins, owner of H Customs. The full kitchen is finished out with a KitchenAid Pro Line Series stainless steel refrigerator, stainless steel, undermount sink and a Delta faucet, all supplied by Morrison Supply Company.
Also displayed in the commons area are large stretched canvases of classic Cowtown images taken by local photographers, including magazine regular contributor Brian Luenser.
One of the staff’s favorite new features is the covered patio, which has already been heavily utilized for end-of-workday happy hours and lunches alfresco. Butch Wallace, president of Yard Art Patio & Fireplace, provided the plush outdoor furniture. Family owned and operated since 1994, Yard Art believes in making spending quality time outdoors a priority.
Past the commons area are the business offices that include additional expansion offices currently used by interns, which will soon be filled with new hires. Anchoring the business office side of the space (and on the opposite side of the creative department) is a dedicated sales department. This space, complete with its own conference table for eight, allows the sales team privacy while also permitting them to be as loud as they want when celebrating a big sell.
Two of the unsung heroes of this project provided services that aren’t sexy and mainly go unnoticed, but they are in actuality the most important parts of making any space functional and comfortable – the drywall and electrical. Ernest Partin with Partin Drywall and Bobby Tutor with Tutor Electric both provided invaluable consultation on the front end and personally ensured the installation was a success.
To see a time-lapse video of the remodel process from start to finish, including magazine employees with sledgehammers, visit fwtx.com/videos.
By: Malcolm Mayhew