A law firm with over thirty years of experience, GHA’s Chad Brigham called on Hilliker’s Will Aschinger to help them establish their presence in Missouri.
A Home Base in Madison County
Chad Brigham is a lawyer and partner at Goldenberg Heller & Antongoli, P.C., a twenty-lawyer law firm with over a billion dollars in settlements and judgments. Headquartered in Edwardsville, Ill., GHA is a full-service practice, dealing in:
- Estate planning
- Business, transactional, and real estate law
- Business and commercial litigation
- Debtor/creditor practice and collection
GHA works on behalf of businesses, but not exclusively. Their class-action department will fill claims against companies through contingency cases involving personal injury, mesothelioma, and mass tort.
For its more than thirty-year history, the firm (which includes about thirty support staff) has been operating at a high level from its home base. Brigham said, “In my opinion, we are the class in southwest Illinois for the type of law we practice.”
But GHA was ready for a more significant role in St. Louis, already having experienced a degree of success on the Missouri side of the Mississippi.
Brigham joined GHA in August of 2017. He specializes in intellectual property, business, and real estate transactional law — the very parts of the practice GHA intends to grow.
Given Brigham’s history, including his specialty in real estate law (he even has his Missouri realtor’s license), the firm asked him to lead the project to find St. Louis-area office space and solidify their presence in Missouri.
Brigham was all in.
Finding Office Space for Lease in St. Louis
Brigham said, “We actually have a small satellite office in Brentwood where we can meet clients. The location was inconvenient to us, and it didn’t provide the infrastructure we needed to really get work done.”
Brigham had been part of the St. Louis Commercial Real Estate ecosystem for many years (including closing several deals of his own). He knew Hilliker’s reputation. He had dealt with members of their team in the past and liked what he saw.
Additionally, GHA is a hyper-local mid-sized law firm — not a multi-state conglomerate. From his perspective, Hilliker operates from a similar position, with the same values and spirit.
But there was a more personal reason for Brigham’s choice, too.
“I met (broker) Will Aschinger and his family at an event. Our families got to hang out for a couple of hours, and he seemed like the kind of guy I’d like to do business with. When the need came up about a year later, he was the only person I called.”
Brigham told Aschinger GHA needed about 2500 square feet of usable office space in St. Louis city or county. He was open to both the location and quality of the property. In his words, “GHA isn’t the kind of firm that wants to put on airs. We just needed something nice and functional.”
For GHA, “functional” meant at least four or five individual offices and a conference room. He and Aschinger cast a wide net, looking at office space for lease throughout Clayton, Brentwood, Des Peres, and West County.
The difficulty wasn’t finding available office space, but choosing the location and feel they needed. Here, Brigham leaned on Aschinger’s eye and experience to find space to meet the expectations of GHA’s clients. It needed to be impressive without being ostentatious.
Quickly in the process, Aschinger found Brigham a space that more than met GHA’s expectations. It positions them perfectly for their expansion.
The Current Value of Downtown St. Louis Office Space
500 North Broadway is Class A office space in St. Louis’s business district. For a law firm that wanted to establish a more significant presence in Missouri, a 63102 zip code shows clients and other law firms they’re serious.
The high-rise stands at the corner of Washington and Broadway, amid many of St. Louis’s most consequential (and busiest) buildings.
They’re minutes from Busch Stadium, The Missouri Athletic Association, The Stifel, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and America’s Center. It’s also a short drive from their headquarters in Edwardsville, so staff can quickly travel back and forth.
The space they chose features 2,543 square feet on the sixteenth floor. Brigham and his colleagues were impressed by the building, the amenities, and the parking. But they were pleasantly surprised by the lease rate.
Brigham said, “The value and quality you get with downtown St. Louis office space — it just can’t be beat.”
And though it had no bearing on GHA’s decision to use the space, the address meant something special to Brigham.
“I started my practice out at Lewis Rice, and they occupied 500 North Broadway while I was with them. For me personally, this is a homecoming.”
“A Truly Entrepreneurial Firm”
Brigham said, “Law firms are traditionally pretty conservative, but I don’t see that with GHA. We’re a truly entrepreneurial firm. We started talking about expansion before the pandemic, and we negotiated this deal in the midst of it.
“It shows we’re not going to let anything stop us from moving forward.”
When it came to working with Will Aschinger, Brigham said, “He was great. I’m no stranger to negotiating real estate deals, but I needed an insider. I needed his resources for finding the property and someone who would give me his vision to show me what I might be missing.”
Brigham was also impressed with Aschinger’s willingness to press forward during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has been an extremely challenging time. Having Will as a resource in this uncertain environment was just what we needed. He was extremely responsive, treated us well, and was available whenever we needed to talk.”
The Entrepreneur’s Choice — Especially in a Crisis
COVID-19 has provided an incredibly challenging environment for businesses of all kinds. St. Louis’s business owners need partners with a clear head, optimism tempered by wisdom, and foresight.
Hilliker Corporation provides a range of experienced brokers who have seen ups and downs in the economy before. We possess the resources and the people entrepreneurs can call on regardless of what happens.
If you’re ready to make a change in your commercial real estate, now may be the right time for action. Whether you’re undaunted by the current situation or need to reposition yourself for the future — reach out to broker Will Aschinger.