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A 360° VIEW OF PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE This is the last in a series of articles exploring the six different BY JESSICA BATES criteria evaluated by the BOMA 360 Performance Program®. COMMUNITY THRIVES IN THE MILLENNIUM BUILDING M any of the tenants in the Mil- lennium Building in downtown Washington, D.C., work long hours at demanding jobs, which means extensive building amenities can help them create a better work-life balance. This presents a welcome challenge to Donna Nurmi, senior property manager with The Tower Companies, which owns and man- ages the property. Nurmi and her team are dedicated to ensuring that all occupants of the state-of-the-art, 12-story building enjoy their time there. And, the Millennium team has more than met this challenge, offering an array of services and amenities and regularly feting tenants with building socials. More impor- tantly, in the 13 years Nurmi has worked for The Tower Companies, she has developed a deeply held conviction about the impor- tance of communication and community in creating happy tenants, whom she calls clients. It was no surprise that when the Mil- lennium Building achieved the BOMA 360 designation, it scored highly in each of the program’s six categories, but was a particular standout in the category of Tenant Relations and Community Involvement. The Tower Companies’ team understands that tenant relations requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach, particularly in a Class A building that houses everything from law firms to educational organizations to financial institutions. “Communication is an ongoing process,” Nurmi says. “We want to stay in touch with what our clients want and make sure they feel comfortable com- ing to us with ideas or requests, but we don’t want to be obtrusive.” Building announce- ments and flyers keep everyone in the prop- erty up-to-date on events, and the property staff regularly touches base with occupants through frequent building events or simply 36 BOMA MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2016 by visiting their space. Nurmi and her team organize a variety of events, so every ten- ant can find something that speaks to their interests. “If you provide a good mix of dif- ferent options—educational events, environ- mental initiatives, socials—you’re going to get more clients involved,” she says. “My goal is for everything we offer to be interesting, valuable and fun.” This approach seems to be working well, as events draw robust par- ticipation from the building’s tenants. Another key to the success of the Mil- lennium Building is active community involvement. Many of the events are geared towards a charitable cause, from blood drives to volunteer opportunities at the local Rock Creek Park. “This is a huge priority for us, and that really stems from the vision and mission of The Tower Companies’ manage- ment,” Nurmi explains. “We’re dedicated to building a happy and healthy community, not just in the building, but in the surround- ing area.” Allowing the building’s occupants to work on this common goal goes a long way towards fostering a strong sense of camaraderie. Environmental stewardship also is a priority. The Millennium Building was built to LEED Gold® specifications, uses a green lease for tenant build-outs, offsets 100 percent of its energy consumption and collects rainwater for irrigation, among other sustainable initiatives. The Tower Companies takes a holis- tic view of tenant relations and works to ensure tenants feel fulfilled by their time at work. This made the BOMA 360 program a natural fit. “The ‘360’ part of the BOMA 360 name really is true,” Nurmi explains. “The BOMA 360 program covers all parts of building operations and management, and we work hard to make sure we’re not over- looking anything. Our designation reflects that effort.” “ The BOMA 360 program covers all parts of building operations and management, and we work hard to make sure we’re not overlooking anything. Our designation reflects that effort. ” — Donna Nurmi, Senior Property Manager, The Tower Companies In fact, building staff members think criti- cally about what they can add to the build- ing to improve a tenant’s daily experience. The large number of bike commuters in the building have access to a secure, air-condi- tioned bike storage room complete with a repair station and filtered water. The fitness center offers free yoga and Pilates classes and top-of-line equipment, as well as a full locker room complete with clothing steam- ers to help keep occupants looking sharp. A lactation room provides privacy and quiet for new mothers and doubles as a medita- tion room. Anyone can take a clipping from the rooftop herb garden to use in their home cooking. “I love when tenants tell me what meals they made with herbs grown on our roof,” Nurmi says. Nurmi offers one last secret to property managers looking to improve their tenant relations: “Start with your property team— they are the foundation of a good building community,” she says. “If the team takes the time to get to know each other and spend time together, they will work together better, and our clients can see that difference.” B