For Taft Communications, the firm’s move to Trenton‚ or what the team is calling the “Road to Roebling” — is in full swing. This November, Taft will relocate from a Lawrenceville, New Jersey office in a suburban corporate park to the former carpentry shop of the historic Roebling industrial complex in the heart of Trenton. The shift will allow for both a more open concept space that will foster a creative and urban dynamic where small or large teams can better collaborate, as well as many rooms for independent projects.
The space is an exciting step up from Taft’s more typical professional space of the past decade. The 100-year-old brick walls preserve the building’s history while encompassing a new retro vibe with its high ceilings and large windows, where you can “feel the energy from the city within the building,” said CEO Ted Deutsch. The building, which now has its foundational features, such as new wood flooring installed, will include numerous meeting rooms with glass walls to create more visibility in the office and welcome the natural light from the large exterior windows facing the Camden River Line on the west and the historic Chambersburg neighborhood to the east.
The Taft team is excited to be in a new location that will allow them to immerse themselves in the surrounding community to give even greater meaning to their purpose-focused work and provide inspiration for new ideas.
“Trenton powers my passion and career in policy communications. It’s where people make magic happen and where we’ll help our community realize the power of its purpose,” said Nicole Kirgan, associate director, policy, and media. “Our new home in the capital city represents the next chapter in Taft’s 40-year evolution as we deepen our social impact and purpose-driven work.”
Deutsch reflects on Taft’s past, shares how the purpose-focused organization plans to use its new space to connect with clients and the local community, and looks forward to this new chapter in Taft’s history in a brief Q&A.
Laine Klimek: Why did Taft make the decision to move?
Ted Deutsch: It was time to decide if we should renew our lease on our Lawrenceville location, or if we would go to a completely remote environment. Instead, we decided to find something new… a space that reflects the ethos of the company and helps us get the most benefit from a hybrid work style. When trying to be creative for clients, it’s important to be in a space that is conducive to creativity. And making an impact through our physical operations on the revitalization of Trenton is right in line with our commitment to purposeful work.
LK: What do you hope will change/improve/enhance/remain the same in the new space?
TD: This fresh creative space aims to give more incentive to the team to collaborate when we are together during limited time each week. We want our team members to enjoy being with each other. Important learning and mentoring can happen when we’re together in person. Plus, the office will be more accessible to commuters since its steps away from public transportation and a major highway, which we hope will be attractive to current and future employees.
LK: How will this setting improve collaboration?
TD: In the new space, there will be four conference rooms of varying sizes, compared to the two we used to have — and an area of open layout with couches, chairs, and tables to offer other chances for casual teamwork. A small wellness room will provide private space for employees who want to meditate, nap, or rejuvenate, and can serve as a lactation room.
LK: In what ways will Taft impact Trenton and the surrounding area?
TD: We will be in a new neighborhood, with a fascinating history, that we look forward to getting to know. This gives us a chance to support local businesses and host communication training services for Trenton nonprofits and small businesses. We hope that Taft will be one small part of momentum for a city that needs more businesses betting on its success. By Taft committing to the city, we hope it motivates others to move back to Trenton and contribute to the economy and vibrancy of our state’s capital.
LK: As the firm plans to celebrate not only a new building but also 40 years of operation, how does it stay close to its roots while navigating a new location with new issues?
TD: Our co-founders Mara Connolly and Pete Taft had a community-minded commitment from day one. So, in many ways, this move is a natural culmination of who we’ve been for years — especially as we’ve increasingly focused on communications to support ESG-related initiatives. So far, Trenton leaders — including the mayor and various civic leaders — have been terrific in welcoming us to the community. The task now is to move forward with a mix of confidence and humility and become a consistently positive contributor to success of the city.
“Roebling is going to be a great place to immerse ourselves in the great work we do at Taft. I am excited as a new member to the team to start at a new site that has a rich history,” said Nausica Orthodoux, associate director, account operations. “Our next chapter is unfolding, and I look forward to being in on the ground floor.”